This morning while we were having breakfast a small flock of four Adelaide Rosellas came to visit our garden. It was delightful to see them feeding on some of the flowers of our native plants such as eremophilas. This sighting is notable in so much as they are uncommon visitors to our garden here on the outskirts of Murray Bridge, some 80km south east of Adelaide, South Australia.
Adelaide Rosellas are a sub-species of the widespread Crimson Rosella, a common species in southern and eastern Australia. The Adelaide Rosella is largely confined to the Adelaide region through to the mid-north districts of the state. Until recent years I have not observed this sub-species so far east of the Mt Lofty Ranges, and they seem to be extending their range eastwards. We are now seeing them every few months in our garden.
Sydney Trip Report June 2011
The first day of our trip home was freezing cold. We had altered our route home to avoid the snow closed roads around Bathurst and followed the same route home we’d used on our way over. The sky gradually changed from bright sunshine in Sydney heavy cloud by lunch time. We had a picnic lunch with us and pulled into the Thomas Derrick VC Rest Area, hoping to get a few minutes of sunshine while sitting at one of the picnic tables there. We ended up eating lunch in the car because the wind was still freezing, and it was threatening to rain at any moment.
This rest area, like others in the region, commemorates the brave deeds of some of our soldiers. The “VC” after his name indicates that he was awarded Australia’s highest order for bravery in battle, a Victoria Cross. He was decorated because of his actions against the Japanese in New Guinea and you can read more about his interesting life here.
While eating lunch I was able to list a few birds out and about, an once I’d finished I braved the very cold conditions to get a few photos. The most interesting species present was a flock of about 20 Crimson Rosellas. I tried to photograph a family of White-winged Choughs, but they flew off before I could close enough. There were also many Noisy Miners in the picnic ground, but seeing I have plenty of photos of them I didn’t bother chasing them up. Truth be known, it was too cold to spend too much time out of the warmth of the car!
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.