Many of the sandy ridges at Gluepot have an overstorey of mallee eucalypts and are covered with an understorey of spinifex or Triodia. Apart from its distinctive circular growing pattern, you quickly realise when you are amongst the spinifex, particularly if wearing shorts – the sharp needle-like leaves help remind you.
Young Trioda tussocks begin as a single clump and as time passes the plant grows outwards often leaving a dead or bare earth central portion. A 1m diameter bare centre represents a plant about 40 years old. Triodia ‘rings’ provide excellent cover for a range of lizards and mammals and the Striated Grasswren, (supposedly)!
There is something like four sub-species of the Australian Ringneck Parrot. The Mallee Ringnecks we saw at Gluepot often came to the water troughs at the same time as the Mulga Parrots and their size difference was quite evident.
Mallee Ringnecks are not a threatened species, being quite widespread and locally numerous but like most arid country birds are considered to be vulnerable to land clearing activities.
When feeding on the ground ringnecks can sometimes be approached quite closely unlike the mulgas which I always found to fly off immediately they spied me stalking them.
Ringneck parrots are endemic to Australia and are considered a popular aviary bird. They are strong fliers and yet are believed to be relatively sedentary within their range.
|Juvenile Mallee Ringneck|