Brown Honeyeater at Kurnell
Ricki Coughlan <>,
Brown Honeyeater at Kurnell
Thu, 21 Dec 2006 21:00:19 +1100
Brown Honeyeaters are recorded all year round at the Wetland Centre in
Newcsatle and often at Stockton Sand Spit , both close to the coast . I
also recorded 2 at Green Wattle Creek near Maitland , NSW on Sunday.
Ricki Coughlan wrote:
I was standing on the observation platform at Quibray Bay today
(adjacent to Towra Point on Botany Bay), when I became aware of a
call coming from a Grey Mangrove in front of the platform. It was a
call which I felt was so familiar and yet I couldn't place it. This
went on for several minutes as I attempted to pish the bird into
showing itself and strained and craned and scoped and then decided to
sit it out and wait for the thing to show itself. Soon enough it did
and imagine my surprise when a Brown Honeyeater flew out of the
mangrove and into the Casurinas near by. I know that last week after
the Blue-faced Honeyeater observation at Warriewood I told everyone
that nothing could surprise me now, but this really shocked me.
Interestingly, the calls continued to come from the tree so I broke
the rules and climbed down onto the regeneration area (despite signs
saying don't do it- however I was careful and it was almost in the
name of science). I walked up to the bush and then it hit me, this
was the call of a fledgeling Brown Honeyeater and sure enough, one
was in the tree right in front of me. I only had a "snapshot camera"
but I got close enough to get the images which I've posted here
I observed the juve bird for 20 minutes and at no time did I observe
it take any prey or attempt to do so. It called constantly, though
the adult (and I presume parent bird) did not show. The juve's tail
was around as long as an adult bird but the gape was still very
yellow (see pix) and plumage quite "downy" in appearance. The
behaviour was also of a very young bird. Might this also suggest a
breeding record (what do you think everyone?). My experience in
Broome was that these birds had clutches of three, but I am certain
that only one juve was present today.
All the diagnostic features are correct and those who know this bird
(this species was in plague proportions in the scrub around my old
home in the Broome Bird Observatory) will see that this is indeed a
juve Brown Honeyeater.
The drought must be really biting!
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