Fork-tailed Swifts & Bar-breasted Honeyeaters

Subject: Fork-tailed Swifts & Bar-breasted Honeyeaters
Date: Thu, 1 Mar 2001 07:03:14 +0800
This morning as I walked up to the village mess at the Argyle Diamond Mine
in the east Kimberley of WA I saw two Fork-tailed Swifts pass over.  After
breakfast I saw one more followed by two more.  The former cyclone Abigail
from the Gulf of Carpentaria is now a tropical depression and is slowly
making it's way towards WA.  The single swift initially looked smaller and
seemed to be flying slower, but I had no binoculars and only a fairly brief
view so I was probably mistaken.  I only see swifts about once per year on
average at Argyle but this is largely because I can't spend much time

On a separate subject, a pair of Bar-breasted Honeyeaters began to nest in
a calistemon right outside my village room in December.  On returning to
Argyle in January after my two weeks off they were feeding young during the
two weeks that I was on site.  If you know the type of nest that they
construct then you will understand that I couldn't determine how many
young.  I was then away for 6 weeks on leave.  When I returned at the end
of February they had constructed a second nest in the same calistemon about
50cm from the first at the same height (about 1.5 metres) and they are
busily coming and going again presumably to feed young.  The rain doesn't
seem to worry them and their nest seems quite waterproof.  I was on the
balcony last night and all you can see is about 1cm or so of the tip of the
tail of an adult protruding from the entrance on the side of the nest.  The
first nest still seems to be intact, so they don't appear to have reused
any of the nesting material which I have seen from some other honeyeaters
(e.g. Grey-fronted).  The location of these nests was interesting to me as
all previous Bar-breasted Honeyeater nests that I have seen have been
dangling from melaleucas and overhanging water.

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