Regent Honeyeaters on the Wollondilly

Subject: Regent Honeyeaters on the Wollondilly
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2001 14:50:06 +1000
Received a very welcome phone call from Dave Thompson of Wollongong the 
week before last about Regent Honeyeaters located on a property along the 
Wollondilly River (south-west of Sydney, west of Mittagong) on 3 December. 

At least eight birds, including juveniles, were feeding in a Silky Oak. 
Apparently the owners of the property say this is a regular occurrence. On 
Monday 10 December I was able to have a look with Dave and fellow 
Wollongong birder Laurie.  Unfortuneately things were fairly quiet.  A 
week earlier the Silky Oak was dripping with nectar and full of Noisy 
Friarbirds, White-plumed Honeyeaters and, naturally, Regent Honeyeaters. 
On my visit the flowers were dry and only 2 friarbirds, 2 white-plumes and 
1 seemingly lonely juvenile Regent were seen.

Nevertheless, the trip allowed me to have a look at the site.  Clearly the 
Regents had bred at the site.  The juvenile had probably fledged 3-4 weeks 
earlier.  The river was lined with River Oak full of Needle-leaved 
Mistletoe (a major nectar source for Regents in the Capertee Valley). 
Would certainly be worth a look next September in the breeding season.

Despite the fact that the Regents had shot through over 60 species of bird 
were seen.  A highlight was undoubtedly a White-bellied Sea-eagle, perhaps 
wandering down from nearby Burragorang Dam.  The Bee-eaters were 
delightful.  Seen at close quarters in the most glorious light.  They were 
in no danger of starving to death, being seen eating all manner of things 
including large dragonflies and, in one instance, a cicada that was almost 
the undoing of one particular bee-eater.  It took a number of attempts 
over what had to be a 15 minute period to batter the cicada into a state 
that could be swallowed and even then only after an aborted attempt during 
which the bird just couldn't quite get it down.

Hal W.  This is your old stomping ground.  The birds were near the 
Naturists Resort, but behind a locked gate.



David Geering
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 2111
Dubbo  NSW  2830
Ph: 02 6883 5335 or Freecall 1800 621 056
Fax: 02 6884 9382

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