This year's honeyeater migration

Subject: This year's honeyeater migration
From: Carol Probets <>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 20:25:00 +1000
It's officially the first day of winter which means that autumn has finished for another year, so I thought I'd look back over this season's honeyeater migration here in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

As many of you know, where I live in Katoomba I regularly get huge numbers of Yellow-faced and White-naped Honeyeaters travelling through from mid-March to late May. Well this year autumn sped past before I knew it, and leaving me still waiting for the masses of migrating honeyeaters. Numbers were much lower than usual. The first flocks didn't appear until 31st March, and the only day that I was actually inspired enough to count them was on 6th May when they reached about 1800 per hour during the late morning. On most other mornings they were just trickling through in comparison with previous years.

Silvereye numbers also seemed to be down. I did hear them migrating before dawn as they often do, on 5th May when I was out early to watch the lunar eclipse.

Did they take a different route this year, or were overall numbers lower due to the drought (or was it a combination of these factors)?

One interesting thing this season was the occasional Crescent Honeyeater travelling amongst the migrating flocks. I've never noticed them doing this in previous years.

With Red Wattlebirds it was a different story. During the latter part of May I started to see frequent flocks of them moving through. There are always a few travelling north in autumn, but this year they seemed to be migrating in larger numbers than I have ever seen before. They were still moving through yesterday morning, together with a few late flocks of White-naped Honeyeaters.



Carol Probets
Katoomba, Blue Mountains NSW
100km west of Sydney

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