birding-aus Hooded Parrots

Subject: birding-aus Hooded Parrots
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 1999 08:08:28 +1000
On a recent trip to Katherine (24 June '99) I visited the Chinaman Creek
site to look for the Hooded Parrots at the waterhole. Apart from the
rubbish littered all along the creek, I discovered to my horror a green
mesh protection around a marihuana plant at the downstream end of the
drinking hole. I was a little nervous about this and moved away from the
water in order to see the highway.
Around 5pm, a 4WD came and parked on the side road and stayed there until I
went to my car and then it drove slowly back towards Katherine.
I was a bit freaked-out as I was by myself and decided to take the safest
course and get the hell out of there - I have read too many cases of people
coming to grief when stumbling on plantations in the forests up here in FNQ
to risk my safety even for just one plant!
I drove up the road for about 500 metres and couldn't believe my luck when
numbers of Hoodeds and Cockatiels were beside the road feeding in the
burnt-out areas - now reshot with new green growth.
The birds were not at all disturbed by my presence and I counted 40 Hooded
Parrots on the ground on both sides of the road - quite a few adult males
and an even bigger number of young males coming into adult plumage.
There were parrots in the trees everywhere and I would estimate there would
have been over 60 birds in the flock - they were very vocal and there was
lots of squabbles going on all the time.
I totally forgot the other problem and went back to Katherine very
satisfied - I decided not to report the plant but feel through this chat
line that people should be careful when visiting that area.
Max O'Sullivan

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