Think I saw a swifty

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Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture
Think I saw a swifty

I was heading back inside from observing a treecreeper going in a hollow in a tree, when I here a rather unusual parrot call coming from over my head.

i terned to a gum tree, planted along the sides of the road, and saw the parrot. The parrot was green, tad of red on its lower bellie, and a distinct perpally-copper coloured tail. This parrot was feeding with a small group of must lorikeets. I thought that must hav been a swift parrot, but they are highly endangered, and I’m on the wage of there range. But the parrots tail was so distinct it couldn’t have been anything else, no other parrot has a tail like that. So, I must has seen a endangered parrot, even tho I’m on the eadge of the range.

sorry but the parrot was to farst and swift to take a pitcher of, and when it landed it disappeared in the foliage of the tree.

Woko
Woko's picture

Exciting stuff, Lightuningbird. Given that the Swift Parrot is so endangered it's humungously heartening to learn not only that you've seen one but also that it's range is still intact - at least in your area. I notice that Peter Monkhorst et al's The Australian Field Guide published in 2017 has revised the Swift Parrot's range to exclude ocurrences in South Australia. 

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

We did a survey at school a wile a go, we diddent get any photos, but arfter two flew by. The unusual thing is that WBA’s when they were supposed to be in Tasmania breeding, I assum they got lost.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

Woko
Woko's picture

Thanks for the reminder that Swift Parrots breed in Tasmania, Lightuningbird. It's common with some migratory bird species for some individuals to remain behind when most of the population heads for other places as part of their migration patterns. I don't know if the Swift Parrot is one of these but I note that my old, 1984, edition of The Bird Atlas of Australia says that "...in autumn the bulk of the population migrates across Bass Strait to the mainland." This might suggest that not all individual birds are involved in migration but I'm wondering if you need to put on hold a definite sighting, keep your eyes peeled & if you see something that looks like a Swift Parrot write down thorough details of the bird(s) you see. Needless to say a photo would be, as Richie Benaud would have said, maaaaarvellous.

Also, I understand that Swift Parrots follow the nectar. Do you have lots of Eucalypts flowering at present? If there are & there isn't much flowering in Tasmania then one hypothesis might be that flowering on the mainland is keeping at least one Swift Parrot from migrating & where there is one there may be others. But this is drawing a very long bow.

If there isn't much flowering in Tasmania this breeding season then it doesn't bode well for the Swift Parrot's survival.

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

There’s gum trees flowing out the back behind the paddock, I whent and cheacked to day, but all I saw was lorikeets and galahs. The other trees (box gums and mallies) will flower in a few months. I also have noticed that there have been some fore in the range of the swiftys, which may affect the migration, as they effected the needle tails on there migration. 

Ill carry my camera around when I go out, and keep it here just in case, as I tend to see the most interesting things when I don’t have it.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

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