Sunday, 26 April 2015

Swarming Honeyeaters

With 65 mm of rain two weeks ago plus another 50 mm this week, the countryside has turned green at last. In the bush, the box trees have started flowering again and this has attracted swarms (literally) of Honey-eaters. Some mornings, there are up to one hundred smaller honey-eaters flying from tree to tree around the house, in company with similar numbers of Red Wattlebirds.

It is too hard to identify the smaller ones on the go so we need to track them through the bush to get a clear identification. Even then, this ongoing cloudy weather makes getting an ID, let alone a photo, very difficult.

At the moment, we have:

  • Yellow-faced Honeyeaters (Lichenstomus chrysops) - quite common here and present in droves
  • White-plumed Honeyeaters (Lichenostomus penicillatus) - less common here but several sighted
  • White-naped Honeyeaters (Melithreptus lunatus) - ditto
  • Crescent Honeyeaters (Phylidonryris pyrrhoptena) - only ever had a few sightings here but several present now
  • Scarlet Honeyeater (Myzomela sanguinolenta) - never seen one here and only ever seen them locally in the wild twice before so a real thrill to spot here; brings our "on property" species count to 187!
  • Red Wattlebirds (Antochaera carunculata) - ever present but numbering over 100 at the moment.
  • Noisy Friarbirds (Philemon cornicultus) - the flocks of 2-3 dozen have disappeared but we still hear them from time to time.
  • Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) - also ever-present and very aggressive towards interlopers.
  • Eastern Spinebills (Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris) - usually around in ones or twos but have seen 10-15 at a time in the last few days.
Some photos of honey-eaters from previous occasions and multiple locations:

Blue-faced Honeyeater (Entomyzon cyanotis)
White-naped Honeyeater (Melithreptus lunatus)
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)
Yellow-faced Honeyeater (Lichenstomus chrysops)
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus meanops)
Lewins Honeyeater (Meliphaga lewinii) - one of my better shots


  1. Sounds like things are really firing up NPeye. Have the Scarlets stayed around?

    1. Haven't seen the Scarlet (singular) again, despite lots of looking. Still quite a few honey-eaters (yellow-faced, white-naped, a few white-plumed) around but, in the swarm, they're always moving from treetop to treetop so hard to get a good look. We did identify a Brown-Headed Honeyeater last night along the cliffs where the tree-tops are at eye level.