Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Princess & Scarlet-chested Parrots at Neale Junction, WA

It is not often that Princess and Scarlet-chested Parrots are seen in the same tree in the wild. Lovand Szucs has sent me these pictures from his trip earlier this month to Neale Junction in WA's Great Victoria Desert. He planned the trip as a result of a similarly successful foray to find these two rare parrots in 2009 by myself, Bill Watson and Alexander Watson.

Lorand reported a minimum of 50 Princess Parrots in his 1.5 days around Neale Junction, including this one. Subsequent to Lorand's trip, a Birdquest expedition found an average of 90 Princess Parrots a day in the area.

In 2009, we had a maximum of 17 Princess Parrots in 2.5 days; this bird was one of them. Princess Parrots were also found at Neale Junction in October in 2008 but not in 2010, so they have been there at this time of the year for three of the past four years. Examination of historical records shows the area has been consistently good for the species over many years, so it is difficult to fathom the obsession that birders have with finding the species in the much more remote Great Sandy Desert.

Lorand had a minimum of 10 Scarlet-chested Parrots this month. Freshly plumaged young of both species at Neale Junction indicated they had recently bred in the area. We had just one Scarlet-chested Parrot in 2009.

This is classic Princess-Scarlet-chested Parrot habitat at Neale Junction - Marbled Gum in sand-dune country with plenty of spinifex and other shrubs such as Eremophila. 

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