Swamp Mahogany and honeyeaters

Subject: Swamp Mahogany and honeyeaters
From: "David Geering"<>
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 08:52:16 +1000
Reg Clarke wrote:

Hello Everyone,
I tried the Empire Bay area NSW central coast, Saturday (9. 5. 98) morning
from 0800 until 1200 approx..Some of the Swamp Mahogany was in bloom with
much still to flower.
Many (perhaps hundreds) honeyeaters were present, Yellow-faced, White-naped
.White-cheeked & Lewins with a couple of Noisy Friarbirds ,a small flock of
Rainbow Lorikeets ,Golden Whistlers, Superb Fairy Wrens and a flock of
Red-browed Finchs were present but no Regent Honeyeaters or Swift Parrots
were seen.
A visit in a week or so might give better results.

Reg Clark

I have yet to receive all the NSW Central Coast reports from the weekend
but Reg's report is of interest in that he mentions White-naped Honeyeaters
(the inference being that there were large numbers).

I surveyed 17 Swamp Mahogany sites every fortnight through the Swamp
Mahogany flowering periods of 1996 and 1997.  The number of nectivorous
birds, mainly Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Noisy Friarbirds, was strongly
correlated with the degree of flowering (nothing unexpected here) to the
point where the number of nectivores in '97 was much lower than '96. Much
of the bud was stripped from the trees during storms in May 1997.

White-naped Honeyeaters were only recorded in very small numbers during
these years. There were no Regent Honeyeaters in 1997 and three records
(totalling about 7 birds) in 1996. There was a single record of 2 Swift
Parrots in 1997.  In comparison Regents were at a number of sites in good
numbers in 1995, White-naped Honeyeaters were also abundant in that year.
I'm not going to stick my neck to far out here but ....

If you look further afield, 1996 and 1997 were years in which there was
good flowering of White Box in central western NSW. Regents were reported
in White Box at quite a number of locations.  1995 was a year of poor
flowering west of the ranges.  Appearances to date suggest that 1998 is
also going to be a poor flowering year in central western NSW.

Prediction: Regents on the coast in '98 - already reported from several
Swamp Mahogany sites as well as the Cumberland Plain west of Sydney.
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, Swift Parrots are coming along for the
ride.  It appears that White-napes are in on the act as well.

David Geering
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator

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