Orange bellied parrot in Sydney

Subject: Orange bellied parrot in Sydney
From: Bas Hensen <>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 16:59:44 +1000
Dear All

The bird was seen, by my wife and I, on the track south from the car park of the surf club. Following the track, starting close to the coast, south you come to a point where a very clear rutted track takes off to the right (west) ( after about 800 m)..  It was  seen in the NW corner of this T- intersection.  We ( Jonathan Starks from the OBP recovery team and myself - see todays SMH) looked for it for the last two days, and so have a number of others, without any luck.  We did see a goshawk on patrol 3 times in 1 1/2 days. Just hope he did not make a meal of the lonely parrot. The resident blackshoulder kites and kestrels are less threatening.

If you follow the above-mentioned  track further you come to a swamp and the corner of the rifle range.

The bird flew up from the ground (?- I first noticed flying low just left of the track) and crossed the main N-S coast track, landing on the west side.  It was there for quite a while.  We first looked with our binoculars, worried it would fly off again.  Then I got my scope out and we looked at it some more.  Unfortunately the band was no longer visible by then, the bird having changed position.  My description of the band certainly corresponded exactly with what it should have been.  I don't think that we could have seen the number with our 8* binoculars. The exact correspondence of the colour, size and shape of the band, together with the birds looks described in my earlier email, makes us think it was an OBP.  But the bird should also have had a black band on its left leg, something we did not see, and can neither confirm nor deny.  The blue band on the right leg was so bright it was hard to miss.  It was the most colourful part of the bird.  The lighting was perfect looking West at 10. 20 AM in bright sunlight.

If still around, it could basically be anywhere.  Jon tell me it typically feeds early morning and 1-2 hrs before dusk. It may well hide in the scrub for the rest of the day. He felt there was plenty of food for it just about everywhere, particularly in the open grassy country !  But that was not where it was 2 days ago.

Best of luck  Bas
Bas Hensen
Geology (BEES)
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia
Tel (61 2) 93858701
Home(61 2) 96622302
FAX (61 2) 9385
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