Alice Springs Desert Park

On Thursday, our second last day at Alice Springs we went to the Desert Park. This park is a native plant garden covering different types of desert regions and a wildlife park 7 Km from Alice Springs. It is situated on 1,300 hectares, with a core visitor area of 52 hectares.  It is a must see if visiting this area. There is a free bird show at 10 am and 3 pm each day so we decided to do the early show. It is in a roofed auditorium with tiers of seating in a semi circle, everyone gets a good view and it would fit over 100 people. The first show was a magpie swooping to get food from the handler. Apparently they can memorise 100 faces so if you upset one they will attack you for their whole life and their offspring will learn you as well. This bird was too fast to photograph. However there was a rogue willy wagtail who kept making an appearance during the show.

The next display was by a Kite who has learned to break an emu egg using a stone. He picks a stone up in his beak and thrusts it down onto the egg and after 4 or 5 throws the egg broke. He was an orphan kite so this skill seems to be inbred as all kites do this apparently.

Then an owl appeared out of a dead tree stump and flew into the arena. From the back wall he would swoop down and grab the feed from the keeper and fly back to another part of the wall.

Here is a photo of the owl on top of the wall and one of the tawny frogmouth who was happily perched in the roof structure for the whole show.

The next display was by a wedge tail eagle, a massive bird who came in on the arm of its trainer. It would fly up and grab the thrown food and return to the ground or to the trainer. Were are a couple of photos.

There were another couple of birds who did some tricks but I didn’t catch them on camera, the show lasted about 20 minutes. After that we set off to walk around the park and visit the various exhibits. We omitted the dingoes, kangaroos and emus as we have seen plenty of those in the wild. There were 8 or 10 aviaries scatted through the park and we visited them all. Some are walk through ones with two doors on each end with a vestibule between so birds cannot easily escape. Others are viewed through a window. The photos that follow are of the birds I managed to capture on the camera, many are so quick of movement you just cannot catch them on the camera.

Red Tailed Black Cockatoos
Bourke Parrots – Rare and Endangered
Bush Bustard

The bush surrounding you as you walked around was beautiful, this area is the sand garden path.

The photo below is in the river country area.

Among the visits to the various aviaries we visited the nocturnal house. Some of the photos have strange colours, that is due to the lighting. There was a guide showing people around and he had a red light to show things up. It was very dark inside and we had to use 2 to 2.5 seconds exposure to get a photo. Here are some of them.

Death Adder
Bush Rat
Pie-dish Beetle

We were lucky to see a Bilby running around, but it was so quick it was impossible to photograph in low light. Of course as you would expect there were lots of flowers in the gardens, here are some.

Yellow Mallee
Everlasting Daisy

People say that the Australian bush is dull and boring, I think you can see that there is a lot of variety and beauty in our bush. We have been visited at camp lots of times by Australian Ringneck Parrots, here is a photo Deen captured.

Finally a photo of our camp with the range behind the park highlighted at sunset.

Tomorrow, Saturday, we move to Ross River Station for 3 nights where we will visit features of the East MacDonnells. After that we will start wending our way home.

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2 Responses to Alice Springs Desert Park

  1. Jan Barker says:

    Some magnificent photos Russ, well done Both.
    I’ve only just logged in properly to your blog, so have missed a bit. I take it for granted you’re enjoying yourselves!

    I leave for UK on 14 June, so will catch up with you mid August.
    Take care

  2. Russ says:

    Jan I hope you have a great holiday, we are certainly enjoying ours. I did get your absence notice thanks.

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