In our garden and five acre block of land on the outskirts of Murray Bridge in South Australia we have many different species of birds – over 100 in fact. Of those that are resident or occasional visitors we have a good range of parrots.
Perhaps the most abundant would be the Galah, a very common species in the district with flocks numbering in the many hundreds. Another common species is the Little Corella but this is usually a species which only flies overhead, also in large numbers. Other parrots present in smaller numbers include Rainbow Lorikeets, Purple-crowned Lorikeets and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. Mallee Ringnecks are a resident breeding species. One individual keeps company with an Eastern Rosella, a species not normally present around here (I suspect it is a cage escape.)
Every month or so we have a short visit from several Adelaide Rosellas, shown in today’s photos. This is a sub-species of the Crimson Rosella of the eastern states. The Crimson Rosella is a much deeper red colour, while the Adelaide Rosella is more of an orange colour. In the northern parts of its range in South Australia (eg the lower Flinders Ranges) the orange colour can be quite washed out.
The birds which came to visit us last week are much brighter red than most Adelaide Rosellas, leading me to think that they may be moving north from the South East districts of South Australia where the more brightly coloured birds occur. Just a theory. On the other hand, I don’t have to travel too many kilometres west to see the typically washed out orange rosellas common in the Adelaide region.
From time to time we have the local Adelaide sub species of the Crimson Rosella in our garden here in Murray Bridge. This morning I observed two of them in the mallee scrub at the back of our house. They were in the company of the resident Mallee Ringneck parrots until they flew off.
Adelaide Rosellas are found in the Mt. Lofty Ranges and mid north of South Australia, as well as suburban Adelaide. The Crimson Rosellas are much brighter in colour (see photo below) while the Adelaide sub species has a washed out orange colouring on the front feathers. Throughout their range there is considerable colour variation in the intensity of the orange.
Here in Murray Bridge, some 75km south east of Adelaide, this species is near the eastern edge of their range. Consequently I only observe them several times a year. Normally I have to go 10-15 kilometres to the west to see them on a regular basis.