White-fronted Honeyeater: Happy hour this weekend

To: "BA email" <>
Subject: White-fronted Honeyeater: Happy hour this weekend
From: "simon starr" <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 15:47:06 +1000
Hi all,
Living close to their normal range I can't help much with records of White-Fronted Honeyeaters in distant places, but I know that they are highly mobile as I've had 4 or 5 pass through my garden which is just a small patch of "scrub" in the middle of agricultural land ( that's many more sightings of White-fronts than of many other commoner Honeyeaters found in nearby bushland areas).. But I thought it relevant to relate my birding experiences yesterday when I spent the morning looking for Swift Parrots in the Moliagul/Wehla/Kingower area of central Vic, before giving up and heading north to the mallee of Wychitella. Basically there were no nectivorous birds present. I visited a few spots where Swifties are regular, and Honeyeaters and Lorikeets usually abound especially this time of year, and nothing. I found a flock of Brown-headed, a few Noisy Miners and that was it. Not a single Fuscous, Black-chinned,Yellow-tufted, Red Wattlebird, Lorikeet, nothing !!! It was quite bizarre. There were however mixed flocks of smaller birds such as Thornbills and Robins etc which had moved in to places I've never seen them, presumably because of the lack of competition. It helps to explain the various reports on Birdline Victoria of unusual numbers of honeyeaters in other parts of the state ( come to think of it there has been a White-fronted present at Newport lakes which is out of range). The area has received good rains over the last 4 months or so, and things are really responding but the trees are having a big rest and some time-out from flowering !. By the days end I had found a few more honeyeaters, in the mallee and around the rocky hills. Flame heath is flowering well up at Wychitella and attracting small numbers of Yellow-tufted, Tawny-crowned and White-fronted Honeyeaters, plus an Eastern Spinebill. And I heard/saw plenty of Southern Scrub-robins, so they seem to have come through the dry pretty well.

Simon Starr.
Pyramid Hill,
Northern Victoria.

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