No Bittern + Hybrid Parrot

Subject: No Bittern + Hybrid Parrot
From: "Peter Ewin" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 10:21:19 +1100
After cursing not having the internet at home and thus missing an opportunity on the weekend to head down to Royal NP to look for the Little Bittern, finally got the chance yesterday afternoon. Though obviously not as popular as the Banyule Painted Snipe (if I was in Melbourne, I'd be there), there were a few pairs of binoculars scanning the reeds around the Audley Weir (G'Day John and the others). I am assuming that the bird was seen on the eastern side of the river (the northern side is salt and has no vegetation), near the main car park for the kiosk. This is the only area of Typha (bullrush) on the bank, with the other patch being at the weir wall, with the willow tree. The other vegetation is Eleocharis (I think) with some Phragmites (Common Reed) on the west bank. However, scanned the vegetation on both sides with no luck. I suspect that the rain on Sunday evening may have raised the water level and the bird may have moved on, is not feeding as obviously. The closest Typha is about 1.5 metres from the shore now, with only small patches of exposed mud. Does this differ to on the weekend at all?
Though not seeing the Bittern did see some other interesting things.
- A flock of Sittellas fed in a Coral Tree on the western bank. This is the first time I have ever seen them in an introduced species (usually only in Eucalypts) - Great views of an Azure Kingfisher. This is an easy spot to find them, though this one sat on the edge of the weir, seemingly oblivious to the passing traffic. - A parrot was seen inspecting a hollow on the east bank that was an obviuous hybrid, though whether natural or an aviary escapee I am not sure. Overall, the bird was lime green, with a tiny patch of red on the lower breast, a red rump, and slightly darker green cheek patches. My guess is that it was slightly smaler than an Eastern Rosella, and called like this as well. My guess is a Red-rumped Parrot/Rosella hybrid (though I am not certain whether Crimson or Eastern), with the faint possiblity of Red-capped Parrot. Has anyone else seen this bird around Audley? Anyway, I shall probably head back this afternoon to have another look for the Bittern, though I don't hold much hope.

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