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Redheads

November 14, 2017

Scarlet Honeyeater

There has been much interest in birding circles lately concerning sightings of Scarlet Honeyeaters around Victoria in locations well outside their usual range. In our general area this stunning small bird has been seen in Yea and Seymour, but we are not as yet aware of any reports of the bird around the Flowerdale and Strath Creek areas. We had one briefly visit our garden in late 2009, and there was an interesting report of one turning up in the Strathbogies in 2013.

Usually confined in Victoria to Gippsland coastal areas in spring/summer, the Scarlet Honeyeater in some years can proliferate and spread far and wide, an event known as an irruption.

On a recent trip to the Capertee Valley in NSW we came across a flock of Scarlet Honeyeaters feeding on the flowers of Needle-leaved Mistletoe, Amyema cambagei, in River She-oaks, Casuarina cunninghamiana. We thought ourselves lucky to have, for us, such a rare sighting, that is until we returned to Victoria and in every town we stopped at, the first thing we seemed to hear was the familiar tinkling song of the male Scarlet Honeyeater!

Another eye-catching redhead is the Red-capped Robin and, although not one of our regular local birds, we couldn’t resist sharing the image below of the handsome male, taken in Chiltern-Mt. Pilot National Park the other day, where, incidentally, we also encountered – yes, you guessed it – a Scarlet Honeyeater!

The Red-capped Robin is mentioned (but not pictured) in our local bird booklet Birds of the lower King Parrot Valley, where it states “The small Red-capped Robin has been reported in the Red Box woodland along the Yea Spur [near Strath Creek], but would normally be found in drier areas to the north.” Certainly it is regularly spotted in the bushland reserves near Seymour.

So, watch out for the redheads!

One Comment leave one →
  1. jowood12 permalink
    November 14, 2017 8:38 am

    Great article! I saw a Scarlet honeyeater last sunday in Wodonga!

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