Monday, 6 July 2009

2008: King’s Park, Perth – II

Port Lincoln parrot

Not hard to find in the Park (they'll even eat off your table with little encouragement), Australian ringnecks comprise four races. The two dark-headed westerners include the more urban Port Lincoln parrot, which became my second, and last, lifer of the day. I would see the differently patterned twenty-eight parrot later in the forests of the south. At least that's my neat distinction right now but I’m not sure there isn't some cross-over between these sub-species. I have seen pictures that are neither one nor the other; and certainly people use the names interchangeably. The Park’s own bird list pictures the twenty-eight.

Leading away from the main buildings, an elevated walkway climbed through the tree-tops. Apparently peculiar to Australia, this is an excellent idea for getting those canopy-dwelling birds. They tend to be small and flit readily, which, from below, is hard work on the neck, especially just to get a glimpse of anonymous underparts.

However, it wasn't until I got into the bushier, less manicured, parts of the Park that I started hitting more interesting birds. Here, I added both rufous and golden whistlers, the latter a female and so taking me a good quarter hour to identify. Brown honeyeater and a rainbow bee-eater suggested that a lot of eating was going down. A lot of heat was also coming down and I began to wilt. The wilder regions had little shelter, so I scuttled back to town to check out phone-unlocking services. I needed to get an Australian SIM-card.

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