To: Russell Woodford <>
From: Dr Tonia Cochran <>
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 11:00:39
Hi there Russell,

        A very nice addition to your backyard list indeed! The Swift parrots 
here ("Inala", Bruny Island, Tasmania) about one month earlier than usual
this year, so it wouldn't surprise me if they did arrive the other side of
Bass Strait earlier than expected. The following are the arrival and
departure dates of Swift parrots at "Inala" (where they breed in hollows in
the messmate stringybark, Eucalyptus obliqua) for the past few years:

NB. Dates of arrival/departure are the first/last dates that I see or hear
swifties on the property every year (they are VERY noticeable!)

Arrived 15th September 1994- Departed 17th March 1995

Arrived 3rd October 1995- Departed 31st March 1996 I suspect they delayed
their departure this year because of the unusually large number of
Eucalyptus obliqua in flower at this time. Flowering in this eucalypt
doesn't occur every year here, but when it does, almost every tree flowers.
Quite spectacular, as the south Bruny ranges are predominantly E. obliqua
wet sclerophyll forest.

1996-1997 season- the swift parrots didn't make it to Inala this season.
Reason unknown.

Arrived 15th September, 1997- Departed 15th February, 1998. Ray Brereton
(Swift parrot coordinator, Parks & Wildlife Tasmania) located and monitored
5 nest sites at "Inala" this past season.  Fledglings were last seen
emerging from the nesting holes to be fed by their parents on 20th January,
1998. Around this time, I took a youngster that had apparently fallen out
of a tree at Adventure Bay, Bruny Island to the Parks and Wildlife "Swift
parrot hospital". It seems that the young may have already started
practicing their flying skills then.

It will be interesting to see what happens this coming spring. Stay tuned!

And your mention of a Whistling kite also reminds me to mention that Jim
Beruldsen saw what he considers to be a young Whistling kite (first
year-maybe on the lookout for new territory?) during a recent visit to
Inala on 4-6th February 1998. I have since confirmed this, although it
seems to have disappeared in the last couple of weeks, along with most of
the Swamp Harriers. Can anyone tell me if it is likely to migrate back
across Bass Strait with them?

All the best, Tonia

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