birding-aus Centennial Park

To: Russell <>
Subject: birding-aus Centennial Park
From: Penny Drake-Brockman <>
Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 13:21:00 +1100
Dear All

I was doing a 20 minute spot survey in Centennial Park Friday 30 July when
at 4.45 pm I came upon about 100 Sulphur Crested Cockatoos on the playing
field to the west of the Lily Pond - plus 40 Long-billed Corellas and two
Little Corellas.

The Long-billed were industriously digging up the little lily bulbs (sorry
- don't know name - the ones with the small short-necked pink star flowers)
which were about 6 cm deep, chewing out the centre of the bulb and
discarding the root, outer skin and leaves as they went. The two Little
Corellas were trying to do the same thing but their bills were just not
long enough - they pulled up grass - nothing much in that - discarded it
after a disappointing chew - then very occasionally they managed to pull a
slightly shallower bulb - heaven! But they had to work much harder than the

Then there was a distant Noisy Miner raptor alarm call - all heads up,
crests raised and the whole flock took to the trees as a Peregrine circled
in and went to sit at the very top of a nearby Norfolk Pine, whereupon five
Sulphurs chased it there and it departed smartly. After about three minutes
of chatter, raising and lowering of crests, acrobatics in the trees, they
returned to the grass - still very uptight - one pair of Sulphurs fronting
up to each other and jumping to clutch claws before settling back to the
more important work of eating before it got too dark.

As I drove off, I noticed another small flock of Sulphurs (12+) near the
Duck Pond - are the numbers increasing? The Norfolk Pines are suffering as
usual, some looking very bare from the pruning the cockatoos give them.

Penny Drake-Brockman, Examination Recitals Co-ordinator, Sydney
Conservatorium of Music.
Tel: 02 9351 1254.
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