Today I spent several hours tidying up my garden (in Barden Ridge on the
southern edge of Sydney) and taking the opportunity to see what birds were
around. One lot has me stumped and I would appreciate any suggestions that
may assist me in identifying them.
They are smallish honeyeater size, (10-15 cm?) and appear in groups of 2 to
about 8 moving between the scattered eucalypts of various species around
here. The flight is fast, I would estimate similar to Rainbow Lorikeets in
top gear. The flight direction is predominantly South or Southwest. The only
call I have heard is their contact call while in flight. It is a series of
vey short calls, all the same pitch, which sound a bit like a cross between
the short "wheep" of a Spotted Pardalote and the "zit"-like note of a Zebra
I hear them as they leave one tree and fly to the next, but they are silent
when in the tree, or perhaps call so softly that I can not hear them at that
distance. I can follow them for a few seconds in binoculars, but loose them
once they fly into the tree. I tried photographing them but they are too
small and fast. The best description of colour I can give is "brownish" with
light under parts, seen from below or partly side-on.
For most of the day the groups appeared at the rate of 5 to 10 times an
hour. When I finished my pruning etc. I settled down with a cup of coffee
and watched, hoping to get a better look and record the call. Although I
watched for an hour only one group appeared, at about 3:45, but the
recording was drowned out by a car in the street outside. There was no
movement for the next 45 minutes after that.
I did record a couple of other interesting fly-overs, a pair of
White-bellied Sea-Eagles and a lone Straw-necked Ibis.
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