Noisy Miners are large honeyeaters renowned for their aggressive behaviour towards other birds, especially when guarding nectar sources. They will actively chase off small birds such as pardalotes, thornbills and other honeyeaters, forcing them out of their territories to the extent that miners are the only birds remaining. I was interested to watch their behaviour when confronted with hordes of Musk (and a few Little) Lorikeets on the flowering Yellow Gums at Strangways recently. It seems the large numbers of lorikeets had caused the miners to ‘give up’ and retreat to the fringes of the trees allowing the lorikeets free access to a precious resource. There was still plenty of food for the miners and perhaps they had decided that the invasion was only temporary and it was not worth expending too much energy on maintaining their monopoly.
Close inspection revealed a couple of unusual companions – two Rainbow Lorikeets, the least common of the four local species. Rainbow Lorikeets are common in Castlemaine but only sighted occasionally in and around Newstead.