A Scarlet irruption at Green’s Bush…

I have re-visted the new part of Green’s Bush a few times now, learning my way around and seeing what different birds are located in the various types of vegetation. While walking down from a higher ridge line I heard what I assumed was a Rose Robin. It sounded much like a Rose Robin just without the 2 note call at the end. I logged it as a Rose robin “heard” and hoped that I would be able to sight them before I moved away from the area. Half way around the circuit I heard the call with the 2 note ending and found a small family of Robins working the low branches of Sheoaks. After a few pics I moved onto another section with a large amount of flowering mistletoe hanging from the Eucalpyts with several bird species working the flowers  for nectar. I had already seen a few mistletoe birds so when I saw the flash of red I assumed another bright male mistletoebird. I was extremely surprised to see so much red on the bird….I could not think of anything else other than a Scarlet Honeyeater, a species I have only seen well on last year’s trip to Mallacoota near the NSW border in far east Victoria. I tracked the Honeyeaters across the Eucalypts for a while and as I had tuned into their call I released that the shortened Rose Robin call I had been hearing was actually the Scarlet Honeyeater. To my ear the calls were very similar. Later at home when reviewing the images and then checking the Facebook Bird Vic and eBird sites, I noticed that a number of people had been reporting sightings around Victoria. It seems we are in the midst of an irruption, an unusually high number of birds migrating to the extremes of their range. Last weekend I went back and saw more of the Scarlets, this time around the carpark enjoying the flowering Teatrees and overhanging mistletoe.

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Rose Robin II

Rose Robin, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Having a scratch

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

I thought the flash of red in the flowering mistletoe was a male Mistletoebird.

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Scarlet Honeyeater

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

II

Scarlet Honeyeater, Greens Bush (southern), Mornington Peninsula, Vic

Scarlet Honeyeater calling, with several others nearby responding.

10 responses to “A Scarlet irruption at Green’s Bush…

  1. Great shots of the Scarlet Malt, many birds have moved into new areas due to drought conditions. We have seen inland birds coming to the coast. This also happened with the big heatwaves last Summer. I have enjoyed also seeing Scarlet s😊

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  2. Thanks Ashley, yeah I heard from another birder that conditions are tough in NSW so we can expect a few more sightings from unusual visitors…

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  3. These guys are everywhere! When I saw on at the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens a few weeks back I first though the call was a Mistletoebird. I guess it’s a call we’ll be getting used to this spring!

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  4. Adding to the Scarlet theme … Scarlet Honeyeater seen at Langwarrin Flora & Fauna Reserve on 28th October. Just as you have described, I first saw the honeyeater in a mistletoe, and assumed the flash of colour to be a mistletoebird (which I’ve seen quite a few times at Langwarrin F&FR) … however, I was then treated to some great views of my first Scarlet Honeyeater! Small honeyeater, obvious honeyeater-shaped bill (cf. mistletoebird), scarlet head, colour extending onto the back. No black breast sash (cf. misteltoebird). i.e. a Scarlet Honeyeater! Other birds included Dusky Woodswallow and Horsefield Bronze Cuckoo, New Holland Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, White-eared Honeyeater, White-naped Honeyeater and Golden Whistler. Really good birding and beautiful heath around the Reservoir and Dune tracks.

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    • Nice report Nick, Langwarrin is a great spot and I go a few times a year to check it out. There is a lovely heathland section that used to have a small colony of Southern Emu-wrens but with the local housing build-up and the associated cats they were wiped out a few decades ago…I still live in hope of a sighting…I will have to revisit Langwarrin soon and pickup the Scarlet for my site list.

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  5. And here is a sound recording of Scarlet Honeyeater made on 4th November 2017 at Langwarrin F&FR …

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  6. Just the iPhone and its free app.

    ps. I’ve located a nesting pair of Satin Flycatchers.
    Contact me if you want to photograph them.

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  7. that is very good sound quality Nick for a phone, I am still trying to work out my Zoom with mic setup…

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