Tag Archives: White Plumed Honeyeater

The Intense gaze…

On  a recent walk across to the lakes in my area I took several photos of the usual birds in the late afternoon light. On processing I noticed that a few seemed to have an intense gaze.

The Willie Wagtail had just finished a dip into the water and grooming and after this shot took off to catch insects above the lake’s surface.

Willie Wagtail, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

Willie Wagtail, Elsternwick Park

The Noisy Miner had just gate crashed into a large group of Swallows grooming on the dead tree at the lake. He was staring intensely at a swallow that seemed to be ignoring him.

Noisy Miner, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

Noisy Miner, Elsternwick Park

The Swallows soon came back to the tree and continued their grooming with one keeping a keen lookout and watching the miner which had flown to another nearby tree.

Welcome Swallows, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

Welcome Swallows, Elsternwick Park

Welcome Swallow, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

Welcome Swallow landing back onto the tree branch after being chased off by the Noisy Miner.

White Plumed Honeyeaters, Elsternwick Park, Victoria, 3 May 2015

A pair of White Plumed Honeyeaters grooming after a dip in the lake.


The culprit that started the obsession

Several years ago I was watching a few birds roosting on the island in the middle of Elsternwick Lake and was trying to name the ones I recognized – cormorant, seagull, pigeon, magpie, swallow etc…I had never really thought about the others that were around that I couldn’t name. I saw a tiny olive coloured bird above me fighting with a Noisy Miner. I had no idea what it was and having my camera in my hand I took a few bad shots so I could look for it in an old bird book I had in my library. From that bit  of research started a new hobby/skill/adventure/obsession – birding.

My tough little friend fighting off the Miner was a White Plumed Honeyeater – a pugnacious honeyeater that will defend its food supply and territory. I have often seen them at Woodlands Industrial Estate fighting with an opposing and equally aggressive tribe of New Holland Honeyeaters.

The Woodlands Industrial Estate includes an area of native scrub and wetlands that is not controlled by the Parks Department and people seem to use the edges as a dumping ground and to walk their dogs off leash. It is right next to Braeside Park and I often walk between the sites looking for certain species. I went there a few weeks ago with my birding buddy John and found my epiphany bird in the early morning light feeding on insects and Lerp.

White Plumed Honeyeater

White Plumed Honeyeater

White Plumed Honeyeater


White Plumed Honeyeater


White Plumed Honeyeater

looking for insects and lerp in amongst the gum leaves

White Plumed Honeyeater

One of my favourite little birds