Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Ground Parrot sighting with extract from Eldert Groenewoud's diary

Yes, you read it correctly...GROUND PARROT! We flushed 2 individual birds as we walked back along the track.

On Monday 25th, Annette and Nick Amse invited Des and I to go birding with their nephew Eldert who is an international birder form Holland.
As you will see from the attached list, we were blessed with a truly fantastic list for the day.

We had better organise another walk in that location soon!

Best wishes,


Extract from Eldert Groenewoud's diary:

Monday July 25th
This day I would go out birding with Liz Znidersic, a birder I met two years ago when she took me out for a very fruitful morning birding, and Des Wingfield, both members of the local bird watching group. Because we would leave at 8.45h I got up at 8.00h. and after breakfast we left for the first target species: Spotted Ground Thrush. We first went to Gardens Road where we walked the garden of one of Liz’s friends for 30 minutes, but in vain. Liz’s friend suggested to walk to one of her neighbour’s properties, a good suggestion because soon Liz saw a Spotted Ground Thrush  on the path.  After a hectic minute searching I saw the bird too, after 3 previous unsuccessful attempts this was fantastic: a first “lifer” and also my 3100st “worldbird” was in the pocket! 
Next location was the Old Train Line near Taylors Beach. Our target species here was Striated Fieldwren. When getting out of the car, we saw a couple of Tawny-crested Honeyeaters chasing each other. After enjoying watching these birds  we continued our walk and soon spotted the first Striated Fieldwren on the west side of the track. I was still looking for this “lifer” when Des heard a Beautiful Firetail. He located it at the east side of the track. What a beauty….
We walked on while the New-Holland- and Tawny-crested Honeyeaters were flying all around us, when suddenly 3 Brown Quail flushed from besides the track and landed further in the field.
Half way down the track I saw 2 birds at the west side that I identified as Southern Emu-Wren. I told Liz and Des but they found it hard to believe, because the Southern Emu-Wren had never been recorded here. But to their surprise they also saw the birds and could confirm my identification. It was the first sighting recorded here and both Liz and Des were very enthusiastic. 
We walked to the end of the track and while walking back I saw a very pale bird. When we got better views of it, it had the markings of a Tawny-crested Honeyeater, it was a leucistic Tawny-crested Honey eater. Funny to see such a bird.
Only a few minutes later we flushed another bird and at together we yelled “Ground Parrot”. It flew only a few meters and, although against our principles, we decided to flush it again. This time it flew about 40 meters and landed at the east side of the track, allowing us good views of it. We walked back, still very enthusiastic about the Ground Parrot when we flushed a second one. This one also flew a long time before landing at the west side of the track. We had the sun in our back, so we could observe this one very good and especially notice the beautiful bright green colour.
Near the car we saw 2 more Striated Field-wrens.
When we arrived at the car I looked over the ocean and saw about 40 large, white birds swimming on the water. The distance however was too large to identify them so we drove toward the south point of the beach. They were not the hoped for Albatrosses but Australasian Gannets.
Liz dropped me off at around 13.00h, the end of a very good amazing morning of birding.

p.s. In the evening Liz showed me a territory of Tasmanian Masked Owl, when we got out of the car it called, but despite looking for 30 minutes we could not see it.

GROUND PARROT    Pezoporus wallicus
SUPERB FAIRY WREN    Malurus cyaneus
SOUTHERN EMU WREN    Stipiturus malachurus
STRIATED FIELDWREN    Calamanthus fuliginosus
YELLOW WATTLEBIRD    Anthochaera paradoxa
TAWNY-CROWNED HONEYEATER    Gliciphila melanops
NEW HOLLAND HONEYEATER    Phylidonyris novaehollandiae
CRESCENT HONEYEATER    Phylidonyris pyrrhoptera
EASTERN SPINEBILL    Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
SPOTTED QUAIL-THRUSH    Cinclosoma punctaturn
GREY SHRIKE-THRUSH    Colluricincla harmonica
BEAUTIFUL FIRETAIL    Stagonopleura bella


  1. What a great sighting - and TWo of them!

    We'll be visiting that bush next time we're in the area! Thanks for the heads up!

  2. The small amount of blue showing the distribution of this bird around St Helens in the 'Tasmanina Birds' book was so small I never noticed it. Will keep an eye out for it now though, thanks. John H