Scarlet surprise!

A short lunchtime ramble along Mia Mia Track today sprung a very pleasant surprise – a male Scarlet Honeyeater Myzomela sanguinolenta! This is my first sighting of this beautiful small honeyeater in this part of Victoria.

Scarlet Honeyeater (male), Mia Mia Track Newstead, 12th July 2011

The bird was in the company of a mixed flock of other nectar feeders – White-naped, Fuscous and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Silvereyes feeding amongst the ornamental eucalypt plantation [location]. Records of Scarlet Honeyeaters this far west are few and far between, although one was seen with the Regent Honeyeater spotted near the Whispering Gums Motel some years back and there were a couple of records in 2010 near Maryborough. Their numbers seem to be on the increase around Melbourne in recent years but this may be a result of more keen observers. The nearest regular reports I am aware of are from the Heathcote-Graytown National Park.

Nectar feeding Scarlet Honeyeater, Mia Mia Track Newstead, 12th July 2011

They are a truly magnificent honeyeater and I feel quite lucky and privileged to see one so close to home.

2 responses to “Scarlet surprise!

  1. G’day Geoff
    In April 2010 I had a bird around home that I wasn’t sure the identity of. I think it was possibly a female Scarlet Honeyeater. It was a small bird adout 100mm, brown to olive green on the back, light coloured breast and underneath, long thin curved bill, russet blush on face and under eye, eye dark. I would love to see the male so will be taking my walks in that area for a while now.
    John Alexander.

  2. Hi John – sounds like that might be the case. There were a few records from Maryborough around then. I had another hunt for the bird yesterday but without luck – I think it very likely there is more than one individual. It was the same site I spotted a Tawny-crowned Honeyeater last year so worth watching out for that species as well.
    Cheers, geoff

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