Friday, 19 September 2014

Swiftly does it

PW and I went to a well-known parrot location in Heyfield to see …..

Hang on. Something ambiguous about that sentence. Was it a well-known parrot or a well-known location? Or both? The parrot is well-known in Heyfield since last Monday when HBW and BLEG saw them on the well-known Heyfield Golf Course. The parrot is the Swift Parrot, an endangered species that breeds in Tasmania during the summer and migrates to and fro the mainland in autumn and spring getting as far “up” the Qld border. Peter invited me to be a second pair of eyes to spot these swift parrots.

We perused the fulsomely free-flowering box trees ...

... but it seemed none of Monday’s visitors had stayed. See Pearsondale Birder. There were Rainbow and Musk Lorikeets flitting/zooming all around with their screeching/chatter but no Swifties. No trouble spotting a Crimson or an Eastern. Duck when the Miners fly past. When you can only base an id on a Simpson & Day painting, it is a bit hard to know if you’ve "got on to one" at first. I had one potential but the bins showed it to be a Musk Lorikeet. Easily confused.

Against the sun. A redheaded parrotty lorikeety bird in there?
I think.
Ah yes. Just a Musk Lorikeet. Just! But very nice.

Ah well. Not to worry. We had a stroll around the course. Beautifully tended greens and fairways. Great rough and bush beautifully tended by a recently retired greens-keeper. Lots of pathways and plantings. Orchids ready to provide a spring profusion.

Had a cuppa. Perhaps the nectar flow had picked up during smoko. Before calling it quits decided to have “One more look. You never know.”

Well you don’t know and there they were. We first spotted a pair “sprinting” across an open space between two rows of trees. Then, standing still and silent, heard the quiet “clink, clink” Simpson & Day, “pee-pit, pee-pit, pee-pit” Pizzey & Knight, tinkling chatter Slater of the Swift Parrot. Located an obliging pair who we watched for 20 minutes or so as they systematically worked amongst the flowers. Once seen, and with a few Swiftie mates flying in and out, we realized there were at least 20 around, in small groups of 2 to 6. And, indeed, they are swift in flight.

Swift Parrot x2.
Perhaps immature?
On his first flight back home?
Magic birding. Thanks Peter.


  1. Welcome Jack. You got some good photos of the Swifts.


  2. Cheers Ross. We were well placed and fortunate.