Category Archives: Honeyeaters

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

Excellent choice

A pair of Red Wattlebirds are building a nest in our yard. This is not an especially notable thing, we have a few pairs in the neighbourhood and I watch nests most years.

What is especially pleasing though on this occasion is that they have chosen one on the Dropping Sheoaks that I planted almost a decade ago. It’s nice when a plan comes to fruition.

Red Wattlebird nest in Drooping Sheoak, Wyndham Street Newstead, 5th August 2017

Arriving with wool for the lining

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Red Wattlebird below the nest

A mixed blessing

Yesterday was grey and gloomy … the sort of conditions that seem to encourage woodland birds to gather in mixed feeding flocks over winter to collaborate in their search for insects.

Along with the Grey Fantail and Scarlet Robin (male and female) it comprised a White-throated Treecreeper, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Buff-rumped Thornbills, all of which eluded the camera!

Grey Fantail, Demo Track, 8th July 2017

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Male Scarlet Robin

Winter gold

I found the first flowers of Golden Wattle this morning … I’d be keen to hear how this magnificent shrub is faring elsewhere in the box-ironbark.

Golden Wattle, Demo Track, 8th July 2017

There was bird action as well – this male Spotted Pardalote in a party of four + Scarlet Robin, White-throated Treecreeper, Buff-rumped Thornbill, Grey Fantail and Yellow-faced Honeyeater providing lots of interest.

Spotted Pardalote in Red Box on Demo Track

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In our street …

Last Saturday morning I ventured beyond the front yard for an excursion along our street … there were a few nice surprises.

A pair of White-browed Scrub-wrens courting … they’ll be nest-building soon. A small flock of Fuscous Honeyeaters chasing insects and nectar.

I was then prompted to look skyward by a raptor call … a Little Eagle jousting with a Brown Falcon.

I reckon Spring is not far around the corner.

Fuscous Honeyeater, Wyndham Street Newstead, 1st July 2017

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White-browed Scrub-wren

Brown Falcon and Little Eagle