Wildlife on the Desert Frontier
A three day wildlife expedition to Andado in the Simpson Desert.
The Andado region south east of Alice Springs is some of the best desert birding country in the NT, if not the whole nation. Eyrean Grasswrens live on the dune fields, Letter-winged Kites and Grey Falcon breed seasonally, Inland Dotterel and Gibberbird inhabit the gibber plains. Thick-billed Grasswren (indulkana subspecies) is also known from the area. Flock Bronzewing can be common. Mammals seen regularly include Kultarr and Plains Mouse. This trip really is an exceptional birding and wilderness experience.
Day 1- Pickup from your accommodation in Alice Springs. Early start driving to Old Andado via the Binns Track. Planned birding stops at Rodinga Range sites for Chiming Wedgebill, Mac Clarke Reserve for Banded Whiteface (and Letterwing Kite if conditions are right). We set up camp for the night among the dunes at a location close to the best Inland Dotterel spotlighting locations. Depending on conditions on September and October trips nocturnal reptiles such as Smooth Knob-tailed Geckos are also usually active on the dunes.
Day 2- Early start. First priority will be the Eyrean Grasswrens which will be active near our campsite. I have a 100% success rate with this bird to date and they are firm favourite of mine. We then head south keeping a lookout for the Flock Bronzewings which can be encountered anywhere, along the Binns track past Old Andado through areas of gibber which hold Gibberbird. We return to stay the night at Old Andado historic homestead either camping again or indoors in basic rooms (when available). After a hearty dinner we have another opportunity for another spotlighting session for Inland Dotterel and small desert mammals such as Fat-tailed Dunnart.
Day 3- You guessed it- another early start! We do a bit more exploring around the Old Andado homestead with further opportunities to find and photograph Eyrean Grasswren and other birds such as Orange Chat and Major Mitchell Cockatoos. Lunch is either at Old Andado or Mac Clarke Reserve depending on timings and conditions then the return drive to Alice Springs along the beautiful Binns Track birding all the way. Estimated return time into Alice Springs c.5pm. Drop-off is at your accommodation in Alice Springs.
The Simpson Desert tour schedule for this year has concluded.
NB: Spaces are still available on the Birds of the Red Centre 6 day tour which includes Simpson Desert sites.