Tag Archives: Scarlet Honeyeater

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.

Scarlet Honeyeaters of Mallacoota

I have only seen a Scarlet Honeyeater once before and that was on a previous visit to Mallacoota a few years ago. On the latest trip to Mallacoota I saw many of them in a number of locations. After so much spring rain the local plants and trees are flowering and with the abundance of nectar and insects this has brought down many birds from the north. The Scarlet Honeyeater is a stunning tiny bird that rarely stays still and is often fighting with other local honeyeaters particularly the New Holland Honeyeaters.

Scarlet Honeyeater, Mallacoota, Victoria, 18 Dec 2016

Male Scarlet Honeyeater, Mallacoota, Victoria

Scarlet Honeyeater, Mallacoota, Victoria, 18 Dec 2016

II

Scarlet Honeyeater, Mallacoota, Victoria, 18 Dec 2016

III

Scarlet Honeyeater, Mallacoota, Victoria, 18 Dec 2016

IV

Scarlet Honeyeater, Mallacoota, Victoria, 18 Dec 2016

Female Scarlet Honeyeater 

Scarlet Honeyeater, Mallacoota, Victoria, 18 Dec 2016

Scarlet Honeyeater, Mallacoota, Victoria