While visiting my folks on Willowind farm in Moorooduc, I noticed that the New Holland Honeyeaters were spending quite a bit of time in the bare bushes around the birdbath near the back door. When an Eastern Spinebill, a few Brown Thornbills and a White-eared Honeyeater stopped by for a drink or a quick bath, they were chased off by the New Hollands. They can be an aggressive species often fighting with similar sized honeyeaters over a territory or a temporary food source but I have not seen them defend a water source before. There is a bit of water around the local area and even a dam nearby but the birds would have to travel through open unprotected areas. It shows the importance of supplying a protected clean water source for small birds. It also provides a great location to photograph the birds when they come into drink and bathe.
New Holland Honeyeater, Willowind Farm, Moorooduc, Victoria
White-eared Honeyeater – by placing a rock into a deeper birdbath it allows the bird to bathe from the rock. They need a way to hop out onto the edge again after quick dunk.
A wary drink…
Chasing off the other species…
At this time of year one of the predominate sounds of the woodlands behind the Australia Gardens at the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens comes from the White Eared Honeyeater. It has a variety of distinctive calls and can be quite photogenic when it stays still long enough. It makes a low level, deep, thick sided bowl type nest and lines it with animal fur and hair. We found the Honeyeater below collecting spider webs for its nest.
White Eared Honeyeater, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens
White Eared Honeyeater collecting spider webs for nesting material
With so many Honeyeaters it is little wonder that we also heard and saw Fan Tailed Cuckoos. The nests of White Eared Honeyeaters are parasitised by Fan Tailed Cuckoos.
Fan-Tailed Cuckoo, Cranbourne Botanical Gardens
I recently visited the family farm for a few hours of stacking 2 tonne of firewood with Fanior Ann and Henry Martin. After the job was done and the payment of lunch was settled, I had plenty of time to pass by Moorooduc Quarry to see how the Peregrine Falcons were getting on. I only heard and glimpsed one of the resident falcons but I did have good views of a Wedgetail Eagle drifting over on the afternoon air currents – too far above for any good shots. I found a few of my regular sidekicks as well as an ancient(ish) rock drawing of the legendary and deadly Drop Bear….
White Eared Honeyeater
White Eared Honeyeater II
Drop Bear – on the other side of the quarry I noticed an old warning etched into the rocks – everyone has a different opinion on what a drop bear looks like – this is as good as any I have seen.
Eastern Yellow Robin
Eastern Yellow Robin in a typical hunting pose – about to launch down onto the ground after a meal…
Posted in Animal, Birds, Victoria
Tagged Australian Birds, Bird Photography, Brown Thornbill, Drop Bear, Eastern Yellow Robin, Moorooduc Quarry, Nature Photography, Photography, Victoria, White Eared Honeyeater