I saw my first Spinebill of the year in Syndal (about 20 km ESE of central
Melbourne) last Sunday (19 February), and heard one again yesterday. As you
say, a bit earlier than usual, although I don't have detailed notes from our
past three years to confirm actual first arrival dates. They have been quite
conspicuous around here the past couple of winters. We previously lived in
Middleborough Road, on the edge of East Burwood, and only recorded a Spinebill
in the garden there once in over ten years, but they have been annual visitors
only a matter of three of four kilometres to the south-east. We rarely get the
Cuckoo-shrikes in Syndal, and only once or twice at Middleborough Road, but they
are regulars in Glen Iris, along Gardiners Creek, and nested in a local park
this summer, I believe successfully.
We seem to have had one or two Crimson Rosellas hanging around Syndal through
the summer, too; in our experience so far, they also had been autumn-winter
visitors and I wouldn't have expected to see them until well into March.
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