This morning I walked to Badangi Reserve. As I walked along one of the paths, an Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius) flew off before stopping to check me out from a safe distance:
I looked away for a while, and it came much closer.
A little closer still, and it – or rather he, I was pretty sure it was a male – was out in the open, though still watchful and keeping foliage between us:
After a while he decided that I was safe enough to ignore, and resumed his breakfast.
At this point, a woman came along the path in the opposite direction. She saw me with my camera raised, then the rosella, and considerately slowed down so as not to spook him. By this time, the bird was well into his meal, and kept on grazing.
We both watched him for a few minutes, before the woman crept past me to continue her walk. The rosella ignored her. He was more concerned about keeping his balance on the skinny twigs he was clambering on:
Several times he had to use his wings to steady himself.
He grazed on for a while:
Then he decided he had had enough, and flew off. This was the last I saw of him, before I turned and headed off for my own breakfast:
Around the time of the millennium drought, we used to see Eastern Rosellas in our immediate area, then they seemed to disappear (though still visible elsewhere). However I am starting to see a few of them again which makes me wonder if the present drought is encouraging them to move to areas like North Sydney. They are usually found in pairs or small groups, but this one seemed to be solitary. They range over the south-east of Australia, typically in lightly treed country, and feed on seeds, fruits and berries.
The name “rosella” derives from “Rosehiller”, the name early colonists gave to flocks of these birds around Rosehill west of Sydney town.