Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Why should you use a LOCAL GUIDE when visiting a new area?





Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater in the beautiful late afternoon light


I have just returned from a birding trip to the Alice Springs area in the Northern Territory of Australia. It was a totally new area for me and I was unfamiliar with the birds and where to find them.

Western Bowebird at Olive Pink Botanic Gardens
One of my lifers I found for myself

So I studied my field guide and checked out all the hotspots and recent sightings on eBird . Still not satisfied that I knew enough about the area I hired a guide with a vehicle. This gave me all the advantage of local knowledge and not having to drive in an unfamiliar area and look for birds!


Redthroat


My guide, Mark Carter, knew exactly where to find the birds and at what time of day they where lightly to be there. It saved a lot of time that would otherwise have been wasted waiting around for or missing out on a new species.

Red-capped Robin (female) quickly identified for me by my local guide - Mark Carter

The other saving was having a walking, talking, bird calling field guide whose pages I did not have to turn! And what do you know? 27 new species for my life list! If I had just poked around without a guide I would have found this hard to achieve.


Spinifexbird in its natural habitat! My local guide set me up nicely for this photo!

When visiting a new area I always use the local guides who know the best spots, have access to private property's and know the best time of day to visit. We even managed to locate a Bourke's Parrot in day light and then watch them coming in to drink after sunset. Thanks mark for a wonderful 3 days birding and the wealth of local knowledge - not only about the birds!

Bourke's Parrot. Not a perfect photo but a memorable sighting. 


By Doug Herrington of Birdwatching Tropical Australia in the Wet Tropics of Far North Queensland, Australia.


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