Author Dorothy L. ◦

This morning at 06.00 hrs, I literally dragged myself from my comfy bed as I had an appointment to meet people at the sewage ponds!!! I’d had a huge week, busy, busy. But enough of that.

I arrived outside the Sewage Ponds gate at 06.50 hrs just before the first person drove down the road.

Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, Central Australia, NT
Alice Springs Sewage Ponds, Central Australia, NT

‘Hi Suzanne, how are you?’ I tried to sound up-lifting and full of excitement, despite being tired. ‘How’s your week been busy?’ I asked. ‘Not too busy but good’ was the reply. Then a blue car, one I didn’t recognise and people I have yet to meet, pulled up to a stop.

‘Hi Suzanne’ chorused Leigh and Neil.

Introductions over we entered the gate and with the formalities over, we could begin our morning of birding. I like photography. Some like to do bird counts and others like bird twitching.

Leigh asked if the Australasian Shovellers were still here as she was keen to get some photos. ‘I’m not sure but we’ll soon find out’ I answered. ‘I’m hoping the Ruff is still about, as I’d like better photos’ I said. Neither Leigh or Neil had seen a Ruff, so were as keen as myself.

After scanning the nearest ponds using our binoculars, no Shovellers or Ruff but there was a pair of Common Sandpipers. We continued walking on, chatting as you do. I found out Neil knew my son and they were ex work colleagues. Yes it’s a small world, albeit in Alice Springs!!

Leigh was really giving her camera a good workout, photographing the Fairy Wrens. I noticed some Red-neck Avocets with the Pied Stilts and Red-knee Dotterels feasting on the bottom of one of the ponds for tid-bits.

We continued our stroll around the sewage ponds, stopping and started counting and photographing until we reached the bird hide. We could hear the bird calls and sightings of the Reed Warbler, the Little Grassbird and the Variegated Fairy-wrens male and female. I heard the call of the White-winged Fairy-wren and sighted a female bird.

Then taking flight was the magnificent Black Swan!! As one with my camera, I lifted and turned it on in one swift movement, I focused and click, click click. Re-focused and again click, click, click.

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds

I had been waiting for this to happen, the Black Swan in flight and close enough to hopefully achieve reasonable photos.

Then another swan came in and like any performer, certainly made an entrance with a splash and skied across the still waters. Wings open head up what a sight!!

We continued our walk, getting close to the final ponds where we spotted Wood Sandpipers.

Eventually our small group came to the entry/ exit gate, where I called the security company to let them know that our morning of birding had come to an end.

Now we were going to Olive Pink Botanical Gardens for the much longed for coffee and cake!!

Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Alice Springs Sewage Ponds

Check out more of the photos of the Black Swans at the Alice Springs Sewage Ponds.