birding-aus Black and Pied Honeyeaters in the Victorian Mallee

Subject: birding-aus Black and Pied Honeyeaters in the Victorian Mallee
From: "Chris Lester"<>
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 1999 11:21:02 +1000
Dear Birding-Ausers,

There has been a bit of correspondence recently on birding-Aus about some
good things appearing in the Mallee.  A couple of us went to investigate
over the weekend, armed with some excellent information from some of the
correspondents, most notably Barry McLean from Mildura.  (Thanks, Barry,
for your help.)

We decided to start at the Murrayville end (where the best action had been
reported) and spent most of the time on the western and northern edges of
the Murray-Sunset NP.  We did a bit of birding around Hattah yesterday on
the way back to Melbourne.

We saw Pied and Black Honeyeaters at Murrayville (at THE spot) and at the
Rockholes in the south-west of Murray-Sunset.   There were many more Blacks
(about 20) than Pieds (about 5).  That may have been because the Blacks
were more vocal and we observed more of them.  We didn't see them any where

We saw Crimson Chats in numerous places around the area: the Rockholes,
Lake Cullulleraine, Hattah.  We also saw good numbers of Budgerigars, a
Black-eared Cuckoo or two, breeding Orange Chats, 4 or 5 Red-backed
Kingfishers and 4 Glossy Ibis.  It was good to see all the Wood-Swallows
back in good numbers after a bit of an absence.  We had 5 species on our
list.  Of course, we saw many of the more normal Mallee species that you
would expect (Regent Parrot, Pink Cockatoo, Rufous Fieldwren, White-winged
Fairy-wren, Shy Heathwren, Southern Scrub-Robin, etc.)  Interestingly, I
thought that much of the Mallee was still fairly quiet, notably the north
end of South Bore Track and around Hattah.

We didn't see any sign of Grey Falcon or Scarlet-chested Parrot.  Possible
sightings had been reported, although I'm not sure if any sightings have
been confirmed.  We had our optimistic hats on, but they didn't work again.
(We did see two neophemas fly over in the dawn gloom at the Rockholes, but
we weren't able to identify them to species.)

All in all, it was a good weekend, with 138 species recorded from Melbourne
to Melbourne.  We had a pretty amazing Saturday in the Mallee where we
recorded 110 species for the day.  That would be a pretty good total
anywhere, but it far exceeds anything I have done in the Mallee previously.


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