Courting Corellas.

Still at Lake Gillawarna, Georges Hall, and still speculating on love-affairs amongst the birdlife.

There are so many references on the interweb to Corellas sliding down slippery tin pitched roofs to fly back to the top and do it again, or else cling precariously to the vertical blades of windmills and spin round and round, that we begin to wonder if these tales are apocryphal.
One thing is certain: Little Corellas are famously playful – perhaps more so than any other Australian parrot.
So is this goofy wrestling just play, or part of the courtship behavior?

Corellas tend to flock together in fairly large groups – and this play-wrestle / submissive surrender / courtship was occurring between multiple pairs:

Non-wrestling tenderness was also on the cards. Hard not to imagine that this couple in a tree were deeply smitten:

Other Corellas in this sprawling flock were simply going about their business…

…but we reckon that love was definitely in the air this day:


Corella Capers.

Riding the Parramatta Valley Cycleway (the new Escarpment Boardwalk section had just been opened) we came upon this scene of devastation just past Lennox Bridge. A tree (Camphor Laurel we think) had been decimated, almost as though there had been a localised hailstorm:

Looking up, the culprits were revealed: a large flock of Little Corellas (Cacatua sanguinea).

They were feasting on the small blue berries, but seemed incapable of plucking off a berry without also lopping off twigs of five or six leaves at the same time. As we watched, twigs, leaves and berries rained down on us incessantly.

This youngster obliged, posing for some photos

With a lot of noise, they periodically flew off, circled, and returned to their banquet tree.


All Over the SOP.

On a solo cycle through Sydney Olympic Park and on to Meadowbank Wharf, Brad – predictably – found some birds.

Around the southern end of Haslam’s Creek, a few families of Purple Swamphens (Porphyria porphyria) were showing their chicks the ropes. The chicks were rather cute:

One of the parents on the shore was determined to distract me away from the chicks with a display I can only refer to as “flashing his bright white arse”…

Moving onto Woo-la-ra Hill – which Bramanda have nicknamed Cisticola Hill – a few minutes listening for the distinctive call led me to a small group of Golden-headed Cisticolas (Cisticola exilis):

At Badu Wetlands, a number of juvenile Pied Stilts (Himantopus leucocephalus):

And also a photogenic Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia):

In the rapidly dropping sun, a Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) made a lovely silhouette against the diamante water:

A Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata):

A female Superb Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)…

…and the male. It is not widely realised how varied the male’s plumage can be as he moves in and out of his breeding phases:

In the mangroves right in the south-east corner of Homebush Bay, a juvenile White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) was working out how to forage amongst the pneumatophores. He was very unsure of where to place his feet as he browsed between these spiky aerial roots.

Heading for home, I checked in on the Magpie-lark location, but only found this male. Is he the now-fledged chick we photographed less than two months ago?

And as a final treat, a Little Corella (Cacatua sanguinea) allowed me to photograph her feeding her recently fledged youngster.