s

The Grey Shrike-thrush (Colluricincla harmonica) is a not afraid of the cold mornings. Here at Pitchi Richi this avian friend can be heard well before the sun has risen over the range. This bird likes to forage in the leaf litter, fallen limbs and trunks of trees consuming a diet of insects and spiders and when the summer rains come will eat frogs, lizards and birds eggs. There is a mob of Major Mitchell’s Cockatoos (Lophochroa leadbeateri) looking for a place to nest along the Todd River/Lhere Mparntwe due to the long dry spell. These birds have investigated the sculpture garden at the Pitchi Richi site and enjoying the bird baths and exploring for nesting hollows in the River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis). The lack of summer or winter rains has meant keeping the bird baths of Pitchi Richi full for all visiting birds. It is not quite as dry as in the early 1960s when Leo Corbet – owner of the property – wrote to newspapers on the coast appealing for bird seed ‘I hope some of the old ladies who kept canaries and lovebirds might oblige with a few packets’. Sometime after the letter was send a truck pulled up to the property with a tonne of bird seed to deliver. The post office was also inundated with birdseed causing a mice plague in the building. Galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla) are seed eating birds and so the Pitchi Richi property was reported to be a sea of grey and pink feasting upon the bounty of birdseed. Grey shrike-thrush on the other hand do not eat seed so missed out on the extra feed. So in the tradition of Leo Corbet - Pitchi Richi remains a sanctuary for birds in Central Australia by providing water and native vegetation for native birds to take refuge during long spells of dry.

 Duties completed

·        Creating additional bird baths, clearing and path refurbishment, buffle busting, couch grass battling - especially around native plants in sculpture garden

·        Preparing locations for planting for spring/when soil warms up

·        Clearing buffle in preparation for trial planting native grass along east section of property close to Elsa’s cottage – trial different techniques to propagate collected seed

·        Meetings with PR working group to continue to develop/document actions needed to move forward with PR               preservation/conservation

·        Establish Heritage Alice Springs Instagram account and publish content

·        Rubbish collection

·        General fence and security inspection and repair

·        Networking, meeting and general PR communication