A dead tree springs to life when hundreds of budgies, looking like leaves, use it as a place to rest as they search for water. During the summer months in central Australia (November to February), the temperature can be in the 40s and water is scarce. I knew that budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus) would start to flock together as they sought out what little water remained . It was a challenge to locate where they might gather but I heard reports from an area south of the town of Alice Springs. I drove up and down the desert searching the horizon for flocks. I eventually found a small waterhole littered with little green feathers and fresh droppings. I returned just before dawn. It was silent but it wasn’t long before the sky above me was filled with the flutters of thousands of budgies, all desperate to drink.