So far this season the honeyeater migration over my house at Katoomba has
been quite good with increasing numbers of birds flying over on fine days.
Some days have been punctuated by very large flocks for short periods.
Until today. This morning I have been watching incredible numbers of
Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters going over in an almost continuous
stream for at least the past three hours. During that time I did two
15-minute counts about an hour apart with the following results:
8.45-9.00am, clear sky: 1033 birds
This is a rate of 4132 birds per hour.
9.55-10.10am, increasing cloud cover: 1326 birds
i.e. the rate had increased to 5304 birds per hour!
This morning's flocks consist of approximately 90% Yellow-faced and 10%
White-naped Honeyeater, with very few birds of other species flying with
them. There have been small numbers of Red Wattlebird, Noisy Friarbird,
Silvereye, Eastern Spinebill, Striated Pardalote, Spotted Pardalote and a
single Fuscous Honeyeater seen.
Perhaps the colder weather of the past couple of days has triggered off
this big movement. As I type, it is now almost completely overcast and the
birds are still coming. Although I've been watching the honeyeater
migration for years, on a day like this they still absolutely amaze and
mesmerize me! I can forget about getting any work done.
21st April 2003
Blue Mountains NSW
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