We are fortunate to live in a part of central Victoria which is a hot-spot for the threatened Swift Parrot – although the numbers of birds seen during their migrations varies dramatically from year to year. Over the past 20 years, Castlemaine Field Naturalists Club members have conducted surveys for this species on the two annual survey weekends (always the 3rd weekend in May, and first weekend in August). Across south-eastern mainland Australia, these surveys have been coordinated by Birdlife Australia (and its predescessor Birds Australia). The surveys also focus on the Regent Honeyeater, although this species is now highly unlikely to be found near Castlemaine. A powerpoint presentation on the surveys and these species is available on the BirdLife website (click here).
The CFNC excursion for the month of May is to search for the Swift Parrot on the morning of Saturday 17 May. Both members and visitors, as well as experienced and novice bird-watchers, are welcome. The excursion will depart at 9am from the Octopus building (on Duke St, opposite the Castle Motel), and return at about midday.
A copy of the datasheet is available here (click here). Across the official survey weekend – and the weekends on either side – BirdLife Australia are interested in the results of all bird-watching surveys – irrespective of whether Siwft Parrots are seen or not. Even unsuccessful surveys are of interest to the scientists studying this species. The datasheet can also be used to document observations of the Swift Parrot made at other times of the year.
There was a recent article published about the impact of Sugar Gliders in killing Swift Parrots and their offspring at their nesting sites in Tasmania (click here).