From Torbay Inlet I drove inland to the little country town of Rocky Gully, to find some of the southern population of the Western Corella, a race or sub-species known as Muir's Corella. A large flock was quickly located, some of which were roosting in the shade after a morning feed. In contrast to the Black-Cockatoos these birds forage on the ground, digging up tubers and bulbs and feeding on seeds. Thankfully the population has recovered after successful conservation efforts in the years after the 1940's, when only about 100 individuals survived in the wild. For decades before they had been shot and poisoned for the crop damage they were causing.
It was nice to see these characters having the last laugh!
Also in the vicinity a small group of Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos, some roosting and others feeding in the seeding gums. Although males were present I couldn't get a fix on them with the camera, they seemed to prefer the denser foliage at the tops of the trees. In the south west these are also a sub-species, known as the Forest R.T.Black-Cockatoo, with larger bills and different food and habitat preferences than their northern cousins.
|Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo - female|
Our next stop was the spectacular Stirling Range National Park where we based ourselves at the pleasant Moingup Campground. Here we were serenaded by the very similar calls of the Carnaby's and Baudin's Black-Cockatoos, mentioned in the previous post.
Another denizen of the surrounding bushland was the endemic and colourful Red-capped Parrot which was quite shy and unobtrusive until the distinct call was heard, usually in flight. Another bird with a bill adapted to removing the seed from deep gumnuts such as the Marri.
|Red-capped Parrot - male|
|Red-capped Parrot - immature|
On the drive out to Bluff Knoll we noticed small flocks of yellow-green birds flying up from beside the road. After pulling over to have a look at one particular group we identified them as Elegant Parrots, a suitable name for this pretty bird, one I had seen previously in South Australia and a lifer for Clare.
|Elegant Parrot - male|
|Bluff Knoll, Stirling Range National Park|
In the surrounding sheep and wheat farming country we disturbed some Regent Parrots that had been drinking in a small dam beside a back road. When we pulled up to investigate most of them had dispersed, besides the one below that posed for me in the late afternoon light. This is the western race of the species, called smoker by the locals, on account of its smoky yellow plumage.
Also keeping out of close camera range were some unusually reticent Galahs.
|Stirling Range National Park|
Last but by no means least, this little nomad rounds out the dozen members of the parrot and cockatoo families seen on our south west sojourn. Unfortunately this was the only one I failed to photograph, due to it's propensity for frequenting the very tops of blossoming gum trees, then flying off at the speed of light! A reasonably common bird but always a joy to see.
|Purple-crowned Lorikeet |
Cheers & Happy Birding