As a result of Michael Norris' initial posting to this list, myself and
Mark Antos went along to see the now famous Swift Parrots at Sandringham,
south-east Melbourne, late on Tuesday afternoon (31/10/00). The species
was new to Mark so we were keen to hopefully catch a glimpse.
Following Michael's directions, we ended up seeing two birds, feeding
extremely quietly in the canopy of a flowering Spotted Gum (Eucalyptus
maculata) in front of the Fildes factory. We watched the birds for approx.
10 minutes, and we also received great attention from some of the locals,
many of which seem to be birders, some of which even knew exactly what we
were looking at!! We also wandered through the heathland opposite the
factory and whilst doing so, heard the Swift Parrots as they burst out of
the tree, circle overhead, then fly away. I thought this was it - their
moment had come to head for Van Diemen's land. It was therefore
encouraging to read todays report from Michael that three birds were there,
presumably in the neighbouring tree taking lerp?
The area is well and truly monopolised by wattlebirds (Little and Red), and
I was amazed that not once did I see the Swift Parrots get harassed by
those large aggressive species, as I usually do. Perhaps this is why they
are keeping so quiet. Have other observers noticed this cryptic behaviour?
I have seen hundreds of Swift Parrots prior to this occasion, but never in
a suburban environment. Well done to Michael and the other local birdos
who have raised the profiles of this endangered species in their
neighbourhood, and promote the incident in the local media.
PS. Failed to see the female Satin Flycather. That would be a tick for me!!
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