Wednesday, 19 December 2012

COG goes to the Australian Institute of Superb Parrots

30 members and guests came to the AIS and after a little trial and error all gathered at the intended place.  The day was warming up but by the time those with stamina adjourned to the coffee shop we had recorded a rather good 45 species of which 8 generated breeding records.  Thanks to Sandra for suggesting and leading this outing.

The signature bird of the AIS recently has been Superb Parrot and they were present in large and noisy numbers.  

 As a conservative estimate there were 30 birds present including several dependent young.

 The lower bird in the last image was begging loudly and we concluded that this meant the upper bird was an adult, since another juvenile would be a poor target for indolent behaviour.

One bird (not photographed) was observed to have a very short tail, suggesting it might have have come from a nest in the near vicinity.  While most of the birds seemed to be shifting from tree to tree in the car parks some appeared to fly off into Bruce Ridge.  It would seem very useful if the setters of 'controlled' burns avoided doing this in the Bruce Ridge area while there might be Superb Parrots in nest hollows.

The signature bird of the AIS used to be the Australian Hobby seen hawking moths in the evenings during Brumbies matches.  They haven't been seen so much since the Gregan-Larkham era, but one turned up today at high altitude joining 2 Nankeen Kestrels and a couple of Australian Ravens in harassing 2 overflying Wedge-tailed Eagles.  A Black-shouldered Kite remained on its perch oblivious to this display of aerial excellence.
The other more exciting bird seen was a Buff-banded Rail skulking along the wetlands against the bicycle path on the Northern end of our route. A full list of birds seen will be posted to the COG website in the near future.

Other breeding records were Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (ON), 
Noisy Miner (DY), Eurasian Coot (DY), Striated Pardalote (ON), Crested Pigeon (ON) 
Noisy Friarbird (NY) and Common Starling (CF).

The following images are of other birds which posed more or less conveniently for photographing by me.

 Noisy Miner
 Great Cormorant checking the coefficient of friction between  power lines and webbed feet. 
 Great Egret 
Great Egret detail (at full zoom but showing the gape going past the eye and the convoluted bends of the neck).
 Red-rumped Parrot
Having mentioned the Gregan-Larkham era it behooved me to visit Bay 13B adjacent to the GDE (Ghastly Dumb Extension) to check the current view.  Not bad, but would still benefit from George and Bernie strutting their stuff. 


Swan Pond said...

The Superb Parrots are great aren't they. How great to see so many.

Flabmeister said...

Yes indeed Swan Pond. A local birder of wide experience has suggested these are the birds which used to hang out at Mt Rogers (about 5km NW as the parrot flies). This hasn't been (and probably can't be) confirmed other than as a coincidental disappearance in one spot and appearance in another.