Honeyeater migration

To: Carol Probets <>, Mike Tarburton <>, <>
Subject: Honeyeater migration
From: "Arwen B. Ximenes" <>
Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2012 00:11:18 +1000
Dear All, 
Counting migrating honeyeaters has got to be one of the most enjoyable birding 
experiences I can think of, especially when all you have to do is look up in 
your own backyard! The fact that it occurs in arguably the nicest season helps 
(especially in the beautiful Blue Mountains). In my opinion it is a hugely 
addictive activity and if one's own backyard doesn't get huge numbers then one 
finds oneself wanting to take off to the hot spots at the drop of a hat. Being 
involved in a formal monitoring program just makes the whole thing that more 
rewarding. I enjoy the unpredictable nature of counting - you start a count 
with 20 birds flying over and then nothing for 10 minutes and then suddenly 
another rush - or you might just get 3 birds, or more desirably a pretty 
constant stream. On Saturday morning I was packing the car at 8am and loads 
were constantly flying over, but my count was not due to start until 9am, by 
which time they had slowed to a trickle and I only got 35 in the 20
> In fact, the counting of migrating honeyeaters has entered a new era 
> in the Blue Mountains. Members of Blue Mountains Bird Observers are 
> now doing regular counts each autumn for the IBA project. 
And Carol is doing an exceptional job organising the count (and the 19 
counters)!! And as Carol says there is a mix of species with the Yellow-faced 
being the most abundant and the White-naped coming in a close second, depending 
on what stage of the migration season, however on any given count I usually 
hear and/or see the Silvereyes and Spotted Pardalotes, often Striated 
Pardalotes and sometimes see large flocks of Red Wattlebirds moving through 
too. So you never know what's coming next, another factor adding to HCAS - 
honeyeater counting addiction syndrome!
> Already this year we've 
> seen greater numbers, with one volunteer at Shipley (Blackheath) 
> counting 1090 birds in 20 minutes on Wednesday this week.
Wow! I have only seen roughly half that figure in 20 mins (last year), it's a 
question of being in the right place at the right time, but anyone who wants to 
see the migration should come to the mountains on a clear day and experience it 
for themselves - try Narrow Neck at Katoomba or even just Wentworth Falls 
lookout, or do the track between Govett's Leap and Evan's Lookout and watch 
them streaming along from tree to tree at the top of the cliffs. If you would 
like to join me on one of my counts please contact me off list (I count at 
Narrow Neck and another site in Katoomba). The migration reaches its peak 
around now and counting finishes in mid May. 

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