Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tassie's Endemic Parrot.....Green Rosella

I must plead guilty to ignoring the Tasmanian endemic birds all too often. I often mention them in passing, and seeing this purports to be a blog about Tasmanian birds, I must make more effort to show them in all their 'glory'. The truth is, many of them are not that showy, and in the parrot stakes, the Green Rosella is not considered to be among the showiest. But a recent brief encounter, made me realise that I might be selling them short.
This rosella, the largest of the rosellas, is commonly found in much of the treed areas of the state throughout the year. During the cooler months, some resort to open paddocks and suburban parks, attracted by rosehips, thistle seeds, and similar, sometimes in flocks of 20 or so.
The accompanying shots were taken at that well known waterhole in the Meehan Range. They're very wary in their approach to water, often sitting in nearby trees for several minutes and if they're not happy it's safe, they'll take flight with much excited calling. The birds shown here, were part of a flock of around 6 individuals, mostly immature birds, and eventually, one thought it was safe enough and dropped down to the water, and the others quickly followed. I was standing on the dam wall, and looking down on these bathers mostly through the light scrub and only about 4 metres away from them. It's always thrilling to watch or photograph birds from close quarters as they go about their business, but as these were in deep shade and only visible through the scrub, I had to be content to just watch. Fortunately, one eventually chose a spot in a patch of sunlight, slightly farther away, enabling me to set about getting some photographs. It was while I watched this individual, splashing happ
ily in the shallow and somewhat murky water, that one of those memorable instants occurred. In the low angle light of the early sun, the individual beads of water that it had splashed onto its back, stood out like diamonds. That, coupled with the intense bright blue of the splayed tail, was absolutely splendid. I am usually pretty pragmatic about photographing birds, concentrating intently in recording the moment, but the colours displayed were quite moving. The only downside is that I don't think the image quite does it justice, (or match my rhetoric!). You'll just have to take my word for it.
After several minutes watching them peacefully wash and drink, it all came to a sudden, noisy end. I was aware of a large bird that shot past me, heading towards the rosellas. They shot off in all directions screaming their "cusick" call. The culprit turned out to be an immature Grey Butcherbird, possibly trying to ambush nearby Brown Thornbills, also washing. Whatever it was after, it missed, and quickly left, pursued by a female Satin Flycatcher. All in all, another memorable outing.

5 comments:

Seb said...

V Nice photos matee...enjoying your blog v much!

John Tongue said...

Hi Alan,
Great shot of the one bathing - looks like he's really enjoying the last of the water in the hole. But I also like the one of the bird in flight - really captures the detail in the primaries.

BirdingTas said...

Hi Seb & John,
Thanks for your comments. Just occasionally, I'm fortunate to be at a spot when the lighting and conditions combine to enhance the photography. I just wish I could capture all the nuances of that moment. In the case of the flight shot, I have to admit that it was just luck!

Beaker11dude said...

These pics are awsome! :P

Marti in midwest US said...

Inspiring photos and rhetoric...thanks for sharing with those of us who live somewhere other than this birding paradise!