Swift Parrots in Altona, Vic?

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Swift Parrots in Altona, Vic?
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 11:01:47 +1000
A few days ago I was in my back yard in Altona, and looked up when I heard an 
unfamiliar bird call.  Two birds flew fast a few metres above my head, then up 
into a neighbour's gum tree.  My impression as they passed was that they were 
moving like I have seen Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoos fly, very fast and "terrain 
hugging" with swept back wings, but that the underwing pattern was something 
unusual (although I can't remember it).

As they landed in the tree 20m away I could tell they were parrots, with small 
bodies and long, very pointy tails.  My impression was that their necks were 
unusually long.  As I headed inside to get some binoculars, they flew off and 
landed a few houses away, where they remained for a few minutes.

I went inside to compare the flight calls with the BOCA CDs, and as usual 
didn't try to write it down first so I've forgotten it.  However, my impression 
was that it matched but was clear, not harsh like the recording.  I haven't 
seen them before, and would be saying they were definitely Swift Parrots, but 
for that last fact.

Would anyone like to comment on how likely it is that they were?  If not then 
I'm not sure what else they could be.  There are Red-rumped Parrots around 
here, although I've never seen them in the back yard before, and their tails 
looked too pointy.  I haven't heard a RRP make that call before.  They 
definitely weren't Rainbow Lorikeets, and I can't think of any other long 
tailed parrots.

Peter Shute

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