King Parrots in Artarmon, Sydney

King Parrot

When we go to Sydney to visit family, we stay with our son and his family in Artarmon, several train station stops north of the Harbour Bridge. This area has many trees lining the streets, many more in gardens and there are several parks in the vicinity.  While the birding is not great in terms of numbers of species, the bird life is still quite interesting.

The common species include: Noisy Miners, Australian Magpies, Australian Ravens, Common Mynas, Rainbow Lorikeets, Rock Doves, Laughing Kookaburras, Grey Butcherbirds and Pied Currawongs. From time to time I see Welcome Swallows, Galahs and Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. On one visit we even had a Boobook Owl in a tree in the garden.

More recently, my son – who has just a little more than a passing interest in birds – reported seeing a small group of 4 or 5 King Parrots frequenting his garden, or the street trees nearby. He hasn’t had a chance to get a photo yet, and I didn’t either on our recent visit last month. I did get several good views of them flying around nearby, but no clear views within camera range. Instead, I’ve included today a few photos of this species seen elsewhere.

King Parrot, male and female, Floriade 2007, Canberra


Eastern Whipbird, Artarmon, Sydney

Last weekend I went with my 4yo grandson to a nearby playground in Artarmon Reserve, Sydney. we’d been there a number of times over recent years and I’ve always taken my camera in case I saw an interesting bird or two. The usual suspects were present: Pied Currawongs, Australian Magpies, Noisy Miners, Rainbow Lorikeets and a few other species from time to time.

On this occasion, I was delighted to hear an Eastern Whipbird in the well vegetated gully below the playground. This gully is the creek bed running along a walking and cycling track (Cordia Way). This waterway drains many of the surrounding streets and eventually drains into Sydney Harbour.

The bird in question called infrequently over the half hour we were there, and I never saw it out in the open. I stalked it for the whole period, but never had a chance to take a photo. This is quite a secretive species, and will stay in thick vegetation most of the time. One day I might get lucky.

Until I can show a photo of my own here, you will have to go here to see one, as well as find out more about the species.

UPDATE: Searching through my bird photos today I discovered this photo of an Eastern Whipbird taken in 2007. I must admit I cheated with this one – the bird is one of the large collection of birds kept in the Adelaide Zoo.

Eastern Whipbird in the Adelaide Zoo