Category Archives: Honeyeaters

In the garden and down the street

We’re lucky to have such wonderful neighbours!

Female Common Bronzewing, Wyndham Street Newstead, 27th November 2017

Musk Lorikeet feeding on ornamental Yellow Gum

New Holland Honeyeater on Red Ironbark

Our local ‘pair’ of rosellas

A visitor from the north

It pays to look twice!

Bushland pool in the Rise and Shine, 23rd November 2017

I’ve sat beside this bush pool a few times over the past week and watched a procession of Fuscous Honeyeaters, along with smaller numbers of Yellow-tufted, White-plumed and Brown-headed Honeyeaters, visit to quench their thirst. Then, this honeyeater arrived, looking somewhat like one of the ubiquitous Fuscous Honeyeaters, but strongly streaked underneath and with a large yellow cheek plume.

It’s a Yellow-plumed Honeyeater Ptilotula ornata, my first record for the Newstead area. This species has always been on the radar and can be found easily in the mallee woodlands to our north around Bendigo and Inglewood, so I’m delighted to add it to my local list.

Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Rise and Shine, 23rd November 2017

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The pool has provided rich pickings – along with the honeyeaters I’ve recorded the following: White-winged Chough, Sacred Kingfisher, Olive-backed Oriole, Restless Flycatcher, Crested Shrike-tit, Brown Treecreeper, Red-rumped Parrot and Eastern Rosella, Dusky Woodswallow.

Weight of numbers

This tiny bush pool in the Rise and Shine is the domain of Fuscous Honeyeaters at present. Even the larger and more aggressive Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters are well and truly outnumbered, while other species, such as the Red-rumped Parrots and Dusky Woodswallows (pictured yesterday) just have to queue up and hope for an opportunity.

Fuscous Honeyeater on Yellow Gum sapling, Rise and Shine, 19th November 2017

Fuscous Honeyeaters at the pool

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater

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Feeding time

It’s a great time of year for birding – with breeding in full swing our local species are ‘flat out’ gathering food for youngsters.

Brown Thornbill with caterpillar, Bruce Track Muckleford State Forest, 25th October 2017

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Red Wattlebird, Newstead Natives, 26th October 2017

Night calling

For the past week a Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo has been calling regularly throughout the night – its familiar descending whistle is not exactly a lullaby!

There have been quite a few dashing about the garden during daylight hours, either chasing each other or being ‘evicted’ by wary wattlebirds and honeyeaters. Meanwhile there is much to see only metres from the front door every day.

Horsfield’s Bronze-cuckoo, Wyndham Street Newstead, 9th September 2017

Eastern Rosella

New Holland Honeyeater feeding on Eucalyptus caesia

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Red Wattlebirds are feeding young in nests at the moment …. hence they are seen often at ground level chasing insects

Female Spotted Pardalote

The advance guard

Over the past few years we’ve had a number of visits from a Blue-faced Honeyeater Entomyzon cyanotis – a single bird on each occasion.

It was no real surprise, a month or so ago, to hear a small company of these birds calling from the Yellow Gums in our yard. At the time I was too slow to capture an image but a return visit from three birds last weekend enabled me to snare some shots.

Blue-faced Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 26th August 2017

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Blue-faced Honeyeaters are interesting – they are an aggressive and territorial species, and while they tend to be sedentary, small groups are known to disperse, colonise new areas and expand their range. In recent years Blue-faced Honeyeaters have arrived and settled in places such as Castlemaine and Maryborough, previously thought to be outside their natural range.

With a changing climate in a fragmented landscape I fully expect Blue-faced Honeyeaters to become local Newstead residents in the next decade.

Garden highlights

The weekend provided some wonderful sights in the garden. Despite the dire forecast of hail and snow there were some nice sunny breaks which encouraged the birds to show off their colours.

Crimson Rosella, Wyndham Street Newstead, 19th August 2017

New Holland Honeyeater

Red-rumped Parrot (male)

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White-naped Honeyeater