One birdie too many
Each day at dusk, the Corellas roost at the golf course, much to the chagrin of head greenkeeper Michael Greber.
“I’d like to make Corella soup out of them, but that’s not possible,” he quipped.
“It’s frustrating because you can’t do anything about it and it doesn’t seem to matter what happens, they just keep chewing through the greens.”
The club has tried everything to get rid of the birds including spraying the grass to make it unpalatable for them and obtaining a permit to fire off aerial ‘crackers’ from a shotgun. But is has all drawn a blank, the bloody birds are still there.
“Just as we repair the greens they chew them out again on the same day,” Greber said.
“It happens every year, they arrive about November and don’t leave again until about April.
“But I haven’t seen it as bad as it has been this year. At the moment there are over a 1000 birds who roost here at night and are still here in the morning.”
Like the players, Greber said the Corellas had a couple of favourite holes – the third and sixth, in particular.
“It’s the greens they mainly like and some of them have now got holes in them that are about 10cm around,” he said.
“Some people say they chew through the greens because of boredom, some people say they are chasing grubs, others say they are just chewing the new shoots.
“But I haven’t been able to ask a Corella and get an answer.”
The golf club has appealed for help. They want a bird expert to step forward and find a solution before the course is any further damaged.
Which is why one of the club’s board members Ian Elkerton contacted The Northern Star to get the word out there.
“These pests are ripping holes several centimetres deep in some of our greens, as well as partially eating green pine cones, which then litter the ground and play havoc with mowers,” Elkerton said in an email.
“Considering greens are valued at around $80,000 each, we would like to be rid of the feathered friends, and, of course, players do not appreciate their handiwork either.
“We have, unsuccessfully, tried several means of getting rid of the birds including ‘bombs’ that explode in the air, and scarecrows, and would be interested in any legal means of getting rid of them.”
Any ‘experts’ out there who can help the golf club with their ‘birdies’ can contact the club’s secretary manager Wayne Morgan on 66621259.