YHFE on the move

To: Steve Read <>, 'Canberra Birds' <>
Subject: YHFE on the move
From: Paul Gatenby <>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2017 09:43:30 +0000


Amazing observations

I once travelled the Runnyford Rd, south of the Clyde estuary in Spring about 3 years ago and the forests for several km were packed with YFHE. It may have been a similar flock stopping for a feed


Paul A Gatenby 

From: Steve Read <>
Sent: Sunday, 10 September 2017 6:10 PM
To: 'Canberra Birds'
Subject: [canberrabirds] YHFE on the move

My son Lach camped last night at Lake Yarrunga (west of Kangaroo Valley) while on a canoeing trip. On his return today he described to me how he woke this morning to the sound and then the sight of thousands of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters passing across the lake. Lach is familiar with this species.


The first thing that alerted Lach to a large migration event was that he could hear the sound of wingbeats while he was still in his tent, as well as the ‘chip-chip’ calls. His verbal estimate was ‘thousands’ of birds, and questioning revealed:

  • the flock took about 45 minutes to pass
  • the width of the front was “a few hundred metres, at least - as far as I could see in the mist at dawn”.
  • across the 50-100 metres he could see easily, he estimated a few hundred birds passed him each minute (several each second)

This calculates conservatively as at least 10,000 birds.


The birds were coming across the lake from the south. Lach was camped on a point of land, which may have focussed movement of the birds – the exact location of the observation is 34o45’11”S, 150o23’43”E. Lach said that there were also a few Noisy Friarbirds in the flock.




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