Yesterday (Thurs 6th Jan 2000) I went for a walk around the Latrobe Uni
Campus Wildlife Reserve, between 12.30 and 1.20 pm. Just east of the
Twin Ponds at the northern boundary of the Reserve, I disturbed a slim
parrot (definitely smaller than a Redrumped Parrot) which flew up from
the ground and perched about 5 ft up in a small River Red Gum.
I have no doubt that this was a Blue-Winged Parrot (a species I have
quite often seen). It was a dull olive-green in colour, with a pale
yellow belly and a large conspicuous dark ink-blue patch on the wing. It
looked towards me face-on, enabling me to see the blue band between the
eyes, which did not extend above or beyond the eye. The beak was dark
grey and the lores pale yellow; this colour made a line or ring round
the eye. It appeared to be in rather poor condition, with ruffled
feathers on the head, the right wing drooping a little, and it seemed to
be missing some of the inner primaries from the right wing. It was
duller coloured than other BWPs I have seen and could have been a young
It was in on the edge of an area of grassy open woodland with
scattered trees (mainly Red Gum and Desert Ash) and blackberry clumps,
close to the dense blackberries and sedges, rushes, etc around the pond.
I believe that Blue-Winged Parrots have been observed in the area in
the past, but can't track down the reference.
Given the fierce storms with heavy rain and high wind over the past
fortnight, a stray bird could well have blown in - and then suffered a
near escape from either a car on the adjacent Main Drive, or a raptor.
Or it could perhaps have been an escapee from a damaged aviary - though
I did not see any leg-rings, which I think I would have noticed if
Anthea Fleming in Ivanhoe
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