Purple Crowned Lorikeets
One species I forgot to mention yesterday was the Purple Crowned Lorikeet. Like many Australian parrots and lorikeets, the Purple Crowned is a gregarious, noisy, restless bird found in many parks and gardens in southern Australia. It ranges south of a line from Geraldton Western Australia through to eastern Victoria (but not Tasmania).
I can’t say that they are a resident species in our garden – they don’t seem to stay long enough! When the mallee is in flower they come on rushed sorties into the trees in near the house, feed for a while before screeching off to the next feeding ground. Their underwing patch of red distinguishes them from the slightly larger Musk Lorikeet (which is an uncommon species here in Murray Bridge).
Difficult to photograph
These bright green parrots with a prominent red forehead and purple coloured crown are very difficult to photograph – or so I have found. Many times they just go darting overhead as they pass from one clump of trees to another. When they do decide to stop in our garden they are so cryptic in the leaves and flowers of the eucalyptus tree where they are feeding that it becomes hard to see where the leaf ends and the bird begins. I almost dispair of ever getting a clear photo of this species.
One of the field guides* I use regularly describes their flight as “bullet-like”. As they go rocketing across the sky past our garden, their “zitt-zitt-zitt” calls seem to challenge me. “Catch us if you can,” they seem taunt as they fly by.
*Pizzey, G and Knight, F “The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia” (Angus and Robertson 1997)