Swift Parrots in western suburbs of Melbourne.

Subject: Swift Parrots in western suburbs of Melbourne.
From: Chris Tzaros <>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 09:44:26 +1000
Dear all,

Yesterday afternoon, as Lloyd kicked his sixth on quarter time, and by which stage a Bomber victory seemed secure, my partner and I decided to celebrate by cycling through the western suburbs (through Footscray!), to Essendon, along the Maribyrnong River. Was a stunning afternoon and birds seemed as happy as us. Saw two Black-fronted Plovers around the edges of the wetlands at Newells Paddock in Flemington, and good numbers of numerous species of other waterbirds.

However the real excitement came when we reached Pipemakers Park in Maidstone (just south-east of Highpoint Shopping Centre (Melway map 28, B10). It's a wonderful area comprising several acres of re-vegetated Red Gum riparian woodland. As we stopped at the southern end of the park, just near the footbridge that crosses the river, we heard the unmistakable warbling of Swift Parrots. We realised that we'd been ambushed by them, and a quick search revealed at least 10 of them foraging low (4-6 metres above ground) in red gum saplings, gleaning lerp from the foliage. We also saw a pair of Crested Shrike-tits, another unexpected but welcome sight in the suburbs.

After leaving Pipemaker's, returning home through Altona North, we saw one other Swift Parrot in the trees outside the Altona Leisure Centre on Mason Street (Melway 55, D3), which is the possibly the same bird that I've been seeing for weeks in my front garden just a couple of blocks from there! And to cap-off what was a great afternoon, we got home to watch the final quarter of the Dons win on TV!

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
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