The swift parrot is listed as endangered, both nationally and in New South Wales, and at last count the population was estimated at fewer than 2000 birds.
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Bio-diversity conservation manager, Mike Saxon, says volunteer Julie Morgan of the Eurobodalla Natural History Society found the flock.
“We don’t know how long they will stay, but this is half the world’s population of swift parrots and the largest flock seen in living memory,” says Mr Saxon.
“Swifts are a beautiful bird and this season’s prolific spotted-gum flowering event appears to have attracted them to the South Coast.”
Volunteers across NSW, Victoria and Queensland hold surveys each May and August to count the birds.
Swift parrots spend the cooler months on mainland Australia before returning to Tasmania to breed during summer.
Mainland swift parrot surveys are co-ordinated by Chris Tzaros of Birdlife Australia.
Mr Tzaros also co-ordinates the Swift Parrot National Recovery Program.
“This is the second time in the last four years that the bulk of the swift parrot population has occurred on the NSW South Coast, highlighting the importance of this region,” he says.
“I have utmost appreciation for the hundreds of volunteers who help search for swift parrots.”
People interested in participating in swift parrot surveys should ring Birdlife Australia on 1800 665 766.
People spotting a swift parrot should contact their nearest NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service office or Birdlife Australia.