Monday, 14 January 2013

An additional Honeyeater for our Garden

Over the 6 years we have been here we have recorded 10 species of honeyeater at various times.  Some of them are regulars (White-eared Honeyeater being the most stable) while others such as the Noisy Friarbird are only Summer visitors.

I have posted a few days ago about watching the Eastern Spinebills on the Kniphofias (Red Hot Pokers).  I was watching them doing their stuff this evening (13 January) and suddenly realised a 'foreigner' had arrived! This was the first New Holland Honeyeater to be seen here.  So some photographs are in order.

I have seen "New Hollands" in the general area in the past (near Rossi, about 15km away in a straight line), feeding on planted grevilleas; they were reported feeding on native Banksias in the Hoskinstown/Forbes Creek area; and a nearer friend reported them feeding on planted Banksias last year.
In total they have been listed 27 times out of 71 possible months.  In the COG Garden Bird Survey, over the first 30 years they were the 73rd most abundant species (out of 234 species ever recorded).

Apart from anything else it is nice to see it dining with such pleasure on a plant disapproved of by the People for Botanical Purity!  There was a small amount of disputation with the spinebills but, with around 90 stems to choose from, the usual stroppiness of both species was moderated.

A Superb Fairy-wren was also pleased to see the both Honeyeater and pokers!
The New Holland has not been seen since that night.  However White-eared Honeyeaters have been turning up to keep the Eastern Spinebills on their toes!

On 24 January a Red Wattlebird got into the act.

I find the distortions very interesting, and like the way the wattles appear in the second image, like small goitres!

The Eastern Spinebills have now added Agapanthus to their diet!

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