Re: Swift Parrots on Gold Coast

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Re: Swift Parrots on Gold Coast
From: "Terry Pacey" <>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 20:15:08 +1000
An update on the Swift Parrots seen on the Gold Coast.

The birds are still in the same area after more than a week.  They continue
to appear in the one small park at Southport.

There are at least 19 Swift Parrots but we suspect a lot more as we have
seen 19 at once but can hear others calling and they seem to be flying
everywhere.  Someone mentioned that they had seen 30 or 40 on Saturday
morning but we can't confirm those numbers..

They have been in Eucalyptus tereticornis,  Eucalyptus robusta, Melaleuca
quinquenervia and, surprisingly, also in the Callistemon viminalis.  The
Eucalypts are not in flower but we have seen them feeding in both the Blue
Gums and the Swamp Mahogany.  We assume they are gathering Lerps.  In the
Melaleuca we saw them chewing dry branches, picking something (lerps?) off
leaves,  chewing spent flowers (after seeds?), chewing bark (?), and feeding
on nectar.  One bird moved from the flowers and had nectar dripping from her
beak.  The birds have been seen drinking from a drain on a number of
occasions.  They have been tracked to a roosting tree (Pink Bloodwood) about
50 metres away where they seem to spend the night and part of the day.
Rainbow Lorikeets are also roosting in the same tree.

Even though there is similar habitat around the area, no birds have been
seen away from this small area.  Even within the park, there are a number of
trees of the same species with similar growth but the birds are not visiting
those trees.

Terry Robinson, a very experienced birder, first found the birds last
Tuesday.  He lives about 50 metres from the park and the roosting tree is
even closer to his house.  We are lucky that Terry has been able to check on
these birds several times a day.  I live within 10 minutes or so and have
been over several times and have been able to take a few photos (only one is
worth keeping - the little blighters stay behind branches or too far away).
The best views were obtained when the camera was still in the car!

Debbie Saunders HAS been given all this information.

Terry Pacey

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