This morning I had a small birding accident. I didn’t hurt myself – or anyone or anything else. This week the forecast is for severe hot weather after a prolonged period of mild weather, so I decided before breakfast that our bird baths should be replenished every morning. The resident birds sure appreciate the fresh water every day.
I filled a handy bucket from the rainwater tap – I prefer to treat them to rainwater rather than tap water – and trundled outside into the garden. As I carried the very full bucket of water I stepped off the veranda and… disaster! The cheap plastic bucket shattered into about a dozen pieces and water splashed all over my shoes, socks, and legs. The bucket – what was left of it – was immediately thrown in the rubbish bin and another one fetched and filled from the tap over the laundry tub. This time the water reached its destination without further incident.
My efforts were rewarded about an hour later. While reading the paper at the table in our sun room two birds flew in to have a drink and a bath. One was a Mallee Ringneck and the other an Eastern Rosella (see photo above) Strangely, these two birds have been seen together in our garden on many occasions over the last few years. Eastern rosellas are not common in this area.
Over the last few months we have had a single Eastern Rosella frequently visiting our garden. This beautiful bird recently came to visit our bird bath just outside our sun room. I was able to get several good photos before it flew off again.
This individual has been hanging around now for several months. This species does not naturally occur around here, so I assume it is an aviary escapee. I have previously seen one a few kilometres from our home.
The Eastern Rosella is relatively common in the Adelaide region where it was introduced some years ago. Its normal range is south eastern Australia.
This particular individual must be feeling lonely. It keeps on following our resident family of Mallee Ringneck parrots. In return, they show quite a deal of antagonism towards it, chasing it and generally harassing it. They were at it again this evening, causing quite a stir in the garden.
Eastern Rosellas are one of the colourful parrot species to be found here in Australia. It is a relatively common parrot found in south eastern Australia and Tasmania. It has been introduced into the Mt Lofty Ranges and Adelaide region of south Australia as well as New Zealand.
Here in Murray Bridge I’ve only recorded it once several years ago. On that occasion it appeared to be an aviary escape. The nearest naturally occurring birds are some 60 kilometres to the west.
Over recent days we have had a single Eastern Rosella flying around our garden. This is a new species for my garden list. It does not appear to be a cage bird as it is very flighty. I struggled to get close enough for a reasonable photo. The photos on this post have been enhanced – zoomed in and brightened to show the beautiful colours. Consequently they are not top quality shots.
The behaviour of this individual was interesting. We have several Mallee Ringnecks resident on our property. Recently they produced two young ones that follow them everywhere and beg to be fed. The Eastern Rosella tried to adopt this family who were having none of it. They tried to chase it away but it was most insistent and would fly up and sit close to one of the ringnecks. The ringnecks would then attempt to chase it away again. This continued for about twenty minutes before the rosella gave and flew away. It has been back several times so I don’t know whether it intends taking up residence or not.
It would be a very colourful addition to our garden birds.
On our visit last week to the Wittunga Botanic Gardens in the Adelaide Hills, I observed quite an interesting range of birds in the gardens and near the lake. There were plenty of Pacific Black Ducks and Wood Ducks, all clamoring for a piece of the action if any people came along – whether or not they looked like have a picnic. Ducks are ever hopeful of some food handouts.
I saw Eurasian Coots and Dusky Moorhens on the water and two Little Pied Cormorants perching on dead branches sticking out over the water of the lake. Two – perhaps a pair – of Masked Lapwings patrolled sections of the lawned areas used by picnickers. Welcome Swallows swooped low over the water and nearby bushy area. The trees were abuzz with Rainbow Lorikeets in a feeding frenzy. I also saw several Musk Lorikeets, a smaller parrot than the Rainbows but just as noisy. As for the larger parrot species I noticed several Galahs feeding on the lawns while a single Corella, I presume it was a Little Corella, flew overhead at one stage. I didn’t get a close enough look to be certain.
One species I was delighted to be able to see and photograph was the Eastern Rosella. In South Australia this species is mainly confined to the South East region of the state and to parts of the suburbs of Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills. The above photo shows up its brilliant colours. This is one occasion when I didn’t have to chase the bird in question, as it seemed happy to pose for me on the edge of the path.
Two days after taking the above photo, I was surprised to see a single Eastern Rosella at the Murraylands Homes for the Aged in Murray Bridge. I was there visiting my mother-in-law. This is the first time I have recorded this species anywhere near here. My closest other sightings are at least 60km to the west. By its behaviour it could well have been an escapee from someone’s aviary.