Regent Honeyeaters Down South

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Subject: Regent Honeyeaters Down South
From: "J.Reside" <>
Date: Sun, 6 May 2001 17:09:33 +1000
A welcome surprise about two weeks ago was a Regent Honeyeater in the backyard in suburban Bairnsdale in East Gippsland. We have a Yellow Gum E. leucoxylon (red flowering form) which has been in bloom for several weeks. The ground underneath the tree is a carpet of red blossoms and dead bees. The tree is jealously guarded by a squadron of Red and Little Wattlebirds and only the Rainbow Lorikeets manage to hold their ground when visiting. The area is a veritable battleground from daylight till dusk. We were sitting in the backyard when I noticed this smallish "Little Wattlebird-type bird" being harassed by the Red Wattlebirds. It flew to the crown of an adjoining large Black Wattle and I noticed something different about it. I bolted indoors for the binoculars. When I approached the Yellow Gum the Wattlebirds were disturbed and moved away. This gave our visitor some breathing space and it very sociably flew back into the Yellow Gum and to a low branch just above our heads. We were treated to some sensational views over a 5 minute period as it fed happily without interference, virtually ignoring our presence. However, unfortunately it didn't take long before the Wattlebirds recovered from our intrusion and they returned to wreak their vengeance on the hapless, and smaller, newcomer. It was forced again to flee and this time out over the house into the court where we lost sight of it. A windstorm occured that afternoon and we haven't seen it again. Since then a friend visiting the Mitchell River national Park 30km to the north-west of Bairnsdale thinks he may have seen one feeding in a eucalypt on the dry slopes above the river. A check with the Natural Resources and Environment revealed that there have been 35 reported sightings of the Regent Honeyeater in Gippsland. Visiting and resident birdoes need to keep their eyes out for Regent Honeyeaters when travelling through East Gippsland especially when the Ironbarks begin their winter flowering.
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