Migrating Honeyeaters

To: 'COG Chat' <>
Subject: Migrating Honeyeaters
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Mon, 8 Apr 2019 13:20:22 +0000

Funny, years ago it used to be Point Hut as our main go to place for the honeyeater migration. I was there only briefly, about 30 minutes, on Saturday morning. Not one honeyeater. But I am getting flocks over my house most days in the last three weeks. I don’t get out of my house much though……. The Hobbies seem to be delaying their departure in recent years from the earlier well shown trend and take advantage of these migrating honeyeaters. Those 3 were most likely a family.




From: Jack & Andrea Holland [
Sent: Monday, 8 April, 2019 5:34 PM
To: ; COG-L
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Migrating Honeyeaters


Thank you Lindsay, we had a very viewing of the migration during at the COG walk at Narrabundah Hill yesterday morning.  We concluded a very conservative estimate of 2500 Yellow-faced, the bulk of which came through in a pretty much continuous stream low over and beside us at the main flyway where we spent around 45 minutes from 10:15.  They were still at their peak around the time we left.  A couple of Hobbies were also cruising around in the area, though no-one mentioned seeing them attempt to take any birds.


If anyone is interested in seeing this phenomenon I can provide the best timing and direction.  Thursday morning with the predicted overnight low of 2oC and light winds would seem an excellent opportunity.


Jack Holland



Sent: Monday, April 8, 2019 4:47 PM


Subject: [canberrabirds] Migrating Honeyeaters


After several days of not much action on the Jerrabomberra flyway we have had two really big days.  Yesterday the first flock passed over our house at just before 9 am.  There was flocks passing frequently all day with the last sighted just as the sun set.  Then this morning there were huge numbers passing over from 8:45am.  I grabbed my camera and wandered out to the edge of suburbia to where I could observe across an open paddock with two old willow trees in the centre that the birds use as a “stepping stone”.  Honeyeaters were streaming past.  I saw three flocks (more streams I suppose) of over 1000 birds and several of between 400 and 700. Early in the piece a large flock descended on the willows and pandemonium erupted.  Honeyeater exploded from the trees in every direction.  I stood and watched for some time and the cause was soon revealed.  THREE Hobbies had located themselves in the trees.  They were perched low down and when a flock of HE arrived one of the Hobbies would fly up over the tree and pluck a HE from the top of the tree, where they usually perched, before diving back into the tree, presumably for a quick snack.  The rest of the HE would explode away.  This went on for some 40 minutes.  I had initially assumed only one Hobby but the frequency of the attacks led me to investigate further, so I jumped the fence. This revealed the three Hobbies.  I gave away the observations when the wind increased and the flow of birds slowed down at about 10am.  Within the hour the action had picked up and there have been good numbers passing until the action died down at about 3:30.  I took a lot of photos to get an idea of flock composition which revealed about 20-25% White-naped with the majority Yellow-faced.  I did see a lone White-eared and two Red Wattlebirds.








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