They are back: Swift Parrots visit Mount Majura (20 April 2008)

During our working bee on Sunday 20 April 2008 at lunch time we observed a flock of 10 of these highly threatened parrot species weaving through the tall Apple box and Yellow box canopy around the drain line and the southern part of the horse paddocks. Lesley Collis of FoMM has noticed a smaller flock at the Watson woodlands as far back as March and I observed half a dozen on Saturday, the 19 April.

Some of you might recall that during March and April 2005 Mount Majura Nature Reserve was host to a record number of more than 60 Swift Parrots. The parrots are known to breed in Tasmania and migrate annually to the mainland for foraging.

Back in 2005, Daniel Iglesias of ACT Parks, Conservation and Lands noted that less than 1,000 breeding pairs now make the annual migration. He said:

“This really puts the Mt Majura sighting in perspective, and re-affirms how precious the ACT system of woodland reserves is to species such as the Swift Parrot. The ACT leads the country in its preservation of lowland woodland habitat and it is particularly exhilarating to witness tangible benefits of establishing and protecting viable nature reserve areas. Mt Majura forms an almost continuous green chain with Mt Ainslie to the south and Goorooyarro and Mulligans Flat Nature Reserves to the north. This system of woodland reserves plays an important role in preserving the habitat utilised by a number of threatened and endangered woodland animal species.”

Since several years we lobby for the inclusion of the southern parts of the Majura horse paddocks into the Nature Reserve. I hope the regular visits of an endangered species helps to convince the ACT Government and the Planning Authority that these grassy woodlands are worth to be protected in perpetuity.

Thanks everyone who came along to our autumn planting along the drain line. We managed to get 115 native grasses and shrubs into the ground. Job very well done!

Waltraud Pix
Friends of Mt Majura co-ordinator
20 April 2008

Swift Parrot photograph courtesy Geoffrey Dabb

Swift Parrot_swp_4388

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