New Holland Honeyeaters

Closer to home this week, and hiding under my photography blind, I was treated to a morning watching New Holland Honeyeaters visiting the flowering bottlebrush.


New Holland Honeyeater
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 250, focal length 310mm


New Holland Honeyeaters are busy birds that dart from flower to flower to probe with their long bills, and even longer tongues, for nectar. They are 18cm long and weigh about 20g. They are distinctive looking honeyeaters with bold black stripes on their underparts and large yellow patches on their wings. They are very similar to the White-cheeked Honeyeater that I saw for the first time in Ingham.

Eye-contact looks great in bird photography but it does mean that the bird has been disturbed enough to look at the camera. Sometimes I like watching in secret, as I did with these honeyeaters. In the image above the bird was unaware of me sitting camouflaged amongst the shrubbery, instead it was keeping an eye on a White-faced Heron that was catching skinks from the long grass.


New Holland Honeyeater
Canon 7D, 100-400mm L IS USM, 1/500, f/5.6, ISO 250, focal length 390mm


The honeyeaters flitted from blossom to blossom, quickly probing each flower a couple of times before moving on. I like the way the bird’s ear tufts are standing to attention while it feeds.

It was my first successful shoot under the hide. It became a bit hot in there despite the cool day and the fabric being breathable. The wind whipped up at one point and fresh air penetrated the fabric which made me more comfortable but meant that the bottlebrush were blowing around too much to take photographs; those windy moments were perfect for heron watching.

Happy birding, Kim



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