Using people??? to find Night Parrots

To: "robert morris" <>, "dion hobcroft" <>, "birding aus" <>
Subject: Using people??? to find Night Parrots
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 11:08:52 +1000
Attempts to use people enmasse to find Night Parrots has of course been tried and after periods of heavy rain. My wife and I were members of the RAOU Night Parrot expedition into the Lake Disappointment area of the Western Deserts of WA in September 1987. See RAOU Report No. 49, 1988 by Stephen Davies, Mandy & Mike Bamford. The rather wry title 'Princess but no Night' of the summary of the trip in RAOU Newsletter No. 75, March 1988 indicates the degree of success we had. The site was chosen because the area had never been grazed and it was timed to follow a period of good rainfall. The initial party consisted of 20 people in 9 vehicles and the search spanned 11 days. Four search methods were used: traversing the spinifex and samphire by day in line abreast using a rope between walkers where possible; listening at dawn and dusk for calls; driving through spinifex and walking through samphire at night; collecting old birds' nests and searching them for feathers. Some of us also watched for birds coming to drink at dams or waterholes.

I am interested to see that although the search was unsuccessful in finding Night Parrots, the Report is not cited under that species in HANZAB volume 4, although it is cited in The Princess Parrot text of that volume. As usual, presence is better documented than absence.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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