Massive flocks of budgies return to the Centre
Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 11:36
City Parrots in Fun, Melopsittacus undulatus - Budgerigar, Oddities

Budgie Murmurations (large flocks) in Central AustraliaThey're back and in even greater numbers. Thousands of wild budgerigars are once again congregating in massive flocks near Alice Springs.

At a large waterhole, not far from Alice, thousands of budgerigars are delighting local birdlovers by appearing en masse just after sunrise.

Budgies in a treeLocal photographer Steven Pearce shot these images earlier in the week and says the experience was a one-off.

"It's quite sensational, the flocks will twist and contort into [different] shapes...and obviously the birds are all trilling at the same time," he sounds.

Thousands of budgies congregate at a waterhole near Alice Springs. (Images by Steven Pearce)"The sounds of the budgies all flying together, swooshing through the air, it's just as mesmerising as the visual sensation of it."

The massive flocks of wild budgies attracted international interest last month with a number of filmcrews documenting them in locations including Uluru.

They're back....Recent rains had dispersed the colourful natives but the flocks are now back and it seems there's more of them than ever.

"It's pretty easy to see by the photos that there's a massive swarm of them," says Steve

"Thousands...they cycle through, dunking in the water, then flying away, then dunking."

The skys are filled with budgies"When they have such huge numbers I guess they feel much safer to come down to the waterhole and have a drink...if you stay pretty still they'll come within two metres of you."

The local photographer and bird enthusiast says the location of the spectacle is a closely guarded secret in birding circles because too many people could spoil what is a safe water source for the birds.

Thousands of budgies congregate at a waterhole near Alice Springs. (Steven Pearce)"If it's made public and lots of people go there, there's a good chance that the birds won't like it anymore...then they have to find a new waterhole, perhaps a more dangerous one," he says.

"The birds have obviously picked this one because it's remote, no-one goes there and it's free of predators, I guess."

Budgie MurmurationsSteve says he's travelled to the waterhole five times since he heard of the event, getting up at 4am in the hopes of capturing images like these.

"It's one of those things that as a photographer, you're really just so obsessed," he says.

"You see budgies on the horizon and get in the car and drive like idiots over a bush track, it's crazy."

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