Notes to readers of this Blog


Thank you for dropping by to check out my blog. You will see a lot of other Blogs about birds I follow down the left hand side. I strongly encourage you to check some of these out as well, they are entertaining and I love to see birds from all over the world, I hope you do too.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Bourke’s Parrots, Mulga Parrots, Varied Sittella all together west of Alice Springs

Earlier this week I was driving out to Mt Liebig for work. I noticed a few flashes out of the corner of my eye – parrots, longish tails, was that a splash of red or pink? Princess Parrots? My mind raced as I slowed the car and grabbed the camera. I hadn’t been travelling too fast as I had just come through some rough road. I had a fair idea where the birds had flown and gave the large shrub a wide birth, trying not to disturb them, and, control my building expectations. As I neared I heard the unmistakable call of the Mulga Parrot. My Princess Parrot hopes faded quickly and I could see 7 Mulga Parrots, 4 males and 3 females/juveniles. Oh well, if I couldn’t see Princess Parrots, then Mulga Parrots were certainly a lovely second place for spectacular colour. I crept closer and closer to the bush and eventually managed to get a few photos without the sticks in the way. I started to head back toward the car and heard another distinctive parrot sound – Bourke’s Parrots, and sure enough two flew up from the ground and perched in a nearby tree. The angle for photos wasn’t great so I tried to circle them keeping the sun behind me. I could see the most magnificent blue and pink as well as that weird white blob around their eyes. I shouldn’t have been too surprised as I had seen the Bourke’s parrot in the same area 6 or 7 weeks ago, but that was much earlier in the day. As I circled, my fear of them taking flight came true, but not before another one joined them in flight. 3 of them now. They didn’t fly too far and I continued my circling, even if it was much further than I originally anticipated. Again they didn’t allow me to get too close before alighting once more, but a fourth joined them. This was getting exciting. Despite a fair bit of searching, I couldn’t see any more and again headed back towards the car. As I neared the road, I heard an oddly familiar but not often heard bird call coming from the small copse on the other side of the road. I continued across the road and crept closer, to discover a small group of about 8 Varied Sittellas jumping and hopping around the trunks. I was starting to miss my old, far superior lens, as I constantly focussed and missed the Sittellas. I kept trying for a bit longer when I heard the unmistakable sound of the Bourke’s Parrots again. First 2, then 8 more flew into the copse, and then another 20. I couldn’t believe I was seeing them at this time of day, and in such numbers. I’ve only seen 6 at the most before this experience. A few fed on the ground not far from me, and another couple perched in the morning sun on exposed branches. The others were flying at the back of the trees, fluttering down to feed on the ground beyond my vision. Finally I had my photo opportunity, one close by on the ground had continued to feed despite my presence only 10 metres away, while the two perched in the tree remained as well. I clicked off a lot of photos, determined to at least get one decent photo of a Bourke’s Parrot despite my substandard lens.  Eventually the ground dweller and the perchees disappeared towards the others at the back of the trees. I returned to the car absolutely thrilled to have enjoyed the experience, all from a mistaken identity.

Bourke's Parrots

1 comment:

  1. That train of caterpillars is just too cool. I have never seen anything like that.