This mural almost didn't happen...
I was in Denmark to paint a mural at the high school wanted to use the weekend prior productively.
The Red-Winged Fairy Wren and the Red-Eared Firetail Finch are the two endemics found in the area so I really wanted to try and paint one of them while I was there.
I asked the visitors centre to see if they were interested but said it would have to go through the board members and council so would most likely take a few months for approval.
I decided not to pursue this route and instead ask the holiday park I was staying at while in Denmark.
I was given a great wall location on the administration building at the Ocean Beach Holiday Park and began the mural at noon on Saturday. Even though it was raining the angle of the rain did not touch the wall I was painting. The damp air did not help the paint dry so i had to return the next day to finish it off.
Tho owners of the park were nice enough to offer me a chalet for painting their wall which was amazing and so much better than sleeping in my van.
Western Ground Parrot
Pezoporus flaviventrus Psittacidae
Recent surveys in 2012 for the Western Ground Parrot have not located the birds where they were present only a few years ago. Although this species is difficult to detect due to its shy habits and the dense habitat where it occurs along the south coast of Western Australia, the lack of records there is a worrying trend, as the overall population is thought to be particularly small.
The Western Ground Parrot is a slender, medium-sized parrot with a long tail. It has distinctive bright-green plumage with yellow-and-black streaks, flecks and barring, and it has a narrow, bright-red band above its beak.
Similar SpeciesThe Western Ground Parrot appears very similar to the Eastern Ground Parrot of eastern and south-eastern Australia, but there are no species within its range that it is likely to be confused with.
The Western Ground Parrot occurs at a handful of sites in the Fitzgerald River and Cape Arid National Parks on the south coast of Western Australia. They have also been recorded in the Nuytsland Nature Reserve and Waychinnicup–Many Peaks area. The species once occurred on the coastal plains between Israelite Bay and Dongarra, north of Perth, before its range contracted.
Western Ground Parrots inhabit coastal heathlands with a diverse range of low-growing shrubs, especially where there are patches of vegetation of different ages. They usually occur in areas that have not been burnt for more than 40 years, though they very occasionally venture into areas that are regenerating 2–3 years after a fire has moved through, but only if there is older, unburnt vegetation nearby.
Western Ground Parrots feed on or close to the ground, where they eat seeds, flowers, fruits and leaves.
Little is known of the breeding habits of the Western Ground Parrot. They nest in spring, and the nest is situated on the ground, where the female probably lays three or four eggs.
-Information supplied by Birdlife Australia
The bird that inspired me to start the Endemic Project. I was so lucky to be able to paint the Western Ground Parrot at the Perth Zoo. The breeding program at the zoo could be the birds last hope of regaining a heathy population.
To find out a bit more about the zoo and see the first section of my mural check out the link below.
I will be returning on the 29th to finish the other panels of the mural
I began the mural on the wall to the right of the building entrance on a wet and wild Tuesday 8th of August. The air temperature was so cold the base coat took around 5 hours to dry making the whole process quite difficult.
Wednesday was quite similar but by the end of the day I had the background finished and started on the banksia.
Thursday was nice and sunny so I was able to get stuck into the more difficult part of the mural in painting the bird. Just after 4pm the wall was complete.
Heather Thorning took the photo below of the Western Wattlebird at Piney Lakes not far from where the mural will be painted.
I have also attached the concept design using Heather's photo that will be used to create the mural.
Special Birds of the Region
Almost 550 species of birds have been recorded in Western Australia. 387 species have been recorded breeding. 17 species are endemic to Western Australia. These are Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo, Baudin's Black-Cockatoo, Western Corella, Western Rosella, Red-capped Parrot, Noisy Scrub-bird, Red-winged Fairy-wren, Black Grasswren, Western Bristlebird, Dusky Gerygone, Western Thornbill, Western Wattlebird, Kimberley Honeyeater, Western Spinebill, White-breasted Robin, Western Ground Parrot and Red-eared Firetail. Many other species have unique sub species in Western Australia such as Western Whipbird, Crested (Western) Shrike-tit and Lemon-bellied (Kimberley) Flycatcher.