Saturday, 8 October 2016

Blue-winged Paradise

Back in June, Heather Alexander alerted me to the presence of Blue-winged Parrots in paddocks to the east of the RAAF Base at Sale. You beaut. You never know when there may be an Orange-bellied Parrot accompanying them. Subsequently, the next morning we rendevoused at the site on Hearthall Road. It was cold and foggy. There had been a frost. First bird up was a Flame Robin.

not a Scarlet Robin Petroica boodang but a
Flame Robin Petroica phoenicea -- thanks to John H for correct ID

Next bird up was a Blue-winged Parrot, exactly where Heather said they would be. Just a few but it was still foggy.

Blue-winged Parrot Neophema chrysostoma
Once Photoshop has been utilised, the same image becomes a whole lot better.

Is it cheating to use Photoshop?
The fog lifted fairly quickly so we were soon able to see the birds with better clarity and colour.

Here are some on the ground. About 20 I think. There were 72 in the flock [edit: I originally wrote 47 but checking my ID of Flame Robin on eBird -- see above, I discovered we saw 72]. They did a bit of flying about between fence and food but relatively unperturbed by our presence about 40 metres away.

Then, last but not least, in full sunlight rising from behind the camera, a full fence of BWP. Have a go at deciding which birds are male, female and juveniles.

In this last image, my grandson, Ethan, and I spent quite a while carefully determining the gender and age of those on the fence line using our bird guides and, of most help, the Birdlife Australia guides [here and here] to differentiating the OBP from the BWP, Elegant Parrot and Rock Parrot. We do not have the last two as residents in Victoria so the choice is easy. See if you agree!

Magic. f8 and be there.

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