Swift Parrots in Victoria

Subject: Swift Parrots in Victoria
From: Chris Tzaros <>
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 10:01:24 +1100
Dear birding-aussers,

A few observers have recently reported seeing/hearing Swift Parrots in
Victoria, and one possible occurrence in NSW.  

Yesterday (Sunday 23rd), I saw my first Swifties for the season - two
groups in the one gorgeous day!  The first sighting was in the morning in
the Mandurang South block of the newly acclaimed Greater Bendigo National
Park (15 kms south of Bendigo).  Five Swifties were seen foraging on
blossoming Grey Box, with Musk and Little Lorikeets and Black-chinned,
Fuscous and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters.  At one stage, the three parrot
species were all on the one small branch, foraging harmoniously together.
Ringing in the distance were calls of the Crested Bellbird while a couple
of Chestnut-rumped Heathwrens ran around on the ground among fallen
branches.  It was an absolutely wonderful experience.  Is this a sign of
what the season might hold for this area?  It would be great to see the
box-ironbark 'bounce back' after last years drought-related fizzer.

The second sighting of Swifties was back home in Altona late in the day.  A
group of four flew over the house and alighted in the large Spotted Gum
next door.  Almost as soon as they landed, they were chased by Red
Wattlebirds, and they burst out of the tree, flew in a large high circle,
and landed again in nearby Yellow Gums.  My partner and I watched this
behaviour for a while, then as it got darker, the Swifties set-up camp in a
patch of mixed eucalypts in the nearby park.  So Swifties at home and away!
 Great to see.

Please be on the lookout for them over the coming months and of course, I'd
love to hear of any sightings, as would Debbie Saunders in NSW.

Happy birding!


Chris Tzaros
Research and Conservation Officer
Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union) 
National Office
415 Riversdale Rd
Hawthorn East, Vic., 3123
Ph: 03-9882-2622
Fax: 03-9882-2677
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