Brown-headed Honeyeaters & Grey fantails

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Subject: Brown-headed Honeyeaters & Grey fantails
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 18:38:15 +1000
Hi Birders,

G. Compton asked about Brown-headed Honeyeaters in the Sydney District and I am able to say that they are a moderately common species in the woodlands of the Cumberland Plains and in coastal heaths that are interspersed with low eucalypts & in regrowth areas (post fire or clearing).

E.S. Hoskin "The Birds of Sydney" (1991) says that they are more likely to be seen on the coastal heaths in the cooler months. Which may be correct for here on the Central Coast (100 km N of Sydney) they were more common in autuimn/winter on the heaths than in summer. However, autumn is when Banksia ericifolia and B. spinicollis is in flower and this honeyeater is known to feed on the nectar of those two plants.

On another topic, the movement of Grey Fantails taking place is just not confined to coastal areas of NSW, as during a visit to the Warrumbungles and the Pilliga Scrub last weekend, Grey Fantails were very common at both sites being much more common than usual. There is some fair amount of literature about the return migration of Grey Fantails in August/September, heading south, but not too much about the Autumn migration.

The Birds in Backyards on going survey, which is mainly confined to Sydney, may in a few years be able to provide the information that Andrew Taylor was lamenting the lack of. Interested people could log onto to their website and so take part in such an information gathering excercise.

Alan Morris
Records Officer, Birding NSW

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