White-fronted Honeyeater - honeyeater movements

To: "simon starr" <>
Subject: White-fronted Honeyeater - honeyeater movements
Date: Thu, 19 Jul 2007 17:00:00 +1000
Hi Simon, 

I reckon all your honeyeaters are down here in Southern Vic!

What I observed last weekend, were 5 different types of honeyeater 
(including Fuscous and Yellow-tufted HE's...both uncommon down here) 
ground feeding on insects. Some in burnt out sections of the Brisbane 
Ranges and others in grassy roadsides. 

I'm thinking that instead of Honeyeaters following flowering, they are 
migrating to areas of abundant insects. All the new regrowth from last 
years fires in the Brisbane Ranges are obviously attracting insects and 
the honeyeaters are following the food supply. 

I'm intrigued to know why birds are moving  from the Mallee and 
Box-Ironbark areas though??? Have insect numbers dropped up there? Are 
there adverse conditions that are forcing birds out of these areas??? Its 
funny that you mentioned Wychitella since i thought the mix of birds that 
are appearing down here, seem to be the same mix that are found in the 
Wychitella area.  Both Yellow-plumed and Fuscous Honeyeaters were 
virtually unrecorded throughout the Brisbane Ranges, but this winter 
Fuscous Honeyeaters are abundant, with occassional Yellow-plumed and more 
than usual Yellow-tufted sightings.  There has even been records of 
Red-capped Robin from the area.

This year would make a good study on the  movement of insectivorous birds.

It would be great to hear from other birding-aus'ers on any unusual 
honeyeater/insectivorous sightings from VIC/ACT and Southern NSW, so we 
could peice together whats going on here.



"simon starr" <> 
Sent by: 
19/07/2007 03:49 PM

"BA email" <>

Re: [Birding-Aus] White-fronted Honeyeater: Happy hour this weekend

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 
mobile as I've had 4 or 5 pass through my garden which is just a small 
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 
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 
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 
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 
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 
from flowering !.
By the days end I had found a few more honeyeaters, in the mallee and 
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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