Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Monday, February 06, 2012

Turquoise Parrots on Nowra - Braidwood Road confirmed

Further to my preliminary report of 2 Feb, re possible sighting of Turquoise Parrots, I can now confirm the ID positively.
Only one male with blue face and red wing patch sighted, with a "spotting scope". But that was clear enough to put ID beyond doubt.

The location is identified on Google Earth as Yerriyong, NSW.
It is just past the Parma Fire Trail (if coming from the west).
On all occasions, we saw the birds within 600 metres of their preferred location - not further away.
Juvenile male Turquoise Parrot showing some wing colour

Turquoise Parrot - a juvenile
On Saturday afternoon (between 3 and 4 pm) the birds were present in the same place as previously, but they were skittish. They were "hiding" amongst Eucalypt regrowth saplings along the road, and seldom coming out to rest on the powerlines.

On Sunday morning we went back at 7:30 am. We saw a maximum number of 21 birds at any one time, along the powerlines. Small parties kept breaking away from the group, and new "new birds" flying in. They were very active this morning. It is impossible to know exactly how many birds might be in this flock, but we can say there were at least 21.

The birds were seen best in early morning light. They were not very approachable - flying in to nearby re-growth Eucalypt saplings for cover, then returning to the powerlines.

Turquoise Parrots - Small section of flock on powerlines

Occasionally they would double back to a location further down the powerlines, probably just to give us exercise - following them. We could see them well, and photograph them somewhat better than on Friday. But they would not allow me to approach within about 100 metres.

Turquoise Parrots - small section of the flock.
By 7:45 they were beginning to feed amongst the patches of seeding grasses along the road.

Better photographic equipment is called for, I am afraid.

As the Turquoise Parrot (Neophema pulchella) is listed as Vulnerable on the NSW Threatened Species List, I will report these birds, on the NSW Wildlife Atlas.

Alan has just learnt that the local National Parks office is preparing to "slash" the roadside verge in this area, which would be bad news indeed for the Parrots which are feeding on the low grasses there which are happily seeding at present. Lets hope that move can be delayed for a few weeks at least.


Snail said...

There's no doubt about that one! It's amazing what you can spot from a car.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Bronwen
Yes, observation is the key.
I urge readers to please look out for birds on powerlines - they might be unusual, (as in this case). But you will never know unless you are prepared to stop and look closely.
Needless to say, the majority of motorists on that road, travelling in excess of 100 Km per hour, see nothing.
For heaven sake, they do not even "see" the Wallabies and Wombats they kill as they drive along.


Flabmeister said...

I am intrigued why the NPS Office is slashing roadsides. I'd have thought that to be a Shire responsibility. Perhaps the cool damp weather means they can't do a 'controlled' burn so have to find some other way to improve the environment?

Mr Grumpy

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mr. Grumpy
If it were down to the Shoalhaven Council, they would either:
A - Do nothing - a clear bushfire hazard would arise; or
B - send in the Bulldozers and clear the entire bush and build houses on it.
Given the options, I think NPWS slashing is probably better of the two.
Alan is talking to them about the timing.
Lets hope some sanity arises.
In fact NPWS are more interested in Pretty Parrots than in Genoplesium bauerii (which Alan also found while we were waiting for the Parrots on Saturday afternoon).

So maybe they will agree to hold off for a couple of weeks.
That's all both species need, till seeds are finished dispersing.

mick said...

Very good that you were able to go back and get some better photos. Bird always look better against a blue sky! I hope that you were able to get the NPWS people to delay the slashing.
Thanks for your recent comment on my blog about the bridge in Monet's paintings. I googled the subject and went and had a look at some of the paintings. Knowledge of art works was somehow missed in my education :-(

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick

Glad you checked the Monet paintings and his bridge.
Definite similarities I think you will agree. Not original - he acknowledged the Japanese influence.

My colleague is working on the National Parks people to delay the slashing, just for a few weeks.
He is also trying to hurry up the Federal Environment Dept about getting the Orchids there "listed on the EPBC Act".
With two "Listed Species" (one Federally listed, one State listed) in the one area, it is worth some fussing about.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Denis,
The number of juveniles is bad news for a first time observation, but it is great for the Turqs.
Great spotting.

Denis Wilson said...

Thanks Brendan.
It was a nice find - a personal "first" (not that I bother with lists).
I am very happy that it has now been formally reported on the NSW Wildlife Atlas.
And the local NPWS people are pretty keen on them too.