this afternoon (Thurs 16 Feb) at Westgate
Park, a small rehabilitated wetland
alongside the eastern (city) ramp of the Westgate Bridge
in Fisherman’s Bend, I had an entirely unexpected close encounter with a
Chukar Partridge (Alectoris chukar) [or possibly the closely related and very
difficult to separate Rock Partridge (A. graeca)].
well-known game bird which has been introduced to many locations worldwide (including
New Zealand) originates from
a broad geographic area across southern Asia (or in the case of Rock Partridge
from eastern France, Italy, Yugoslavia,
Bulgaria and Greece). [Ref:
HBW, Vol. 2]
Vol. 2 notes that Chukar, while found widely in the south island of NZ, is “not
established” in Australia, despite a number of releases in the 19th
century, and this species is not on the official Australian list.
apparently healthy single bird was seen on the top of the highest point at Westgate Park, a small hill in the north-west
corner of the park, close to the Herald and Weekly Times building and over the
road from part of the General Motors Holden complex. It was surprisingly
confiding, coming to within about 5 metres before being flushed by a pair of
dogs which initially caused it to run and then to fly across the road, ending
in a long glide into the fenced GMH property where I lost sight of it and was
unable subsequently to find it again.
this is an escaped or released bird.
anyone have any suggestions/comments re any of the following:
- Is this an important sighting?
- Should it be formally reported? (Martin?)
- What might its origins be?
- Is it worth enquiring of any aviculturists or
similar re possible escape/release?
M: 0438 224456