On our recent trip to Sydney we stopped quite a few times for a meal break, to refuel or to change drivers. Generally we choose meals breaks where we know we have a good chance of seeing at least some birds. We’ve travelled this route many times in the last 15 years so we can visit family who live in Sydney. These trips have become very regular in the last four years. Grandchildren (ages nearly 5 and nearly 2) are something of an added attraction these days.
On our most recent trip a few weeks’ ago we didn’t get any chances to get out birding in the Sydney region itself. The first 10 days were very wet and cold, and them I spent the rest of the time confined to quarters with bronchitis. I’m still not fully over it three weeks later.
I did manage a little birding at meal breaks on our return journey. We were planning on stopping at the Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens on the first day of our return trip, but fading light and a bitterly cold wind convinced us to press on towards Narrandera for the night. Just east of Wagga Wagga we stopped at a roadside rest area in the Borambola district to change drivers. As I opened the car door my attention was immediately caught by a bird call. It was coming from a eucalyptus tree some twenty metres from where we’d parked the car. I whipped out the binoculars – sadly they’d been neglected for most of our trip – and searched for the bird. Eventually I found it sitting right at the outer foliage of a tall tree, with only its head and neck showing. Too high for a photo and only just enough of the bird showing to give positive identification.
This was only about the third time I’ve seen a Superb Parrot, aptly named for its wonderful colours. Because I didn’t get a photo on this occasion I’ve used one I took in an aviary at the Adelaide Zoo a few years ago.
We recently travelled by road from home in Murray Bridge, South Australia (near Adelaide) to visit family in Sydney. The road trip took two days of many hours of travelling because it is a journey of over 1300km. We didn’t have many opportunities to stop and do some birding, so I had to be content with the birds seen while travelling along at highway speeds – usually 95 – 105kph. That’s not conducive to good birding practices, nor does it allow bird photography.
While travelling between Narrandera and Wagga Wagga in central west NSW I saw a solitary Superb Parrot fly across the road in front of the car. This is only the second time I’ve seen this parrot outside of an aviary. This particular area is one of the regions where this species is relatively common. It is a spectacular bird, as shown in the photo above. I cheated with this photo; it was taken of a captive bird in one of the aviaries in the Adelaide Zoo. It’s not a great photo because it was taken through the wire netting of the aviary. One day I’ll see one in the wild, one which poses perfectly for my camera.