KUNOTH BORE

 

GENERAL

This is about a 110 km round trip from Alice Springs. The Stuart Highway and this section of the Tanami Road are sealed. The road to Old Hamilton Downs is a good graded road suitable for all cars. However be careful of stopping on the soft sandy edges of the Old Hamilton Downs Road, as it would be possible to get bogged.

Crimson Chat. This species is often seen in the relatively open country for the first 10km after leaving the Stuart Highway.

Honeyeaters. There is a strip of eremophila shrubland between the mulga shrubland and open grassland. When the eremophilas are in flower (usually July-August, but it depends on rain) they may attract a variety of honeyeaters, including Pied, Black, White-fronted, and sometimes the elusive Grey Honeyeater. This species is also sometimes found in the surrounding shrublands, for example 1.5 km south of Kunoth Bore.

Note that there are many other similar areas of eremophilas that are easily accessible along the Stuart Highway, from about 40 km north of Alice Springs to Aileron, and along the Plenty Highway.

While at times they may attract a variety of honeyeaters, at other times there are only Singing and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters.

Slaty-backed Thornbill. This has been seen about 1.5 km south of Kunoth Bore west of the road.

LAND OWNERSHIP

This is tricky. The land is a mixture of road reserve, pastoral lease and Aboriginal Land. Mostly boundaries are not marked, and such fences as there areare not necessarily on the boundary. The manager of Hamilton Downs Station is aware that birders frequently visit the area and does not object. Please be careful not to disturb cattle, especially near water. The area around Kunoth Bore is Aboriginal Land leased (I think) to Hamilton Downs. At present there are no restrictions on entry.

The situation has changed in recent years. The trough and tanks at Kunoth Bore are no longer in use, water being pumped to a dam some distance away. Unfortunately a local bird watcher has upset the station manager by waiting at the dam for Bourke Parrots (he had in fact telephoned for permission, but there was some mis-understanding). The manager is concerned that intruders may deter cattle coming to water. This is perfectly reasonable. Local cattle are seldom handled and are far wilder than those in more closely settled areas. Some are very shy of humans. While some may simply graze undisturbed while a person walks past others will move away before you even see them.

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