Flock of little corellas

A long-billed corella taken in Echuca, note orange-red feathers on the throat. 163167

I can think of only three words to say this week- corella, kookaburra and stint.
It’s been noisy around Ocean Grove over the past few weeks as there’s been a large flock of little corella seen around the industrial estate and the footy oval on the corner of Shell Road and Tuckfield Street.
On the GFNC website, the size of the flock was estimated to be @ 500 birds! There are three species of Corella in Australia, namely the little corella, western corella and long-billed corella. The little corella is widespread throughout Australia except for the very arid areas.
It is a large white cockatoo with a short, white crest, short bill a small patch of pink feathers in front of the eye. The long-billed corella is found in central Victoria.
It has a white crest, long bill and pink feathers in front of the eye and on the throat. The western corella is found in Western Australia, so if one was to be spotted here it would be very lost and a long way out of its range!
Chris and Pete, who live in Woodlands Estate, have become the proud ‘grandparents’ of two baby kookaburras that fledged last week.
The twins flew out of the nest that Pete built for them a day after appearing at the edge of the nest. Last year, it took the singleton kookaburra chick nine days to gain the courage to fly out of the nest once it started to peer out into the wide world. Interestingly, there have been three adult birds looking after the twins, and we can only surmise that the one-year-old kookaburra is helping the parents look after the young.
I called in one day to find a nasty pied currawong swooping and hassling one of the kookaburra twins, and I’m relieved that the chick survived the currawong attack. The young birds have a very small beak compared to the adults.
I’ve been calling into Western Treatment Plant a few times to look at the shorebirds that have been observed there lately. There’s been some unusual birds, such as a broad-billed sandpiper, grey-tailed tattler and great knot. All I’ve seen have been many red-necked stints. I noticed on the Birdline Victoria website that a little stint had been observed twice at blue rocks, at the end of 13th beach, so I ventured down there a few times to see if I could spot the little stint, but it made itself very scarce unfortunately!
There’s been some great birds spotted lately around these parts. A family of two adults and a young brolga were seen at Lake Connewarre near the Barwon Heads Airport. I saw them, but I couldn’t stop the car, and by the time I turned around they had disappeared out of sight. Tom Fletcher saw a white-headed pigeon in the park on the corner of Orton Street and Tuckfield Street, which was a great discovery. I’ve seen white-headed pigeons in Bermagui, but never around here! There has been a white morph grey goshawk spotted in Point Lonsdale near Freshwater Lake, so I hope to be able to photograph that bird if it hangs around!
My little king Charles spaniel, Max, killed the red-rumped parrot chick when it flew out of the nesting box I put up for the parrots in the garden. I thought that Max would not hurt a fly, so I was shocked that he was a killer dog. Poor birds, they have such a fragile existence. I’ll have to buy my killer dog Max a muzzle! Hopefully, the next red-rump fledgling will have more luck!
Anyway wishing all of ’The Voice’ readers a wonderful and safe Christmas, and a very happy 2017. Thanks to everyone for the emails and for the interest in birds and nature throughout 2016.
Jen Carr, jennifer.carr6@bigpond.com