In Search of the Night Parrot

To: Greg Roberts <>, birding-aus <>
Subject: In Search of the Night Parrot
From: Helen Horton <>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 2017 04:50:40 +0000
Dear Greg
I wish this could be to say congratulations for seeing a Night
Parrot.  It's not, but I do hope you do one day.  When the report of John
Young's finding came out, with the location on Pullen Pullen, I wrote to
Bush Heritage with a letter enclosed for Dr  Stephen Murphy, with
information of a sighting way back in 1962 or 3 of a Night Parrot on
Ardmore Station, off the Mount Isa-Duchess road.  We (Bill and I)
were  living in Mount Isa at the time and birdbanding there.  Roy Wheeler
had stayed with us and wrote to us to say that a nephew of his had
encountered this squat little parrot on the ground when staying there, on a
roo shoot, and almost managed to throw his coat over it.  We didn't find
it, caught a rare insectivorous bat, though, which John McKean (did your
know him?) was tickled pink to receive -- I assume it's still in the
collection at CSIRO Wildlife, Canberra. We had put up nets around a bore,
in a vague hope it might fly in and thereby hangs a tale -- we didn't know
about the little bats!  We learnt.

  I personally am convinced that Roy's nephew might very well have seen a
Night Parrot (sheer luck of the right place at the right time) and that
there could well be more in a very sparse dstribution over a wide area.  No
one to see them.  Even station hands and roo shooters are thin on the
ground.   I felt then that this old sighting, along with the lat. and long.
should be recorded somewhere (I still have the spot marked on my old map)
and thought Bush Heritage the obvious recipient, since they had started
work on it.  I never received a reply from Bush Heritage (although I do
give them donations) nor Dr Murphy, not even an acknowledgement.  However,
now that others are finding them right across to WA -- well I''m not
surprised, and very pleased.

Helen Horton

At 08:14 AM 4/18/2017, Greg Roberts wrote:
>I recently returned from a wonderful search for the Night Parrot in the
>Channel Country of western Queensland with Scott Baker and Bernie O'Keefe.
>We failed to definitively connect with a Night Parrot, though a couple of
>interesting calls were heard.
>I can reveal that Lark Quarry is a new site for probable Night Parrot
>records, and that notwithstanding fears that the species would be
>imperilled by an invasion of twitchers, just a handful of vehicles have
>made the difficult journey to search for it in this part of the world since
>John Young made his landmark discovery.
>More here:
>Greg Roberts
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