Honeyeaters at Macdermot Place, Lake Ginninderra

To: 'Canberra birds' <>
Subject: Honeyeaters at Macdermot Place, Lake Ginninderra
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2016 03:27:33 +0000

Here is the text from The GBS Report. As I have mentioned often, it is now overdue for a rewrite which would enable a better discussion of the question. It looks from this that at the time I wrote it, I did not think to look at geographical differences but there may well be something worth saying on that. Needless to say Birds of Canberra Gardens did not provide any useful information beyond that plagiarised from The GBS Report. (Looking at BOCG it inserts the Noisy Miner in between the Lichenostomus honeyeaters, weird........) The main comment is that both species can be localised. However the main thing is that the Fuscous is far more variable in numbers over time. And for what it is worth, over the last 30 + years, the Fuscous Honeyeater is a variably common species most years at my GBS site in Kambah, sometimes in large numbers but I rarely get the White-plumed Honeyeater and if I do, never in flocks but usually only one or two. Although the difference in G value is not as big as I would have thought.




Fuscous Honeyeater Lichenostomus fuscus

This is one of the less visually conspicuous honeyeaters. At times a group may occupy an area for several weeks during winter and become the most obvious bird around. Small groups of this species sometimes join the other honeyeaters in their April migration. This species shows a typical altitudinal migrant’s pattern, it is almost absent from October to March, rises through April and May to a peak in June then declines through July to September. It is probably because of these variable congregations that the abundance and number of sites at which it is recorded (i.e. records) fluctuates dramatically from year to year. The abundance in 1982 was approximately triple the average of all other years, including big observations of up to 100 birds at Site 18. The absence of nesting records is notable. The only GBS breeding record is one observation of two dependent young in May in Year 21 at Site 203. This could have been from a nesting far away.
Graphs on page: 99, Rank: 42, Breeding Rank: 86, A = 0.15895, F = 37.07%, W = 26.8, R = 5.124%, G = 3.10.

White-plumed Honeyeater Lichenostomus pencillatus

This species shows a seasonal pattern but it varies between years. It shows a smooth transition from lower numbers in the warmer months than in the cooler months. From a broad low from October to February, it climbs up to the May peak, then declines. The long-term pattern is similar to that of the previous species, though not as variable from year to year, mainly because it occurs here on most weeks of the year, whereas the Fuscous Honeyeater is present only half the year. It was also very high in 1982 and showed a strong increase over the five Years 1984 to 1988 but this did not continue. Only one of the 14 breeding records involved activities at nest. All others were of dependent young, most of these in the period mid September to early April, especially January and February but one record of dependent young in June Year 1 at Site 46. The last GBS breeding record was in Year 13, suggesting a decline.
Graphs on page: 99, Rank: 35, Breeding Rank: 38, A = 0.15977, F = 45.16%, W = 46.8, R = 7.479%, G = 2.14.



From: John Layton [
Sent: Saturday, 2 July, 2016 9:20 AM
To: Canberra birds
Subject: [canberrabirds] Honeyeaters at Macdermot Place, Lake Ginninderra


Sichen Wan wrote:


Two Lichenostomus, white-plumed HE and fuscous HE were seen along the foreshore of Macdermott Pl in Ginnindera. There maybe a stable inhabitation of ehite-plumed HE and they frequented the car parking and picnic precinctnot sure of that for fuscous HE.


I’ve seen White-plumed Honeyeaters there for 20 years or so but never Fuscous Honeyeaters. I’ve rarely seen the latter in Canberra.


John Layton


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