King / Crimson 2.

Part Two of our big day of King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas at Blackheath Memorial Park. This time it’s the Crimson Rosellas’ (Platycercus elegans) turn in the autumn light.

Much like the King Parrots, the adults preferred to hang around in the more heavily-treed southern part of the park, while the juveniles went nuts (pun intended) for the acorns in the north parts.

The juveniles – of which there were many – have a lot of green about them which they lose as they mature.

There was a bit of squabbling between some adults and a juvenile:

More juveniles:

Amanda made good use of the High-Tree-Bird-Watching Facilitation Devices installed by the Park’s designers:

Much like the young King Parrots, the juvenile Crimsons seemed quite happy to forage for windfall acorns on the ground:

Another lovely flock of young parrots on what turned out to be a fantastic day for birding. And it didn’t end with the parrots…


King / Crimson 1.

Nothing to do with the old British Prog-Rock band… rather a glorious, crisp, cold autumn day in Blackheath Memorial Park, where a gratifying abundance of both King Parrots and Crimson Rosellas were obligingly allowing themselves to be photographed.
We have never seen so many of either bird in one location – seeing this many of both made this a real red-letter day! So no apologies for the number of pics in these posts.
Part One: the King Parrots (Alisterus scapularis).

This breeding male stayed in the southern part of the park. We didn’t see much of him later.

We had visited Blackheath in the hope of getting some photos of Autumn colour, as Blackheath famously provides. We either left our run too late (some trees were bare) or too early (some had not even begun to turn) – so it may be that a La Nina year messes with the timings(?) In any case, we visited just when the acorns were ripe enough to eat (there are a number of grand old oaks in the park), and it seems that King Parrots love them.

A Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) flew in:

There were many juveniles and females, which seems to indicate a better than normal breeding year for these birds. King Parrots require rather precise hollows to nest in – they prefer hollows that have a high entrance but are very deep.
The one pictured below is possibly the youngest of the juveniles…?

We had lunch on a picnic table by the Duckpond near Centenary Gate. Here there were so many acorns on the ground that the birds were picking them up and flying to trees just over our heads to eat them:

This juvenile had her own picnic table right by ours:

A great encounter with such a large group of these lovely parrots…