The other day, in the middle of the day, I came across a large number of ‘resting’ corellas in the pines in the part of Bowen Park closest to Telopea. I counted 40 but there could have been many more as they were amongst the greenery and hard to see. They looked very comfortable there and I can imagine them using this location for night roosting – might be worth a check.
The only time I’ve noticed Corellas roosting at Callum Brae there’ve been only small numbers, around 10 (one to three years ago, not recently).
And I’ve seen 100 Corellas in the past, again more than two years ago, flying over Capital Golf Course, so large numbers aren’t just a result of a recent influx.
From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Thursday, 19 April 2012 08:54
To: 'Canberra Birds'
Subject: RE: [canberrabirds] Telopia Park cockatoos
Shaun - I offer the following tentatively, as I haven’t been monitoring recently. For some years a small population, about a dozen birds, has had its home territory at Callum Brae, and a few pairs nest there regularly. Year-round, these commute to customary feeding grounds during the day - which include the next-door feeder and Telopea Park/Bowen Park. It is possible a small number roost at Telopea Park/Bowen Park. However the current cool weather influx has a quite different pattern. These flocks can contain a hundred or more birds. I believe these flocks feed and roost as opportunity offers. Being new to the city they can be easily disturbed by traffic, cyclists or pedestrians, when they rise noisily and conspicuously, although they are unpredictable and sometimes (like the SCCs) allow a close approach when feeding on a nature strip for example. The cool weather visitors do not roost habitually at Callum Brae, but probably use urban roosts - the trees around Jerrabomberra Oval, ANU (mentioned by Michael Lenz, I recall) - and Telopea Park/Bowen Park would be as likely a spot as any. From Rocky Knob one can get an impression of the seasonal pattern of movement as clouds of the shrill white dots wheel and re-wheel against a background of dark conifers and the yellowing and reddening exotics of inner south Canberra. From your present vantage point you would be well placed to take in such a view, but by August they will be gone.
Living as I do in a high-rise adjacent to Telopia Park (not for long, as I move in two weeks), I have seen or heard many flights of Corellas this autumn coming in the mornings to this location. Usually, they leave towards sunset. However, in the past two weeks there have been significant numbers that apparently stay in Telopia Park overnight, based on the calls emanating from the park, joining the resident Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos (SCC).
Tonight, between 8:30pm and 8:45pm, there were mass calls of Corellas in a flock. They were not evident on the skyline but clearly milling about in the vicinity of Telopia Park, leading to a presumption that they are roosting in the park now, instead of returning to Callum Brae as the normal direction of their flights suggest.
Are there any people observing at Callum Brae who are aware of a diminution in numbers there?