Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Keeping an Eye on the Flock

John Tongue writes: It's interesting how we come to associate certain birds with certain locations--probably where we see them most, or have particular memories. There is a road near my home town in NSW where you can almost always see Torquise Parrots, and so I come to associate them with that place in my memory. In Tassie, I think of White Cockatoos at Epping Forest, or Claremont, or even Cornelian Bay most recently.
I am the rector at Holy Trinity Church (Nth Hobart), and with the church tower, I think of Ravens, or sometimes Eastern Rosellas, but the last couple of days has seen an influx of up to 55
or 60 Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. They've been raiding nearby walnut, eucalypt, and Norfolk Pines (?) for food, and many of them perch all over the church tower, as the accompanying shots show. Unless they are just passing through looking for new food sources, we might have to come to associate them with the bell tower as much as we do Ravens!


Anonymous said...

They have been hanging around Sandy Bay and Battery Point a lot too, though there seem to be a smaller flock around here.They are certainly noisy, as I type I can hear their screeching call from Princes Park, where they seem to be congregating (no pun intended)today.
I like the shot of them on the church tower, they don't quite have the same gothic quality as ravens though, it makes the shot more interesting.
Off topic almost completely, I was out at Goulds lagoon earlier in the week and saw a fight of sorts between galahs and musk lorikeets for what I think was a nesting hole. Three galahs were in a tree, two of them at a hole and about half a dozen musk lorikeets were harrying them. I didn't wait around to see who won, if anyone, but the little musk lorikeets were punching well above their weight.
Also sighted were seven shovellers, two hoary headed grebes,one swamp harrier,one great egret,one Yellow Throated, one New holland and a few Crescent (Honeyeaters, which i don't usually see around the lagoon) as well as the usual suspects.

Anonymous said...

I've been hearing a small flock pass through occasionally where I live in Strickland Ave, South Hobart. As soon as I hear their raucous screeching it instantly makes me feel like I am in Canberra. That is where I grew up and where I first started to birdwatch, and there are so many that in some places you can't hear people talking at certain times of day.

Incidentally, I will always associate the carpark at the Remarkable Rocks on Kangaroo Island with the Purple-gaped Honeyeater. It was a lifer for me and showed itself beautifully both when I was leaving my car and on my return. (It is also where one of my daughters did an accidental somersault off the boardwalk because she was running at full tilt and looking backwards...).

Anonymous said...

Hi Felix,
I'm told b a neighbour that when he saw the Cockatoos, there was one on each spire, with a raven on the top of the flagpole, but he was being divebombed by cockatoos trying to displace him - a bit more evenly matched than your Galahs and Lorikeets. I think they did finally drive the Raven away, though. I guess they ganged up on him.