Unusual Corella at Narrabeen Lagoon Caravan Park.

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Unusual Corella at Narrabeen Lagoon Caravan Park.
From: "bruce Cox" <>
Date: Thu, 13 Jun 2002 11:57:06 +1000
Hi All,

I was walking through the van park yesterday (Wed. 12th.) and noted a group
of about 50 Little Corellas digging for whatever they dig for on the mown
grass, I checked them out looking for a Long-billed which would be a new
bird for my Northern Beaches list.. One bird struck me as obviously
different, it was slightly (perhaps10%) larger and more bulky than the
surrounding Littles and it had much more red on the face (extending from the
beak to the eye), some red on the throat and breast visible only when the
bird's plumage opened. The beak was larger than the surrounding Littles and
the upper mandible was longer and looked like the Western Corella beak
illustrated in Pizzey and Knight. The bird walked with a side to side roll
which was more pronounced than the Littles.At one stage it was digging a
deep hole into which most of it's head disappeared, the Littles got what
they wanted without such deep excavations. The Littles were all of
consistent appearance with little red on the face and smaller differently
shaped beaks.. At no stage did I consider it a Long-billed which are common
to the west of Sydney.

My first reaction was this was a Western Corella escapee, (I have seen
Westerns at Thompson Rd. near Lake Muir in WA.), it is possible it is a
Little/Long-billed cross or even a Little/Western cross but my guess is a
Western. Joseph Foreshaw's taxonomy varies from Christidis and Boles but he
does say in "Australian Parrots" C.p.pastinator (Western Corella by
extrapolation!) "always has been rare in collections, though in recent
years, it has successfully been bred in zoos and in a few private aviaries".
Could it be a zoo escapee?

Perhaps Frank O'Connor or others familiar with W/C's may care to comment?
also others who have seen unusual corellas around Sydney.

Narrabeen Lagoon Caravan Park is near the entrance of Narrabeen Lagoon on
Sydney's Northern Beaches.


Bruce Cox.
48 Rangers Retreat Rd. Frenchs Forest.
Sydney. 2086.  Australia.
Phone:--02 9451 5394.

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