Waving the Swifties goodbye

Subject: Waving the Swifties goodbye
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 11:07:08 +1100

Hello all,

A very wet start to spring here in central Victoria, just thought I'd report on
a weekend visit to the Wellsford State Forest, only about 5km from this office
on saturday.

We decided to go to a fairly reliable Swift Parrot spot, and have one last look
at them before they leave for Tasmania, as they are likely to do within the next
week or two.  We not only found them, but Andrea actually managed to get some

Swift Parrots sometimes descend to feed on wattle flowers (possibly for pollen),
and Andrea got to within five metres.  We don't have a telephoto lens or
anything, but you can see the lovely underwing pattern of one bird as it flew
from the shrub (another is captured peering back at the camera).

The box-ironbark forest looks terrific at this time of year, with several
species of wattles in bloom, including the Whirrakee Wattle, native to central
Victoria.  The orchids are up too, with caladenias, donkey orchids and four
species of greenhood found.  Interesting birds apart from the swifties included
the Crested Bellbird, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike, Black-eared Cuckoo,
Black-chinned Honeyeater, Noisy Friarbird (not numerous in this area) and
Olive-backed Oriole.

Then it rained.   And rained.  And rained....

Simon Kennedy

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