Quorrobolong Re-visited

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Subject: Quorrobolong Re-visited
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2003 09:45:34 +1000
Hi Birders,
Since my last report on Quorrobolong near Cessnock in the Hunter Valley NSW, I have made two further visits, one on Friday 29 August 2003 with Regent Honeyeater Recovery Team Co-ordinator David Geering, and the next on Wednesday 3 September with Margaret Pointer, Peter and Mark Malvig. On the 29/8 visit, the numbers of Regent Honeyeaters had dropped from 50-60 the previous week to only 15 birds. Catching and gleaning for insects & lerps and taking nectar from flowering Red Stringybarks were the main activities observed. The pair that had feeding young in a nest high up in a mistletoe clump in a Grey Box were still present but alas, while they were busy chasing off any other birds that came near the nest, they were not feeding anything in the nest although they sometimes peered into the nest. We were left to assume that something had recently taken the young as they would not have been large enough to fledge and besides the two adults were present around the nest. There were no large concentrations of Regent Honeyeaters and the maximun number seen at any one time was 7 feeding in one large flowering Stringybark. No birds were observed to have been colour-banded. Other birds present included 5 Gang gangs,  and recently returned migrants not present on previous trips such as Rufous Whistler, Dusky Woodswallow and 2 White-throated Gerygones. In addition 2 Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, a pair of Brown Goshawks, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Olive-backed Oriole and Bellminers were seen. A new nest of a Yellow-tufted Honeyeater was located while other pairs were sitting or feeding young in other nests previously found.
On the visit yesterday (3/9/03) only two Regent Honeyeaters were located, about 1 km further east, ie on the way in, from where the birds were previously were found. These two birds were in more open country, and were catching insects and gleaning in Grey Box, mistletoe clumps in Grey Box and in several large broad-leafed Ironbarks, the birds were relocated 2 hours later in the same spot on our departure, they were not colour-banded. Overall 72+ Regent Honeyeaters were found at this site between 2/8/03 and 3/9/03, with at least one nesting attempt, and two colour-banded birds were located. This result is similar to what occurred in the year 2000. Next year the Central Coast Regent Honeyeater Volunteer Operations Group will have survey the site much earlier to see if the birds are present before August.
Other birds present on this visit included a Collared Sparrowhawk, a nest with 2 eggs of a Yellow-tufted Honeyeater, nesting Kookaburras, White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes, Crested Shrike-tit, Black-chinned Honeyeaters and the Fuscous Honeyeaters were observed stealing nesting material from the failed Regent Honeyeater's nest.
Alan Morris
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