Golden-shouldered Parrot Adventure
May 10, 2012
A quick ‘long weekend’ was spent on a ‘crazy bird-brained adventure’ to photograph nesting Golden-shouldered Parrots, a brave little endemic bird of remote Cape York. These colourful and charismatic parrots have the distinction of using holes drilled into terrestrial termite mounds as nesting chambers to raise chicks at the beginning of the Dry Season soon after the Wet Season rains recede.
Anticipation peaked as I heard the soft ‘whit whit’ of the Golden-shouldered parrots. Then a surge of adrenalin as the female flew directly into the nesting chamber and the colourful male sat perfectly on the apex of the termite mound in the early morning light, awaiting his turn to feed the chicks. The camera behind the huge lens hidden in the camouflaged hide clicked continuously. Immense satisfaction followed as this iconic parrot lives pretty close to my heart because my first big break as a nature guide was to show people this rare parrot whilst working at nearby Lotusbird Lodge back around the turn of the millennium.
Old friend Alfred Schulte and I allowed four days on this adventure, but after a day and a half of watching and photographing these iconic parrots we were able turn our attention to other birds further to the south. Spontaneously we returned via the Bloomfield Track and I was able to provide morning cruises on both the Daintree and Mossman Rivers. Again sensational photos were obtained of target species Mangrove Robin, Collared Kingfisher, and Great-billed Heron. What an incredible action-packed ‘long weekend’. Thanks again to Alfred Schulte for his company on this adventure and for the use of his images (images remain the property of Alfred Schulte, all rights reserved).
Golden-shouldered Parrots continue to nest for the next 2 or 3 weeks. Anyone want to go on a spontaneous ‘crazy bird-brained adventure’?
|Land Birds||7 species|
|Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)||5|
|Mangrove Robin (Peneoenanthe pulverulenta)||5||Mossman River|
|Collared Kingfisher (Todiramphus chloris)||3||Mossman River|
|Golden-shouldered Parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius)||2||Nesting|
|Masked Finch (Poephila personata)||2|
|Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana)||2||Mossman River|
|Black-backed Butcherbird (Cracticus mentalis)||2|