Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes. Click for more photos

Thousands of budgies form large murmurations

Budgerigar numbers increase in Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes. Photo: Glenn Campbell

  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes.
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes.
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes.
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes.
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes.
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes.
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes.
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes. A brown Falcon hunts for strays in the flock.
  • Budgerigar numbers increase in  Central Australia with Murmurations such as these gathering around waterholes.

AFTER two wet years, central Australia is starting to dry out and birdlife that bred enthusiastically during abundant seasons are competing for a drink.

About 30 kilometres south of Alice Springs, tens of thousands of budgerigars descend on a waterhole, turning the blue horizon into a blur of green and yellow.

''Typically what proceeds this type of event is you have a couple of very good seasons and the birds breed continuously,'' says Lisa Nunn, specialist keeper of birds at Alice Springs Desert Park.

''We had that here in 2010 and in the beginning of 2011. Then it dries out and they end up really concentrated around the last remaining water sources.

''It is beautiful... and the birds of prey that hang around the waterhole have a field day.''