First occurrence of a White-fronted Honeyeater in the ACT

To: "Birding-aus \(E-mail\)" <>
Subject: First occurrence of a White-fronted Honeyeater in the ACT
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Mon, 9 Jul 2007 16:21:17 +1000
There has been quite a fuss among Canberra birders recently as we have had 
first records of the Black-chinned Honeyeater and many records, including 
flocks, of the locally usually hard to find Yellow-tufted Honeyeater. Whilst it 
may be surprising that the Black-chinned Honeyeater has not been documented as 
seen here before, that was the case.

Much more surprising was that on 21 June a White-fronted Honeyeater was found 
at Jerrabomberra wetlands in the ACT. This is a place that has one or other of 
the local birders visiting probably every day and probably the most likely spot 
where any rare bird that lobs in the ACT is likely to be noticed. Being mostly 
woodland and wetland even more so than the botanic gardens which is denser 
habitat and so harder to see that one-off rare bird. Many people went out to 
see it, mostly briefly (not all successfully) and it was last found on 22 June. 
This has already been written up in Canberra Bird Notes (by Steve Holliday who 
found it.)

Amazingly one White-fronted Honeyeater arrived in my Kambah (southern Canberra) 
garden on Thursday 5 July. I heard it as I was walking out to go to the local 
shop and thought that is one I don't know. It took a while to be sure of it 
though. It has now been seen every day since. Something over ten people I think 
have come out to see the bird and it has been extensively filmed and 
photographed. Thus a second record within two weeks of the first. And of all 
possible places, it appears in my garden (I have even heard the calls in the 
morning from my bed.) What are the chances of that? Even better, it has stayed 
around so far and has mostly been very easy to find (as in few people have 
missed out). Mostly it has not taken more than a couple minutes to find it on 
each attempt. I have only seen them before at Wyperfeld NP in the NW Vic mallee 
region several hundred km away. This would have to be the easiest "twitch" of 
my birding lifetime.

The question arises: is it the same bird? We don't know, but my house is about 
20 km from Jerrabomberra wetlands.

Philip Veerman
24 Castley Circuit
KAMBAH   ACT  2902

Phone. 02 - 62314041
(M) 0411 716177

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