Cockies and Lorikeets at Hays Paddock

The other day I braved the heat and smoke and took our dog for a walk at my local park in Kew in Melbourne. I’d gone the day before and noticed that the place was thick with Lorikeets. They had been attracted by the park's redgums, some of which are currently flowering energetically.


Lorikeets love flowering gums and will make an incredible noise at dawn as they browse the flowers. For most of the year we only see Rainbow Lorikeets, which nest in the hollows. 

For a few weeks each year, they’re joined by Musk Lorikeets, which have a subtly different call. Musk Lorikeets have a similar twitter to Rainbows, but they don’t have that occasional harsh squawk that the Rainbows do.

After seeing the Lorikeets, I decided to go home and bring down my camera and binoculars – I’ve got a heavy pair of Nikon Monarch 8.5x56. I walked around the park, listening for Lorikeets.

On a tangent, most birdos like 8 times magnification. The image stability is better, and you get a more complete idea of the bird's surroundings.

While I was doing that, I spotted a pair of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos. They were both dangling off a tree trunk. Curious, I walked over to see what they were doing. It looks like they were hollowing out a knot in the trunk where a branch had fallen off last year. I’m not sure if they were seriously mining a nest hollow or just mucking about – Cockies do silly things now and again.

I moved back towards the sound of the Lorikeets. Today, the Musks were in the majority, but their habit is to stay high in the tree, so my photos were mainly of leaves. However, while I was there, I noticed the high-pitched twitter of a Little Lorikeet.

They do show up in the park every couple of years. In fact, I think there were two. I didn’t get any photos of them (which was disappointing, as I’ve never got a shot of a Little Lorikeet before). When the flock moved off, I could see one of them flying. It was noticeably smaller than the others.