NSW - Honeyeater migration

To: Frank Hemmings <>,
Subject: NSW - Honeyeater migration
From: Jill Molan <>
Date: Tue, 02 May 2006 08:29:45 +1000
A further comment on Yellow-faced honeyeater migration - Between 1992 and 1997 I lived in Padstow (Sydney suburb) on the western edge of Salt Pan Creek (tributary to the Georges River which empties ultimately into Botany Bay) and witnessed this migration every year at this time. The birds were always heading north along the creek, sometimes in strings of small (but continuous) numbers, occaisionally in 'clouds' of 100 or more at a time. Constantly calling a little 'chip chip'.

I've also seen flocks flying north along the eastern edge of the escarpment at Barren Grounds (NSW just south west of Sydney) at this time of year.

Does anyone know where they go, how far, whether they fly non-stop? It's really intriguing, but I don't know how anyone would track them short of attaching transmitters?


Frank Hemmings wrote:

Here in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, whilst not as impressive as Carol's counts in the Blue Mountains, and an order of magnitude smaller, I watched groups of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters moving through from my balcony at Waverley (just outside of Bondi Junction) on Sunday 23/4 and estimated approximately 500 passing through in an hour.

Yes quite small compared with other areas, but there apepared to be more than in other years, and in some years these movements appear to be absent near my home (whilst still being prevalent in other parts of Sydney at the same time), when only occasional birds may be seen in the cooler months.

They were generally in smaller groups of around 5-10, but several larger groups of up to 45 were present. All flying east, and almost all groups passing over the same tree. 100m away. White-naped Honeyeaters were present as either a few individuals and one small gorup of 5 mixed with the YFHEs. Also several small groups of Sileveryes passing in the same direction

Other birds seen from the balcony at the time included:

Australian Pelican
Great Cormorant
Pied Cormorant
Little Black Cormorant
Noisy Miner
Red Wattlebird
Spotted Pardalote
Rainbow Lorikeet
Common Mynah
Common Starling
New Holland Honeyeater
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Welcome swallow
Tree Martin
Feral pigeon
Spotted Turtle-Dove
Silver Gull
White Ibis
Peregrine Falcon



Frank Hemmings
John T. Waterhouse Herbarium
School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of New South Wales

Tel +61 2 9385 3274
Fax +61 2 9385 1558

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