Birding Tour Australia: Northern Territory – Alice Springs and Uluru Birding


Dates and Costs

 

26 September – 01 October 2024

Price: AU$6,068  / $4,134 / £3,318 / €3,879 per person sharing (4-8 participants)

Single Supplement: AU$1,345  / $917 / £736 / €860

 

* Please note that currency conversion is calculated in real-time, therefore is subject to slight change. Please refer back to the base price when making final payments.

 

20 – 25 September 2025

Price: AU$6,675  / $4,548 / £3,651 / €4,266 per person sharing (4-8 participants)

Single Supplement: AU$1,480  / $1,008 / £810 / €946

 

20 – 25 September 2026

Price: AU$7,342  / $5,001 / £4,015 / €4,692 per person sharing (4-8 participants)

Single Supplement: AU$1,628  / $1,109 / £890 / €1,041


Recommended Field Guide

(Please also read our blogs about recommended field guides for the seven continents here)


Tour Details

Duration: 6 days
Group Size: 4 – 8
Tour Start: Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Tour End: Alice Springs, Northern Territory


Price includes:

All accommodation (as described above from Day 1 through Day 5)
Meals (from dinner on Day 1 until lunch on Day 6)
Expert tour leader
National park/birdwatching reserve/protected areas entrance fees
Private transportation during the tour

Price excludes:

International or domestic flights to get to/from Alice Springs
Airport transfers
Any pre- or post-tour accommodation, meals, or birding/sightseeing/etc. excursions
Visa if required
Items of a personal nature, e.g. gifts, laundry, internet access, phone calls, etc.
Any pre- or post-tour accommodation, meals, or birding/sightseeing/monument excursions
Soft/alcoholic drinks (drinking water is safe from the taps, please bring a refillable water bottle)
Personal travel insurance
Gratuities (please see our tipping guidelines blog)

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Australia: Northern Territory – Alice Springs Birding
September 2024/2025/2026

 

This short birding tour around Alice Springs in the south of the Northern Territory of Australia also takes in the magnificent Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock). It is an ideal tour to combine with two of our other Australian tours because it fits in perfectly between our Birding Tour Western Australia: Southwest Australian Endemic Birds and Birding Tour Australia: Northern Territory – Top End Birding Tour. Combining all three of these short Australian birding tours will give you an excellent list of the birds of north, central, and western Australia, complete with a multitude of highly sought-after Australian endemic birds.

Alice Springs birding toursThe striking Spinifex Pigeon is one of our targets on this trip.

 

As with all our other tours this is a small-group tour. The majority of our tour will be based in Alice Springs, though we will also venture further afield to base ourselves near Uluru so we are well placed to enjoy this important feature. We will have a wide range of target birds while here, and will focus on the region’s specials such as Spinifex Pigeon, Spinifexbird, Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Dusky Grasswren, Rufous Grasswren, Banded Whiteface, Grey Honeyeater, Western Bowerbird, Black-breasted Buzzard, Diamond Dove, Grey-headed Honeyeater, Black Honeyeater, Pied Honeyeater, Slaty-backed Thornbill, White-backed Swallow, Crested Bellbird, Black-eared Cuckoo, Budgerigar, Bourke’s Parrot, Mulga Parrot, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Spotted Harrier, Little Eagle, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Purple-backed Fairywren, Splendid Fairywren, White-winged Fairywren, Red-browed Pardalote, and Painted Finch.

Alice Springs birding toursSplendid Fairywren is one of many spectacular species found around Alice Springs.

 

For those wishing to explore Australia further, in addition to the two tours mentioned above, this tour can also be combined with our two other Australian tours: Tasmania – Endemics and the Orange-bellied Parrot and Eastern Australia: from the Outback to the Wet Tropics. Not sure where to go birding in Australia? Take a look at our series of blog posts here that will give you some ideas!

 

Itinerary (6 days/5 nights)

 

Day 1. Arrival in Alice Springs

Arrival in Alice Springs. We will meet at our hotel in the evening for a welcome meal, ready to start birding the following morning. For those arriving early, there are plenty of birds in the river floodplain and botanic gardens near our hotel for some self-exploration.

Overnight: Alice Springs

 

Days 2 – 3. Birding Alice Springs environs

Two full days birding the Alice Springs area. There are several sites within close proximity to Alice Springs (even inside the city limits) and we will have morning and afternoon sessions at a range of these sites, such as the old telegraph station, the botanic gardens, the desert park, and the local back roads.

Alice Springs birding toursWe will look for Western Bowerbird that can be found at their bowers in the city – an impressive garden bird!

 

Some of the species we could find here include Spinifex Pigeon, Western Bowerbird, Grey Honeyeater, Pied Honeyeater, Black Honeyeater, Hooded Robin, Painted Finch, Black-breasted Buzzard, Little Eagle, Galah, Australian Ringneck, Diamond Dove, Black-eared Cuckoo, Crimson Chat, Splendid Fairywren, Mistletoebird, Rainbow Bee-eater, Australian Zebra Finch, Grey-crowned Babbler, White-browed Babbler, Torresian Crow, Little Crow, Australian Boobook, and Red-browed Pardalote.

Alice Springs birding toursHooded Robin is a delightful bird, and we should find this as we bird our way around Alice Springs.

The song of Crested Bellbird is spectacular as it rings out through the desert.

 

We will also venture out from the city into the ‘desert’ areas too, where we will look for some different and highly sought-after species such as Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Spinifexbird, Dusky Grasswren, Banded Whiteface, Bourke’s Parrot, Crested Bellbird, Slaty-backed Thornbill, Red-browed Pardalote, and White-browed Treecreeper.

Alice Springs birding toursBourke’s Parrots are tough to see during the daytime as they are crepuscular. We will visit a waterhole where we will hope to see them coming in to drink at dusk.

 

Dusky Grasswren is a target during our birding around Alice Springs.

 

Widespread Australian species we may find here include Southern Whiteface, Spotted Harrier, White-winged Fairywren, Purple-backed Fairywren, Hooded Robin, Inland Thornbill, White-fronted Honeyeater, Hooded Robin, Magpie-lark, White-backed Swallow, and Red-tailed Black Cockatoo.

Overnight: Alice Springs


Alice Springs birding toursA spectacular male Purple-backed Fairywren displays to a rather drab female.

 

Day 4. Alice Springs to Erldunda

We will have a final morning birding in the Alice Springs area looking for any of the birds mentioned above, before we drive south to Erldunda, where we will spend the night. We should have time for some birding around our accommodation in the late afternoon, when the temperature has dropped, and we will look for some of the birds mentioned for Day 5, below.

Overnight: Erldunda

 

Day 5. Erldunda and Uluru (Ayers Rock)

We will spend the morning birding around Erldunda and making our way to the famous Uluru (Ayers Rock), which we will reach in the mid-afternoon. Some of the birds we will be on the lookout for in the morning include Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Chiming Wedgebill, Budgerigar, Crimson Chat, Orange Chat, Pink (formerly Major Mitchell’s) Cockatoo, and maybe the nomadic Inland Dotterel.

Alice Springs birding toursIn a country blessed with a myriad of stunning parrots, Major Mitchell’s (Pink) Cockatoo takes some beating!

Alice Springs birding toursThe sight of Uluru as the sun sets is absolutely spectacular and a tour highlight in its own right.

 

We will have some time taking in the sights of Uluru (Ayers Rock) in the afternoon and we will keep our eyes peeled for Rufous Grasswren, a recent (2020) split from Striated Grasswren. The birds here are touted as a further split, Sandhill Grasswren.

Overnight: Uluru

Alice Springs birding toursThe rare and localized Rufous Grasswren will be a target around Uluru.

 

Day 6. Travel Uluru (Ayers Rock) to Alice Springs

After spending the early morning in the Uluru area looking for the species mentioned above, we will travel back to Alice Springs where the tour ends in the mid-afternoon.

Overnight: Not included

 

 

Please note that the itinerary cannot be guaranteed as it is only a rough guide and can be changed (usually slightly) due to factors such as availability of accommodation, updated information on the state of accommodation, roads, or birding sites, the discretion of the guides and other factors. In addition, we sometimes have to use a different international guide from the one advertised due to tour scheduling.

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Northern Territory: Alice Springs Birding Trip Report, October 2023

5 – 11 OCTOBER 2023

By Andrew Walker

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Australia October 2023 birding

Spinifex Pigeon gave incredible prolonged and close views while we were birding in Alice Springs – what a stunner!
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Overview

This Alice Springs birding tour started in Alice Springs on the 6th of October 2023 and ended back there on the 11th of October 2023. This short bird tour focused on birding around Alice Springs but ventured further afield to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park; this area is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List for its natural and cultural values. We visited the spectacular Uluru (formerly known as Ayers Rock) as well as Erldunda, the geographical center of Australia!

We recorded 90 bird species on this Alice Springs bird tour, and all species were seen. Plenty of specials of the “red center” were found, including Spinifex PigeonDiamond DoveSpinifexbirdRufous GrasswrenDusky GrasswrenBanded WhitefaceSouthern WhitefaceCrested BellbirdWestern BowerbirdBlack-breasted BuzzardWedge-tailed EagleRed-backed KingfisherRainbow Bee-eaterGrey-headed HoneyeaterPied HoneyeaterCrimson ChatWhite-backed SwallowChiming WedgebillCinnamon Quail-thrushHooded RobinLittle CrowAustralian RavenPurple-backed FairywrenSplendid FairywrenWhite-winged FairywrenRed-browed Pardalote, and Australian Zebra Finch.

It was a big parrot year, with loads of Budgerigars seen, which was an incredible sight wherever we went. We also saw Mulga ParrotAustralian RingneckRed-tailed Black CockatooPink Cockatoo (formerly Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo), GalahLittle Corella, and Cockatiel, but best of all (and a massive surprise), a small flock of the rare, localized, and nomadic Princess Parrot.

Our dawn and dusk visits to Uluru were another huge highlight of the tour, seeing this world-famous landmark in the changing light of the sun rising and setting will live long in the memory.

Australia October 2023 birding

Part of a flock of over 3,000 Budgerigars that we enjoyed watching ahead of sunset at Uluru.

 

Detailed Report

Day 1, 6th October 2023. Arrival in Alice Springs

We arrived in Alice Springs in the late afternoon and had a group welcome meal in the evening, discussing the plans for the coming week of birding in the arid Alice Springs and Uluru (Ayers Rock) areas.

Day 2, 7th October 2023. Birding the Alice Springs area

For our first birding in Alice Springs, we visited the Alice Springs Desert Park, and it was a great introduction to a suite of birds found in the arid center of Australia. Before leaving the hotel, right outside our rooms, we had Little CrowPied ButcherbirdGalah, and Yellow-throated Miner. As we made our way to the park, we added Australian MagpieMagpie-lark, and Australian Ringneck.

On arrival at the Alice Springs Desert Park, we found Black KiteWhistling KiteSinging HoneyeaterGrey-headed HoneyeaterSpiny-cheeked HoneyeaterWhite-plumed HoneyeaterBrown HoneyeaterRufous WhistlerBlack-faced CuckooshrikePurple-backed Fairywren, and Splendid Fairywren, all before we reached the car park!

Australia October 2023 birding

Splendid Fairywren is a gorgeous bird and we saw plenty during the Alice Springs bird tour.

 

We spent the morning walking around the trail system in the park. At first it was quite quiet, but a flock of Australian Zebra Finches soon spiced things up, as did a flock of Crested Pigeons and a couple of Peaceful Doves. Unfortunately, several flocks of Budgerigars sped across the site but didn’t land in view. A Nankeen Kestrel and Wedge-tailed Eagle were noted above a nearby ridgeline, and then we hit an area that was very busy with birds. An area of low vegetation gave us our first Diamond Doves and then the star attraction, Spinifex Pigeon. It was playing hide-and-seek for a while, but then came out into a better position and gave us some absolutely incredible views. Prolonged and very close, see the cover image! While we were waiting for the pigeon to show better, we noted several other species, including Crested BellbirdGrey ShrikethrushWhite-browed BabblerHooded Robin, more Australian Zebra Finches, and several of the honeyeater species already mentioned.

As we continued on our walk, we found Western BowerbirdGrey-crowned BabblerBrown GoshawkCollared SparrowhawkBrown FalconAustralian Ringneck, lots of Splendid FairywrensMistletoebird, and Fairy Martin. It was a thoroughly enjoyable morning, and we also appreciated seeing the different habitats and landscapes that really added to the experience, with so many beautiful wildflowers and butterflies on show too.

Australia October 2023 birding

Crested Bellbird gave some great views. It was more interested in finding food for its young, rather than worrying about us watching it.

 

After a break for lunch during the middle of the day, we took a walk at the Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, where we found our main target, Red-browed Pardalote, as well as the closely related Striated Pardalote. Both pardalotes showed well, which was appreciated. Walking around the grounds, we picked up some nesting Rainbow Bee-eaters, which showed nicely, and we also noted Australian MagpiePied ButcherbirdLittle CrowYellow-throated MinerWhite-plumed HoneyeaterBlack-faced WoodswallowWeebillCrested Pigeon, and Spotted Dove. We also found a Black-tailed Monitor sunning itself on a rock.

Australia October 2023 birding

Australian Ringneck was a common, but rather attractive sight around parks and gardens in Alice Springs. This subspecies is also sometimes known as the “Port Lincoln Parrot”.

 

Day 3, 8th October 2023. Birding the Alice Springs area

We spent the morning birding in some arid open areas to the southeast of Alice Springs, where we found lots of new and exciting species.

As we drove along the dry and dusty dirt road, we made several stops in different vegetation types, and during these various stops, we found lots of target birds, including Budgerigar (great perched views rather than the flyover views had the previous day), Mulga ParrotAustralian RingneckRed-tailed Black CockatooBanded WhitefaceSouthern WhitefaceCinnamon Quail-thrushWhite-backed SwallowRed-backed KingfisherBrown SonglarkRufous SonglarkAustralian PipitWhite-winged FairywrenSplendid FairywrenInland ThornbillChestnut-rumped ThornbillGrey ButcherbirdCrested BellbirdHooded RobinAustralian Zebra FinchLittle ButtonquailBlack-shouldered KiteWedge-tailed EagleBrown Falcon, and Nankeen Kestrel.

Australia October 2023 birding

A pair of Banded Whiteface were seeking some shelter in a bush where they showed nicely.

 

After a break for lunch and a siesta during the hottest part of the day, we ventured back out along the same road that we’d explored during the morning but called in at some different spots. Here, we found two family groups of Purple-backed Fairywrens, the males giving some excellent views. Other species seen here included Red-backed KingfisherWestern BowerbirdBlack-faced Cuckooshrike, and Black-faced Woodswallow. A brief stop at a small waterbody resulted in us finding a pair of Common Bronzewings coming in for a drink at dusk, with a pair of gorgeous Mulga Parrots nearby. On the drive back into Alice Springs, we saw Red Kangaroo and Common Wallaroo, and earlier we saw a Central Bearded Dragon.

A stunning male White-winged Fairywren gave us some excellent views.

 

Day 4, 9th October 2023. Alice Springs to Erldunda                                       

We spent the early morning birding along a dirt road southeast of Alice Springs, and after carefully walking our way through a stand of spinifex (a very sharp Triodia grass), we found ourselves watching the tough and secretive Spinifexbird, one of the main targets of the trip. Spinifexbird is a warbler-like bird that is part of the Grassbirds and allies family (Locustellidae). It took some pinning down, but once we got it, we had some good views. While looking for the Spinifexbird, we also saw BudgerigarWhite-winged FairywrenLittle ButtonquailBrown SonglarkAustralian Zebra FinchBlack-faced Woodswallow, and Crimson Chat.

Australia October 2023 birding

A grassbird of the desert! Spinifexbird was at home in a dense stand of impenetrable spinifex. Luckily, it eventually came out into view, allowing us all to get great views of this top tour target.

 

We moved locations and found some rocky outcrops to look over. Once we were in the correct habitat, it didn’t take too long to find our main target from the site, Dusky Grasswren. We found two family groups, though the first group was getting some hassle from a Willie Wagtail and, as such, were a bit skittish. A second family group showed a little better. While in this area, we also saw Purple-backed FairywrenAustralian Zebra FinchRed-backed KingfisherRainbow Bee-eaterBrown Falcon, and Nankeen Kestrel.

Australia October 2023 birding

Dusky Grasswren showed rather nicely.

 

After enjoying lunch in the Olive Pink Botanic Garden in Alice Springs, we commenced our journey south to Erldunda, our overnight stop as we ultimately made our way to Uluru (Ayers Rock). We made a couple of stops along the way. The first stop, at a waterhole, gave us sightings of White-necked HeronBlack-fronted DotterelMasked LapwingManed DuckGrey TealRed-backed KingfisherLittle CorellaAustralian Hobby, and multiple honeyeaters we had become very familiar with over recent days. An ice cream stop resulted in a sighting of Pink Cockatoo (formerly, and until very recently, known as Major Mitchell’s Cockatoo) and an uncovered water source on a station (farm) a little further along the road provided sightings of BudgerigarGalahLittle CorellaAustralian RingneckFairy MartinWhite-winged TrillerWhite-plumed HoneyeaterYellow-throated Miner, and Australian Raven. After sunset, a Whiskered Tern was noted flying around the hotel car park.

Australia October 2023 birding

Purple-backed Fairywren was one of three species of fairywrens seen on this Alice Springs birding tour.

 

Day 5, 10th October 2023. Erldunda to Uluru (Ayers Rock)

We did some early morning birding near Erldunda, where we found our main target, Chiming Wedgebill, and also found a flock of over 40 Crimson Chats. It was a great start to the day, and we enjoyed watching family groups of White-winged FairywrenPurple-backed Fairywren, and Splendid Fairywren. Other species noted included Cinnamon Quail-thrushSouthern WhitefaceSinging HoneyeaterWhite-backed SwallowMulga ParrotBrown Falcon, and Nankeen Kestrel.

After checking out of our accommodation, we made our journey west to Yulara, our base for the night, to explore the nearby Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. We spent the afternoon watching a flock of over 3,000 Budgerigars swirling around in a stunning murmuration in front of Uluru (Ayers Rock) as they moved between feeding and resting areas. We also stayed to watch the sunset at Uluru, a really impressive sight.

Australia October 2023 birding

Our group watched Uluru change colors during the late afternoon.

 

Day 6, 11th October 2023. Uluru (Ayers Rock) to Alice Springs

We made an early morning visit to Uluru (Ayers Rock) to watch the sunrise, and wow, what a sight it was, possibly more beautiful even than the previous night’s sunset! There were fewer birds around during the dawn period, mainly just a few Singing Honeyeaters, a Nankeen Kestrel, and a small flock of Budgerigars, but we were really here for the view, and it was very impressive.

We moved locations and started birding along a pretty sand dune system. We found several new birds, such as Masked WoodswallowHorsfield’s Bronze CuckooWhite-fronted Honeyeater, and Pied Honeyeater. After a fair bit of searching, we located the rare and localized Rufous Grasswren, which showed well and proved to be a tour highlight. We also had excellent views of thousands of Budgerigars flying over the dunes, some of them landing close by. Crimson Chats were breeding and showing very well too, the males looking glorious in the early morning sunlight.

Australia October 2023 birding

The top prize in the sand dunes near Uluru was this localized Rufous Grasswren, which showed well.

 

While wandering around the dune system looking for the Rufous Grasswrens, we were having a constant stream of Budgerigars flying over, some right over our head and within arm’s reach! A few small flocks of Cockatiels were also noted flying over too, but then the surprise of the tour happened. We were alerted to an unusual parrot call and looked up to see a small flock (five birds) of the rare, nomadic, and seldom-seen Princess Parrot flying through – a remarkable sight.

Australia October 2023 birding

There were thousands of Budgerigars flying around, with birds occasionally landing close to us.

 

After our morning birding, we left the Uluru area and commenced the journey back to Alice Springs, where we arrived in the middle of the afternoon. The journey was uneventful, and we noted Black-breasted BuzzardWedge-tailed Eagle, and other common roadside raptors along the way.

Australia October 2023 birding

It was a bumper season for Crimson Chats breeding in the sand dune systems around Uluru, and they gave great views.

 

We had a final group dinner together and chatted about the many highlights we had over the previous week of birding the Alice Springs and Uluru area (and longer because everyone on this tour had also joined our Top End bird tour that ran prior to this tour). Some of the top highlights from this trip were SpinifexbirdRufous GrasswrenBudgerigarSpinifex PigeonCrimson ChatPurple-backed Fairywren, and Princess Parrot.


Bird List
 – Following IOC (13.2)

All species were seen. The following notation after species names is used to show conservation status following BirdLife International: VU = Vulnerable.

Common Name Scientific Name
Ducks, Geese, Swans (Anatidae)
Maned Duck Chenonetta jubata
Grey Teal Anas gracilis
Cuckoos (Cuculidae)
Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo Chrysococcyx basalis
Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
Common Bronzewing Phaps chalcoptera
Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes
Spinifex Pigeon Geophaps plumifera
Diamond Dove Geopelia cuneata
Peaceful Dove Geopelia placida
Grebes (Podicipedidae)
Australasian Grebe Tachybaptus novaehollandiae
Buttonquail (Turnicidae)
Little Buttonquail Turnix velox
Plovers (Charadriidae)
Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles
Black-fronted Dotterel Elseyornis melanops
Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (Laridae)
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybrida
Herons, Bitterns (Ardeidae)
White-necked Heron Ardea pacifica
Kites, Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)
Black-shouldered Kite Elanus axillaris
Black-breasted Buzzard Hamirostra melanosternon
Little Eagle Hieraaetus morphnoides
Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax
Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus
Collared Sparrowhawk Accipiter cirrocephalus
Black Kite Milvus migrans
Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus
Kingfishers (Alcedinidae)
Red-backed Kingfisher Todiramphus pyrrhopygius
Bee-eaters (Meropidae)
Rainbow Bee-eater Merops ornatus
Caracaras, Falcons (Falconidae)
Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides
Australian Hobby Falco longipennis
Brown Falcon Falco berigora
Cockatoos (Cacatuidae)
Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus banksii
Galah Eolophus roseicapilla
Pink Cockatoo Cacatua leadbeateri
Little Corella Cacatua sanguinea
Old World Parrots (Psittaculidae)
Princess Parrot Polytelis alexandrae
Mulga Parrot Psephotellus varius
Australian Ringneck Barnardius zonarius
Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus
Bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchidae)
Western Bowerbird Chlamydera guttata
Australasian Wrens (Maluridae)
Purple-backed Fairywren Malurus assimilis
Splendid Fairywren Malurus splendens
White-winged Fairywren Malurus leucopterus
Rufous Grasswren Amytornis whitei
Dusky Grasswren Amytornis purnelli
Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)
Crimson Chat Epthianura tricolor
Pied Honeyeater Certhionyx variegatus
Brown Honeyeater Lichmera indistincta
White-fronted Honeyeater Purnella albifrons
Singing Honeyeater Gavicalis virescens
Grey-headed Honeyeater Ptilotula keartlandi
White-plumed Honeyeater Ptilotula penicillata
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater Acanthagenys rufogularis
Yellow-throated Miner Manorina flavigula
Pardalotes (Pardalotidae)
Red-browed Pardalote Pardalotus rubricatus
Striated Pardalote Pardalotus striatus
Australasian Warblers (Acanthizidae)
Weebill Smicrornis brevirostris
Western Gerygone Gerygone fusca
Inland Thornbill Acanthiza apicalis
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill Acanthiza uropygialis
Southern Whiteface – VU Aphelocephala leucopsis
Banded Whiteface Aphelocephala nigricincta
Australasian Babblers (Pomatostomidae)
Grey-crowned Babbler Pomatostomus temporalis
White-browed Babbler Pomatostomus superciliosus
Whipbirds (Psophodidae)
Chiming Wedgebill Psophodes occidentalis
Jewel-babblers, Quail-thrushes (Cinclosomatidae)
Cinnamon Quail-thrush Cinclosoma cinnamomeum
Woodswallows, Butcherbirds & Allies (Artamidae)
Masked Woodswallow Artamus personatus
White-browed Woodswallow Artamus superciliosus
Black-faced Woodswallow Artamus cinereus
Little Woodswallow Artamus minor
Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen
Grey Butcherbird Cracticus torquatus
Pied Butcherbird Cracticus nigrogularis
Cuckooshrikes (Campephagidae)
Black-faced Cuckooshrike Coracina novaehollandiae
White-winged Triller Lalage tricolor
Australo-Papuan Bellbirds (Oreoicidae)
Crested Bellbird Oreoica gutturalis
Whistlers & Allies (Pachycephalidae)
Rufous Whistler Pachycephala rufiventris
Grey Shrikethrush Colluricincla harmonica
Fantails (Rhipiduridae)
Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys
Monarchs (Monarchidae)
Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca
Crows, Jays (Corvidae)
Torresian Crow Corvus orru
Little Crow Corvus bennetti
Australian Raven Corvus coronoides
Australasian Robins (Petroicidae)
Hooded Robin Melanodryas cucullata
Swallows, Martins (Hirundinidae)
White-backed Swallow Cheramoeca leucosterna
Fairy Martin Petrochelidon ariel
Grassbirds & Allies (Locustellidae)
Spinifexbird Poodytes carteri
Brown Songlark Cincloramphus cruralis
Rufous Songlark Cincloramphus mathewsi
Flowerpeckers (Dicaeidae)
Mistletoebird Dicaeum hirundinaceum
Waxbills, Munias & Allies (Estrildidae)
Australian Zebra Finch Taeniopygia castanotis
Wagtails, Pipits (Motacillidae)
Australian Pipit Anthus australis
Total seen 90
Total heard only 0
Total recorded 90

Mammal List

Common Name Scientific Name
Kangaroos, Wallabies, and Allies (Macropodidae)
Common Wallaroo Osphranter robustus
Red Kangaroo Osphranter rufus
Black-flanked Rock Wallaby Petrogale lateralis
 
Camelids (Camelidae)
Dromedary Camel Camelus dromedarius
 
Canids (Canidae)
Feral Dog (Dingo) (H) Canis familiaris dingo
 
Hares and Rabbits (Leporidae)
European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus
Total 6

Reptile List

Common Name Scientific Name
Monitor Lizards (Varanidae)
Black-tailed Monitor Varanus tristis
Perentie Varanus giganteus
 
Dragons (Agamidae)
Central Bearded Dragon Pogona vitticeps
Long-snouted Lashtail Lophognathus longirostris
 
Skinks (Scincidae)
Lively Ctenotus Ctenotus alacer
 
Elapid Snakes (Elapidae)
Yellow-faced Whipsnake Demansia psammophis
Total 6

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Birding Tour Australia: Northern Territory – Alice Springs Birding

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TOUR OUTLINE

This short birdwatching tour to the southern part of the Northern Territory focuses on the birds found around Alice Springs and includes a visit to Uluru (Ayres Rock). There are many desert specials to be found on our Alice Springs birding tour, including birds like Black-breasted Buzzard, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Spinifex Pigeon, Diamond Dove, Spinifexbird, Western Bowerbird, Dusky Grasswren, Rufous Grasswren, Rufous-crowned Emu-wren, Splendid Fairywren, Banded Whiteface, Crested Bellbird, Bourke’s Parrot, Mulga Parrot, Red-browed Pardalote, Australian Zebra Finch, and Painted Finch.

This tour combines perfectly with both our Northern Territory Top End birding tour and our Western Australia birding tour, which run either side of this Alice Springs bird tour in most years.

 

DAILY ACTIVITIES, PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS, AND TOUR PACE

A relaxed pace, yet still comprehensive bird tour as we take in the special birds around the Alice Springs area. We will have one central base in Alice Springs city for a few days before we venture a little further away to Uluru, stopping for a night along the way. We will make morning and afternoon birding trips from our accommodation when we are based in Alice Springs city. We will then bird along the way as we move further afield from the city.

Birding around Alice Springs will involve drives of around an hour to get to the birding sites, sometimes a little less (approximately 30 minutes) and sometimes a little more. The drive between Alice Springs and Erldunda is around two hours and between Erldunda and Uluru is around three hours. The longest drive of the tour will be as we drive between Uluru and Alice Springs, which will be around five hours but will take longer as we add birding and lunch stops.

The tour is generally considered easy in terms of physical exertion. However, the temperatures during the day could get high (see “Weather” section below), so dehydration needs to be considered a possibility at all times, as does heat stroke and sunburn, etc.

Our usual tactic on this tour is to make short walks from our vehicle in a loop of up to 0.6 – 1.2 miles (1 – 2 kilometers), and we may make several of these a day. On a couple of occasions on this tour, we are likely to make slightly longer walks of 2.5 miles (4 kilometers), and we may make a couple of these a day too. Please ensure you always carry water with you on our walks away from the vehicle. Walking is often on fairly flat but occasionally undulating rough ground with rabbit holes and loose rocks, so care needs to be taken. In some areas we will be walking in very spiky spinifex grass, so long pants (trousers) are recommended.

 

TRANSPORTATION

We will use a 12-seater minibus on this Alice Springs birding tour. There will be limited baggage space, so please pack as lightly as possible for the tour (including within the seating area).

 

 

DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

There are no domestic flights on this Alice Springs birdwatching tour.

 

LUGGAGE

Please pack as lightly as possible for this Alice Springs birding tour due to limited space inside vehicles. A medium-sized, soft-sided, and robust duffle bag is likely to work best for packing in the tour vehicle. You will be expected to load and unload your own bags into and out of vehicles.

We recommend using a daypack to keep items that you wish to use daily when in the vehicle or when birding in the field (such as binoculars, camera, notebook, field guide, personal supply of water, snacks, umbrella, rain jacket, extra layers of clothing, etc.).

 

ACCOMMODATION

In Alice Springs and Uluru we stay at comfortable hotels in rooms with air conditioning and private bathrooms. There are restaurants on site where we will eat most of our meals, and the hotels offer free Wi-Fi. These hotels both have swimming pools.

At Erldunda, we stay in the roadhouse (a sort of outback motel), the rooms have air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and private bathrooms. There is a swimming pool and restaurant on site.

 

WEATHER

Known as a warm month, the average maximum daytime temperature in Alice Springs during our birding tour in October is 90 degrees Fahrenheit (oF) (32 degrees Centigrade/oC), and the average minimum temperature is 60 oF (16 oC). Rain is unlikely on our tour, and as such, it is usually not very humid.

 

SAFETY

Alice Springs has received some negative press over recent years due to a significant increase in antisocial behavior and crime. Do not walk around outside the resort grounds (e.g., in town or elsewhere) after dark. Please do not leave valuables (or anything at any time) inside the vehicle when it is parked to help reduce the risk of anyone breaking into the vehicle. Please keep a close watch over your possessions (e.g., bags, wallet, optics, etc.) when we are out and about in the city, such as during lunch stops and city birding stops. Do not walk around Alice Springs city with expensive equipment in view at any time. Ensure the doors and windows are always closed and locked in your hotel rooms (when you are in the room and out of it).

 

WHAT TO BRING: CLOTHING AND OTHER ITEMS

The following is a list of useful items to bring on this Alice Springs birding tour and should be read in conjunction with the Australia general information document.

  1. A field guide to the birds of the region. See the general information for our recommendations for this Alice Springs bird tour.
  2. Hiking pole or walking stick to help on the tracks and trails. While probably not necessary for everyone, a walking stick is compulsory for anyone who is unsteady walking, as we feel this is a safety issue. We don’t want anyone slipping on the trails or anywhere else. Please discuss with us if you are unsure whether you will need one or not.
  3. High-concentration DEET insect repellant or similar products.
  4. A flynet for your face is very useful in some years.
  5. Sunhat, suncream, and sunglasses.
  6. A small personal first aid kit. See the suggested items from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here.
  7. Lightweight hiking boots are likely the best footwear for this tour. A set of sandals (flip-flops) and/or trainers would be useful for walking around some of the accommodations but are not suitable for birding time (consider snake bites, mud, slips, trips, falls, etc.).
  8. Quick-drying birding clothes (in suitable colors) are the best for this tour; you are unlikely to require sweaters, etc., for this tour.
  9. All of our accommodations have swimming pools.
  10. A small hand towel or washcloth can be handy for cleaning dust off when in the desert. Not essential, but people do find these handy.
  11. A dry bag to keep valuable documents in, such as passports, cell phones, wallets, etc., as well as cameras, if we get unlucky and have a rain shower, or to keep dust off.

Birding Ecotours

Download Australia Alice Springs tour Information

AUSTRALIA GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Andy Walker is a terrific birder and guide, and the typical small Birding Ecotours group sizes means Andy has a great chance of getting everyone a good look at even the most skulky birds of the Alice Springs area.

Ted - on Andy and Australia

Highlights were the rare birds and Uluru. Andy was great and is top notch and a very dedicated guide. He wants us to see even the hard-to-get birds.

Tim and Kay - On Andy and Australia

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