Two things, neither that remarkable, but worth a note nonetheless.
First, a new visitor to the home garden – an immature White-eared Honeyeater. This species is relatively common in the local bush, more so during the cooler months, but this is the first time I can recall one in the garden. Secondly, a Blue-faced Honeyeater skulking with intent around the top bar beehive next door. Whilst I didn’t actually observe the honeyeater foraging on the hive it was showing a lot of interest, perhaps attracted by the ‘bearding’ bees congregating on the outside of the hive*. After I disturbed it the bird flew into the flowering ironbark on our block where is started feeding in a more traditional manner.
A small group of Blue-faced Honeyeaters are now well established in town and I hear their distinctive harsh calls most days.
The lemon wash on the ear coverts and olive crown signify that this bird is an immature. Adult White-eared Honeyeaters have a steel grey crown and the ear patch is completely white.
Note: The original version of this post incorrectly suggested that the honeyeater was attracted to honeycomb on the outside of the hive … it wasn’t honeycomb (I should have got closer to confirm!) but was in fact the occupants exhibiting a behaviour known as ‘bearding’ in an effort to cool down the hive. Click here for more information … thanks Janet!