Regent Honeyeaters at Quorrobolong NSW

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Subject: Regent Honeyeaters at Quorrobolong NSW
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Aug 2003 17:50:35 +1000
Six members from the Central Coast Regent Honeyeater Volunteer Operations Group returned to Quorrobolong near Cessnock today to check up on the Regent Honeyeaters first found there on Saturday 2 August 2003, when 22 were located in a box/ironbak /Spotted Gum woodland feeding mainly in flowering Red Stringybark and Spotted Gum. A return trip with the Regent Honeyeater Recovery Team Co-ordinator David Geering was made on 7 August 2003 for a more thorough search,  and the group managed to locate a minimum of 72 Regent Honeyeaters, one nest and another female collecting nesting material and two colour-banded birds (one with an an incomplete set of bands). The colour-banded bird that David was able to identify was an adult female banded in the Capertee Valley on 30 August 1999. This was the first time  that it had been re-sighted.
Since our second visit over 25 mm of rain had fallen on the site and there were more waterholes in the creeks that cut through the two private properties where the birds are located. During this visit we found between 50-60 Regent Honeyeaters.  There was no particularly large concentration although up to 12 birds were seen in the one big Stringybark that was heavily in flower and where many more birds were seen last visit. It would appear that on this visit there were more Stringybarks and Spotted Gums in flower and so the birds were more scattered and less concentrated. The pair that we found nesting high in a Grey Box, 20m up in the bole of a mistletoe clump must now have small young in the nest because we watched both parents repeatedly come and feed something in the nest. But the sides of the nest are so high that we could only see the parent birds heads go down into the nest and no little heads were yet bobbing up. Another pair of birds were seen with nesting material but no nest was located. We did ofcourse find more Yellow-tufted Honeyeater nests, saw  Brown Treecreepers feeding young, had good views of Black-chinned Honeyeaters and saw both Brown Goshawk and Square-tailed Kite overhead.
Red Wattlebirds were the dominant large honeyeaters present and there were a few Noisy Friarbirds too but the Regents did not appear to be too hassled by them. There were plenty of Little Lorikeets and a few Musk Lorikeets but alas no Swift Parrots. White-bellied Cuckoo-shrikes, Jacky Winter, Spotted & Striated Pardalotes Peaceful Doves and many Fuscous Honeyeaters & White-cheeked Honeyeaters completed the bird assemblage. No colour-bands were seen on the Regents despite there being six observers and some Regents were found feeding fairly low down allowing good views of their legs, although only one was seen going to drink.
There must be similar sites to this site located in the foot of the Watagan Range where Stringybark and Spotted Gum are flowering but access to such places is very difficult and so it is hard to assess as to whether there are other groups of Regent Honeyeaters nearby.
Alan Morris
Central Coast Regent Honeyeater Volunteer Operations Group.
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