Swift Paarots and Golden Wattle

To: "Birding-Aus Mail" <>
Subject: Swift Paarots and Golden Wattle
From: "Lawrie Conole" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 18:39:18 +1000
On the weekend I was down at Geelong (Victoria) visiting family, and took
the opportunity to go for a wander at Bannockburn Reserve - a circa 300
hectare remnant of woodland about 20km west of Geelong.  Much of the area is
covered in Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) woodland, and the flowering is
well under way.  The sheer din of honeyeaters and lorikeets in some parts
was deafening.  Most prominent were New Holland, White-plumed and
White-naped Honeyeaters, Red Wattlebird and Purple-crowned Lorikeet.  The
regionally rare Black-chinned Honeyeater was there too - I even saw one bird
probing fallen Yellow Gum flowers on the ground.

The real highlight though was Swift Parrot.  Two groups of Swift Parrots
(one of 6, one of 7 = 13 in all) feeding in flowering Golden Wattles (Acacia
pycnantha) beneath flowering Yellow Gums.  As the honeyeaters and lorikeets
(see species list) fed noisily on the Yellow Gum blossoms, Swift Parrots and
Crimson Rosellas worked over the Golden Wattle blossoms in the middle
storey.  Allowing approaches as close as about 5m, the Swift Parrots'
foraging particulars were easy to see in detail with the Swarovski SLC 10x42
WB binoculars.  They were concentrating on the as-yet-unopened wattle
blooms; clambering through the branches and ignoring the open flowers.
Picking off about one unopened bloom every 3-5 seconds, mandibulating it
furiously and then spitting out the pulp, they walked and flew through the
middle storey, occasionally vocalising but mostly very quiet.  This is a
good record for this small remnant, and shows just how important such
isolates can be for rare birds as well as more ubiquitous ones.

Surveys:                         22/07/2001

Fref: BANN42     Obs: 7808   Dates: 21/07/2001 -   /  /     Site: BANN
Survey: A500 Time: 60   Area: 10
Country:   36.031 Locality: Bannockburn Reserve, Victoria
Habitat: Woodland        C1/2:GL /6
Lat: 38  2 16 S Long: 144  8  7 E A Accuracy: 100 Altitude: 100   M LR:
CODE--- Count Age S St Br T R Species
 8205.0 13E               S   Swift Parrot
 8153.0 20E               S   Purple-crowned Lorikeet
 8151.0 2                 S   Musk Lorikeet
 8184.0                   S   Eastern Rosella
 8181.0                   S   Crimson Rosella
 8544.0                   S   Spotted Pardalote
 8431.0                   S   Crested Shrike-tit
 8483.0                   S   Yellow-faced Honeyeater
 8511.0                   S   New Holland Honeyeater
 8486.0                   S   White-plumed Honeyeater
 8497.0                   S   White-naped Honeyeater
 8496.0                   S   Brown-headed Honeyeater
 8500.0                   S   Black-chinned Honeyeater
 8533.0                   S   Red Wattlebird
 8538.0                   S   Silvereye
 8286.0                   S   Magpie-lark
 8277.0                   S   Australian Magpie
 8287.0                   S   White-winged Chough
 8255.0                   S   Little Raven
 8059.0 1                 S   Whistling Kite
 8406.0                   S   Grey Fantail
 8444.0                   S   Grey Shrike-thrush
 8160.0                   S   Galah
 8162.0                   S   Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
 8188.0                   S   Red-rumped Parrot
 8426.0                   S   Eastern Yellow Robin
  761.1                   S   Common Blackbird
 8404.0                   S   Willie Wagtail

L A W R I E   C O N O L E
2/37 Myrnong Crescent, Ascot Vale, Victoria 3032 AUSTRALIA.
Phone AH (03) 9370 3928; BH (03) 9510 5750; Mobile (0419) 588 993.
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