Mystery bird - Yellow-spotted honeyeater???

To: Vivien Rolland <>
Subject: Mystery bird - Yellow-spotted honeyeater???
From: Bill Stent <>
Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 09:02:15 +1100
Of all the threads I remember from recent times, I think this has been
the most constructive and useful.

My vote (not that I'm a calls expert) is for Eastern Yellow Robin.
For me, this call fits the description of "peaceful", being calm and
having less of an attack, as against similar calls (such as the
Eastern Spinebill) which seem a little quicker and more irregular,
making it sound maniacal or panicked. The EYR has a long, regular
series of calls, which can go on for ages, much longer than the Sacred
Kingfisher, which comes in fits of about five. The EYR is a relatively
quiet call, but can sound loud if the bird is calling from a hidden
perch nearby.

I'm also not certain that the EYR has a different first note in the
series.  I'd certainly think of a White-Throated Treecreeper for a
different first note followed by a long series of beeps, but you
wouldn't get a WTTC there, I think.

Many thanks to Vivien and all the contributors for the great discussion.


On Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 8:30 AM, Vivien Rolland <> wrote:
> Hi Everyone,
> Thanks a lot to people that suggested a few ideas!
> I have summarized below what is different between what I heard and what has 
> been suggested.
> But before I would also like to mention that I am basing my judgment on 
> recordings I found and my limited experience in Australia. So there might be 
> some variations that I am unaware of and that could fit better what I heard. 
> Also, it is quite hard to describe a call with words.
> - Lewin's honeyeater: The call I heard was not a rifflegun call. It was a 
> series of equally spaced single notes. Does the Lewin's H. has a non riffle 
> gun call?
> - Sacred kingfisher: The sound of each note was very different, somehow 
> smoother than that of a sacred. Additionally, notes in the series were more 
> spaced out. The series I heard were loud but somehow peaceful.
> - Restless flycatcher: Notes were more spaced out and not quite disyllabic. 
> Series were longer. Unless again, there is a variation that goes in that 
> direction.
> - Eastern yellow robin: The call I heard was longer (at least 8 notes per 
> series), the space between each note was longer, each note was sightly longer 
> and the notes all sounded the same to me (on some EYR recordings, the first 
> note differs from the next ones).
> It might be an unusual EYR or Restless flycatcher call, or another bird, but 
> nothing I have heard so far really fits what I heard.
> Obviously it isn't a YSH and I have the feeling it is going to be something 
> really trivial in the end. But I want to learn and figure this one out so I 
> will probably try to go back there on the week-end. This time bringing my 
> camera and a recorder in case I don't see the bird again.
> Thanks to everyone who contributed!
> All the best,
> Vivien
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