Re: Inland Honeyeaters 'down south'

Subject: Re: Inland Honeyeaters 'down south'
From: Chris Tzaros <>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 14:57:59 +1100
Hi Russell et al.,

Russell raises an interesting point regarding 'inland' honeyeaters turning
up at places in Victoria.  There have been many reported on birding-aus in
recent times, perhaps none more unusual than the numbers of Black
Honeyeaters occurring at sites in the far south (e.g. Fawkner), and at
numerous other locations well south of their normal range (Bendigo, Violet
Town etc.).  

This is all very interesting considering that many of the more resident
honeyeater species have cleared out from some of these places.  It was well
reported throughout the 2002 winter that the box-ironbark forests of
central Victoria failed to flower, and it was hard going to find even
common species like Fuscous and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters.  Barely any
Swift Parrots or lorikeets were to be found within these forests at this
time.  Some of the honeyeaters now seem to have returned albeit in low

I was in Bendigo over the weekend and spent a few hours birding at some of
my favorite haunts, all in the newly acclaimed Greater Bendigo National
Park.  I visited a couple of places in the Whipstick and Kamarooka block,
and a few in the Sedgwick block.  After spending 40 minutes at Millwood Dam
in Kamarooka, a well-known honeyeater spot that would normally produce as
many as 12 species of honeyeater at this time of year in a normal year, I
saw just two species (Fuscous and Yellow-plumed).  In fact, the only other
species I saw were Weebill, Grey Shrike-thrush and Superb Fairy-wren, and I
heard a distant Gilbert's Whistler!

At a spot in the Sedgwick forest where a small water channel provides some
relief for birds, I saw only Brown-headed, Fuscous and Yellow-tufted in
almost an hours searching.  Amazingly poor birding in what is (was) a great

Some friends at Neilborough (edge of the Whipstick) have reported Black and
Purple-gaped Honeyeater for the first time ever on their property this
summer, and also other unusual things like White-throated Gerygone.

It is a really good time for birders to notice extremely unusual movements
of some species.  Expect the unexpected I say.  To my mind, nothing tops
Ian Davidson's Red-browed Pardalotes near Albury, as reported by Matt
Herring last week.  Wow!

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all.



Chris Tzaros
Co-ordinator, Threatened Bird Network
Birds Australia (Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union) 
National Office
415 Riversdale Rd
Hawthorn East, Vic., 3123
Ph: 03-9882-2622
Fax: 03-9882-2677
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