Re: Orange-bellied Parrot at Bass Point

To: "Barren Grounds" <>, <>
Subject: Re: Orange-bellied Parrot at Bass Point
From: "chris chafer" <>
Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 07:45:46 +1000
It was with some dismay that I read Jon Starks recent thread accusing local Illawarra observers of apathy (see below). So I thought I'd just correct a couple of facts.
Firstly the observer of the parrot contacted a knowledgeable local and told them the tale. That was passed on to me immediately and subsequently disseminated to about 20 local observers via email on 29/5. Five of these observers, including myself, went to the location (and nearby potential sites) over the next week and searched without success for the parrot.
Secondly, in his original statement the unnamed observer mentioned nothing about photographs, clearly stated that he bird was  banded only on the right leg, and stated that he had only seen the bird twice.
Clearly there are some discrepancies in fact between what was originally reported and what Mr. Starks reports below.
At no time did any Illawarra observer suggest that it was a hybrid something and Bass Point (90km s Sydney) is well known for all sorts of relatively unusual species turning up from time to time (Australian Birds 21, 1-18).
The original unnamed observer is known to me, and I had little doubt in what he originally saw and acted accordingly. The fact that the story has changed over a period of days is however somewhat reminiscing of fishing tales.
Finally, I'm disappointed that a co-ordinator of some presumed official program choose a public discussion group such as this to air his accusations without checking with local observers first-hand himself.
An OBP so far outside its usual range requires some sort of validation to be accepted as authentic, though I note that the OPB was recorded around Sydney in the early 1900's (North 1912 Nests & Eggs, Vol 3,p160) and there was the probable Comerong Is. observation that other have mentioned.
Chris Chafer
On three occasions in late May, a resident walking his dog at Bass Point,
Shellharbour, flushed a small green parrot from a patch of weeds next to a
carpark. He identified it as an Orange-bellied Parrot and took a series of
photos of the bird, also noting that it was banded.  He rang a number of
different groups to report it, including national parks and the banding
office, but no-one seemed to take him seriously, eventually mailing the
photos to the Aust Museum. The local council weeded the area a few days
after he found the parrot and it hasn't been seen since.  I have only just
heard of this and got the man's details via the museum.  I've examined all
his photos and visited the site with him.  The parrot in the photos looks
for all the world like a juvenile OBP, and the fact that it is colour banded
on both legs in a manner consistent with the combinations used at Melaleuca,
Tas., strongly suggests that it is an OBP and not a hybrid something that
has escaped from an aviary, as I understand aviculturists usually use only
one band.  The last sighting of an OBP in NSW was at Shoalhaven in 1986.

I would strongly encourage anyone visiting coastal saltmarsh and weedy areas
in NSW to keep a lookout for neophema parrots and report any sightings.

Jonathan Starks
Winter co-ordinator, OBP Recovery Program
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Re: Orange-bellied Parrot at Bass Point, chris chafer <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU