RE: FW: Honeyeater migration.

To: "'COG Chatline'" <>
Subject: RE: FW: Honeyeater migration.
From: "Peter Ormay" <>
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2014 13:42:36 +1100

Me too, 5 flew over my GBS site in Aranda. First ones seen this season.



From: Denis Wilson [
Sent: Thursday, 27 March 2014 11:35 AM
To: Mark Clayton
Cc: Elizabeth Compston; Peter Ormay
Subject: Re: FW: Honeyeater migration.


Thanks Mark.

I was not aware of Graeme Clarke having followed the Point Hut birds till they dropped over the escarpment. But it matches with my observations in the Budawangs and other areas in the Shoalhaven.





Denis Wilson

Are you amongst Greg Hunt's "increasingly hysterical environmental activists"?
If not, why not?
The Great Barrier Reef decision of 31 January 2014 is a travesty.

"The Nature of Robertson"


On Thu, Mar 27, 2014 at 11:26 AM, Mark Clayton <m("","chollop7");" target="_blank">> wrote:

To the best of my knowledge there are no banders specifically targeting migrating honeyeaters on the northern NSW coast.


Last year for the first time in a long time, migrating Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters flew over my house in Kaleen. So far this year I haven’t seen any birds moving anywhere around Canberra, but it is still pretty warm ( and overcast) so a lot of birds are still to get motivated. Where the birds passing over Canberra come from is still subject to a lot of conjecture. Those birds moving through Point Hut are heading for the Shoalhaven (Graeme Clark followed the flocks many years ago until they dropped over the coastal escarpment). Where the birds moving over Kaleen, presumably to follow the Lake George range are from and going to no-one knows.





From: Denis Wilson [mailto:m("","peonyden");" target="_blank">]
Sent: Thursday, 27 March 2014 10:10 AM
To: Peter Ormay; Elizabeth Compston
Cc: Mark Clayton
Subject: Re: Honeyeater migration.


Hi Peter
cc Elizabeth Compston, Mark Clayton.

Further to Peter Ormay's response, "
Honeyeater migration Holesworthy, Syney NSW" 

My migrating Honeyeaters appear to be going from the Shoalhaven, crossing easily (short distance) to the Sydney Catchment Authority's Southern Catchment (formerly known as the Water Board lands - map attached). There are abundant food sources around the sandstone heath country near the southern dams. Many plants in the heathlands flower over winter (Banksias, and Eucalypts, and later on the spring-flowered 
Proteaceae - Grevilleas, Waratahs, and the ever popular Lambertia). In the Shoalhaven Region, south and east from here, there are abundant resources where these birds might over-winter. I have written about finding huge numbers of YFHEs in the Budawangs where there are enormous areas of heath lands and very few passable roads.

The late Mrs Crowe, formerly from Berrima, used monitor a flight path which headed to the west from me here in Robertson. Those birds might (I emphasise might) drift slightly to the west and follow the Wollondilly valley to western Sydney, or follow the Hawkesbury River. She shared her information with some COG members and also with some people I do not know, in Sydney. Perhaps Mrs Compston knows more about Mrs Crowe's records and reporting.

But there is an assumption in all this that these birds are heading relentlessly north. I doubt that. I frequently go to Nowra and other places around Jervis Bay in winter and routinely see and hear YFHEs. I figure they can easily overwinter there, and not need to pass through or past Sydney. 

Certainly, in the 1960s and 70s, my father followed these birds up along the NSW coast as far as Kingscliff. He tended to assume that the southern birds kept moving further and further north. But his own banding efforts failed to produce results which would have confirmed such a pattern of migration. North from Newcastle, vast amounts of the coastal heathland habitat were destroyed firstly by rutile sand mining and subsequent suburban coastal residential development. But people tend to grow gardens on the coast and their favourite plants are showy Grevilleas and Eucalypts, so there is probably a reasonable supply of nectar - even in these vastly disturbed habitats.

But this is an unproven assumption on my part. As far as I know, nobody is yet doing proper research into where the southern populations of YFHEs move to. 


As I say, I suspect the ACT birds move eastwards to the Shoalhaven. 

Where the ones which Mrs Crowe used report end up is not known. Maybe they can simply survive on the edges of the Lower Blue Mountains and the Hawkesury. 

Maybe Mark Clayton knows if any Banders are studying the northern NSW populations.

Denis Wilson

Are you amongst Greg Hunt's "increasingly hysterical environmental activists"?
If not, why not?
The Great Barrier Reef decision of 31 January 2014 is a travesty.

"The Nature of Robertson"


On Wed, Mar 26, 2014 at 1:56 PM, Peter Ormay <m("","peterormay");" target="_blank">> wrote:

Small numbers of YFHEs were observed flying over the houses heading in a NE direction on 23 March ’14. This would put them on a flight path between Parramatta and Sydney CBD.


These may be relatively local birds setting out. Is there any information on where the bulk of the YFHEs from SE NSW  pass Sydney?


Peter Ormay


From: Denis Wilson [mailto:m("","peonyden");" target="_blank">]
Sent: Friday, 21 March 2014 9:41 AM
To: Cog line
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Honeyeater migration arrives/passes Robertson, NSW


Thanks to various COG members who have reported the start-up of the YFHE migration past Canberra. As many of you will know, Robertson is approximately 200 Km north-east from Canberra, above the Illawarra escarpment.

I saw my first groups passing by the southern edge of Robertson (overlooking Kangaroo Valley) on Thursday afternoon, at 5:00 PM.

Mostly small groups 10s and 20s. Heading north-east. Calling their "chip, chip, chip" flight calls.
In the course of 30 minutes I saw several hundred birds passing.


It is always good to be tipped off by COG members on the movements of these birds.

Denis Wilson

Are you amongst Greg Hunt's "increasingly hysterical environmental activists"?
If not, why not?

"The Nature of Robertson"





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