Targeted Guiding

Often people simply have one species they want to encounter. When practical I can operate single-species targeted trips. See the following notes on commonly requested species then get in touch to discuss your targets. These trips are especially well-suited to photographers. 

Get in touch for availability and prices.

Rufous-crowned Emu-wren- I have very reliable sites where this species is resident year-round and a high success rate at finding them. Early mornings are essential, as is the ability to walk over rocky, spinifex-clad ground for up to several hours at a time.

Dusky Grasswren- I have several reliable sites for this desert-upland specialist bird where they are reliably encountered year-round. All of these sites involve up to two hours of walking on rocky, sometimes steep ground. I have a few 'drive in' sites which are less demanding to access but are correspondingly less reliable...

Chiming Wedgebill- I have two pairs of Chiming Wedgebill resident currently (November 2016) at sites close to Alice Springs.

Cinnamon Quail-thrush- I have a very reliable site for this species about an hour from Alice Springs. Note that like the Emu-wren this bird is best found at dawn therefore these two species cannot be practically targeted on the same day. In normal conditions the best season for seeing this bird is June- September. 

Inland Dotterel- A challenging species. In the NT his bird inhabits gibber plains and can be nomadic, meaning when conditions are better elsewhere it moves. In 2016 good conditions meant this bird was breeding in the Alice Springs region between June and November about and hour and half drive from Alice Springs. It is more commonly encountered on my Simpson Desert Expeditions.  

Grey Honeyeater- I have very good sites and a high success rate in locating this bird during the warmer months only (October to April). Finding this bird between May to September is mostly a matter of luck as they are genuinely rare, spread over a vast area and rarely vocalise. Currently (Nov 2016) only one pair has bred at an accessible site and are proving unreliable. If we get good summer rains there should be a second breeding attempt between February and April.

Grey Falcon- Usually a non-breeding nomad in the Red Centre found in association with large parrot flocks (mainly Budgies and Cockatiels). In a "normal" year I would only expect to encounter this bird three or four times in total. This species does breed consistently at sites we visit on the Simpson Desert Expedition during rodent irruptions. Contact me for latest update.

Letter-winged Kite- Regardless of the distribution maps in the field guides, this bird does not occur around Alice Springs! However, it does breed at sites we visit on the Simpson Desert Expedition during large rodent irruptions which follow very good wet seasons. One such irruption is currently underway and the Letterwings bred between July and October. Expeditions to see this bird require a minimum of one night camping and in summer hot weather makes this extremely uncomfortable.

Other Raptors: Black-breasted Buzzards, Little Eagles, Black Falcons, Australian Hobby, Wedgetailed Eagle- Between April and November these species are nesting and I always have nest locations of at least some of these under observation each season. Currently (Nov 2016) I have an accessible Black-breasted Buzzard nest but the chick will fledge soon. Black Falcon and Little Eagle are active in the region but are not nesting in accessible locations. Peregrines are having a very good year with multiple pairs breeding. Contact me for latest update.

Budgies- Everyone wants to see huge flocks of these charismatic little parrots but most don't manage it. Timing is critical, several circumstances have to coincide for the large flocks to occur- there is no single season or month where this phenomena will necessarily occur.  Flocking conditions usually can't be predicted more than four months in advance. UPDATE: Flocks of 1000 birds are currently (Nov 2016) massing in the Tanami Desert. Around Alice Springs many birds are still breeding and therefore dispersed along the river corridors. As grasses mature but water sources dry out budgies will congregate to drink, however there is a vast amount of country in great condition this year so these mobile birds may not hang around in convenient locations. My suspicion is that we may see a flocking event south of Alice Springs in the coming months (Dec-Feb) unless more rain falls. Contact me for latest update.

Princess Parrots- These birds do not normally occur in the Alice Springs region. Most years they require a serious remote area expedition into their heartlands in the Western Deserts. I will be scheduling a major expedition in search of this species and other outback parrots in 2017. Contact me for details.