More Princess Parrots near Jupiter Well

To: Birding Aus <>, Jon King <>, Geoffrey Jones <>
Subject: More Princess Parrots near Jupiter Well
From: Ian May <>
Date: Mon, 31 Aug 2009 17:32:24 +0930
g'Day all

This report describes the observation of a single flock of 12+ Princess Parrots flying south across the Gary Junction Road, 47 km west of Jupiter Well (22 52' 11.9" S, 126 11' 27.9" E) at 10.10 am (WST) on Saturday, 15th August 2009. The location is about 90 km west of the site where Princess Parrots were observed on 24th July 2009 reported by Jon King.

In perfect light with the sun behind us, the flock of light aqua green birds showing paler shoulders and darker rumps wheeled across the road less than 20 m in front of us within 6 m of the ground and. The parrots seemed to rise from a sand dune about 150 m north of the road. It is possible they had passed over the dune top flying close to the ground, as we approached travelling west in our vehicle at about 50 km/h. Notwithstanding their colour and larger size, in this situation the rapid co-ordinated flight characteristic of these birds was reminiscent of Cockatiel.

Stopping quickly, I alighted from the vehicle not taking my eyes off the birds as they wheeled across the plain towards some isolated Desert Hakea at least 400 m south west of us. It appeared they landed in these shrubs however we were unable to locate any more birds when we walked over to them.

The area looked poor compared to land condition further east and at the time we were actually departing the area after spending several days unsuccessfully searching for Princess Parrots around Jupiter Well and also other suitable habitat areas to the east, visiting sites daily reported by Jon King. An inspection of Spinifex in this area showed most seed had dropped and I was unable to recognise any fresh footprints so we decided to move on

Over the four days of our visit to the Jupiter Well area, the vigorous flush of flowering plants reported by Jon only three weeks earlier was already diminishing rapidly. Day temperatures were now warm to hot and most flowering plants were nearing the end of their ephemeral cycle although the numbers of nomadic bird species including Honeyeaters (Pied, Black, Grey-headed, White-fronted, Singing) Woodswallows and Chats etc. were still high.

Also of interest was an approachable male Grey Falcon offering good photographic opportunities on two consecutive afternoons (13th and 14th August at 17.30). It was using a perched near the top of a dead desert oak located on the south side of the road, about 150 m east of the entrance gate into the currently abandoned Nyinmy community infrastructure.(approx 18 km east of Jupiter Well).


Thanks to Jon and Anne King for their excellent reports and also private communication that gave us the incentive for this trip.


(1) Princess Parrots near Jupiter Well

(2) More Princess Parrots near Jupiter Well

Thanks also to Geoff Jones of Barra Imaging for his expert photographic advice that is giving us much enjoyment.


Ian and Pat May

St Helens Tasmania

(currently at Price SA)

Ph. 0428337956

(08) 88326212


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