Our first sight-seeing stop in Alice Springs is at the Olive Pink Botanic Garden‎. In truth, we only stopped by here while we waited for our friends to return to their house, but in the garden we were delighted to be introduced to a Western Bowerbird with a penchant for white objects and crazy calls.

Al Bethune's emu sculpture, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, August 2013
The girls examine Al Bethune's emu sculpture, fabricated from recycled and found materials.

Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs, NT, August 2013
While we're wandering around the grounds, we're attracted to the resident Western Bowerbird by its guttural cough-growl.

Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs, NT, August 2013
The bowerbird decorates his bower to attract as many females as possible. After mating, the females nest elsewhere — the bower is more for show than functional.

Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs, NT, August 2013
Prior to meeting this bowerbird, we were only acquainted with the Satin Bowerbird which collects blue objects. It's a novelty to examine the shiny silver, tin and white items that the Western Bowerbird prizes !

Western Bowerbird, Olive Pink Botanic Garden, Alice Springs, NT, August 2013
Even while we watched, the bowerbird kept fiddling with his collection, moving pieces from one side of the bower to the other, all the while calling for females to come and check his stuff out!

One of the advantages of travelling across a whole continent is that we encounter animals we’ve never seen before. Our Field guide to the birds of Australia gets a workout at almost every new camping location, and it enhances our appreciation for the avian wildlife that inhabits our country!