Saturday, 16 November 2013

Lorikeets go to University

Visiting Deakin University's Waurn Ponds (Geelong) campus last week, I couldn't help but notice the high-pitched chattering of a flock of small lorikeets in the the car park. I was without camera so could not capture the activity but I made sure to have the camera in the car this morning and made a brief detour on the way through Geelong to see if they were still there...

…and they were. At least twenty Purple-crowned Lorikeets were feeding among the eucalypts in the car park. Like most parrots, they are extremely affectionate birds.

Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Waurn Ponds

It was impossible to count and difficult to photograph them because they were rarely still and most often sitting or feeding in the tops of the trees and among the dense foliage.

Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Waurn Ponds

Occasionally one or two would come out to provide a better view.

Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Waurn Ponds

The resident Red Wattlebirds were persistently and aggressively defending their territory, taking the odd moment to grab feed of their own

Red Wattlebird, Waurn Ponds

and even squabbling among themselves.

Red Wattlebird, Waurn Ponds

Also feasting on the flowers were several Rainbow Lorikeets,

Rainbow Lorikeet, Waurn Ponds

In this one, the bird took off just as I hit the shutter.

Rainbow Lorikeet, Waurn Ponds

They are seriously quick because the next frame is completely empty (@7fps). I also like this shot because it shows the difference between the take-off techniques of parrots from passerines. Shots I've taken of small passerines show they jump into the air before opening their wings, where this bird is clearly still holding onto the branch while it's wings appear to be in full flight.

Rainbow Lorikeet, Waurn Ponds

The other common residents, New Holland Honeyeaters, hung around, unusually quiet…probably happy to not be the the primary focus of the wattlebirds.

New Holland Honeyeater, Waurn Ponds

1 comment:

  1. HI Ian Now that is one bird I have not seen in Aus. The Purple headed Lorikeet. Lovely bird.

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