Swift Parrots and Regent Honeyeaters in Brisbane

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Subject: Swift Parrots and Regent Honeyeaters in Brisbane
From: "Andrew Stafford" <>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 20:04:06 +1000
Don't get too excited by the headline yet! I've just moved over to Red Hill in Brisbane's inner north west, and with a precious couple of hours to spare this afternoon I went looking for the Swift Parrots reported in the neighbouring suburbs of Bardon and Toowong. I didn't have any good fortune, although Bowman Park is full of Musk Lorikeets, the first time I've seen this bird in Brisbane (they are especially numerous around the corner of Chiswick Road and David Avenue.) The whole area is a mass of flowering eucalypts and it's not too much of an exaggeration to say that the nectar feeders are going berserk.
Speaking to a local birder at the scene, I was interested to hear him say he'd been seeing Musk Lorikeets every winter for the past six years in the area. Perhaps this represents an expansion of the bird's range? I know Muskies have been on the increase down south. Old field guides suggest they once ranged north to Rockhampton at least - and maybe they still do - or maybe they are recolonising. The closest I've seen them to Brisbane previously is Cunningham's Gap. As for Swift Parrots, he'd first seen/heard them a couple of weeks ago, at one point seeing at least six in a flock. Apparently the birds have been getting a bit of a pasting from the lorikeets, miners and friarbirds, though, and were continually being bullied out of the flowering trees.
He also passed on a claim of a single Regent Honeyeater seen in the Chandler area on the city's south side. This in itself doesn't surprise me entirely given the influx of Swift Parrots into SEQ but it's obviously an exceptional Brisbane record if it can be verified. It goes without saying that all Brisbane birders, especially those in the leafier western suburbs, should have their eyes and ears peeled at the moment, and it will also be worth checking areas inland such as Inglewood and around the Granite Belt from Warwick to Wallangarra. Also along the coast as far north as Cooloola: Brisbane has also seen heavy swamp mahogany flowering and I'd be surprised if the coastal heaths aren't a bonanza for nectivores at present.
Good birding and good luck, AS
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