Sunshine and honey

After a ridiculously wet winter the sun finally decided to show its face and the nectar began to flow more readily in the blossoms.


Honeyeater Dipping

New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)
1/1250, f/5.6, ISO 1600


Somehow this image epitomises springtime to me, I like the way the bird’s bill is right in the centre of the flower.

New Holland Honeyeaters are often seen around the southern parts of Australia, from southern Queensland to just north of Perth. They particularly like grevilleas and banksias but also take insects, spiders and occasionally fruit. They have bright yellow wing patches, a speck of which can be seen in the image above.

Last week I talked about how Zebra Finches sing to their unhatched young in such a way that their offspring might be better able to cope with climate change. Several readers requested more information and Jacob sent a beaut link that I have added to the end of last week’s post: WTP Zebra Finch

Happy birding



~ thank you for visiting and commenting

~ if you would like to join the subscribers who receive a weekly email letting them know when lirralirra has been updated please use the ‘subscribe’ box above right



18 comments to Sunshine and honey

  • Hi Kim,

    From a lay persons pov you’ve surpassed yourself with this image. It’s absolutely stunning. I’m crossing fingers and toes that it will end up in your 2017 calendar – for February of course – my birth month. 🙂

    I’m learning so much from your informative and entertaining posts and enjoy reading each one. But then you always did write well. I must dig up our ABC Radio Darwin tape – goodness knows where it is but I know it hasn’t been thrown out.

    Helen xx

    • lirralirra

      Hi Helen, I don’t know what happened to my previous answer to your comment; I’ve just realised it has gone missing. I’m so pleased you’re enjoying lirralirra and that you like this week’s image – I must start work on the calendar soon but am working on an exhibition first. I’d love to hear the ABC tape, I’ve never heard it! Let me know if you find it. It’d be great to catch up Helen, I hope to see you soon xo

  • Gary Gale

    Sorry Kim White Throated Honeyeaters should be White Plumed Honeyeaters

    • lirralirra

      Oh no worries at all Gary! There are so many variations of colours and bits with honeyeaters it’s a wonder any of us ever get them right 🙂

  • Alyssa

    What a glorious picture!

  • Alison Moore

    Fantastic pic Kim, yet another, thankyou.

  • Julie Bird

    Your posts give me so much joy Kim. I learn so much from you.

  • Margot

    I love that image Kim, truly amazing and surely competition material. But then, I’m not a judge!

  • What an amazing image.
    Thank you and Jacob for the link. I am still getting my head around birds singing to their eggs. The gap between our species closes the more I learn…

  • Gary Gale

    Beautiful picture Kim.
    NHHE are a bird i have learnt a lot about over the last few years, the are one of the dominant birds in our garden. They are tolerated by the Red Wattlebirds most of the time as they know the NHHE will gang up on them if they pursue them to much. I have seen it many a time where one will be chased and it will let out an alarm call. Others will quickly come from the surrounding gardens and 8 to 12 NHHE will take on the offending Red wattle bird. they will occasionally regroup all in one tree, chitter chatter to one another and then fly of and attack the Wattlebird again.
    They have nested in our back yard many times too, I am sad to say with only a 50% or less success rate. Ravens take advantage of the beautiful big Yellow Box tree at the back right corner of our garden, they sit there and observe. The NHHE know this and fly to a perch near the nest and look around, only when they feel safe do they enter the nest site. I would say at times they do not see the Raven, and the chicks eggs are lost. the NHHE however are quite resilient and have never give up attitude. They will not build a new nest with new materials but dismantle the old nest and build it anew even in the shrub next door.
    Mentioning the Yellow Box, it has flowered right throughout winter, and is presently showing the last remnants of its flowers. The NHHE have loved it, there has been constant movement of them through the whole tree over the last 3 months. White throated Honey eaters have tried to move in and again the alarm call and group effort to drive them away. We have also had other nectar eating birds attracted to it too. Obviously the Red Wattlebirds, very common the Rainbow Lorikeets, Purple Crowned lorikeets, Musk lorikeets and I am guessing I think one time we had little lorikeets. Then a non bird, but Nectar eating Fruit bats, I have only seen them three times but often hear them, their wing beats are quite different.

    • lirralirra

      What a lovely long comment to enjoy, it makes me wish you had your own blog Gary. You’ve observed some fascinating behaviour with the NHHEs and have written it in such an entertaining way that I’ve read it more than once. Last year my youngest daughter saw a raven take a nestling blackbird from its nest, it dropped it on the grass so we put it back in the nest – surprisingly the raven didn’t come for it again. Your Yellow Box tree sounds beautiful as do the birds visiting your garden. Did you mean the White-naped Honeyeater, I’m not familiar with a WTHE down this way. Let me know if you ever start a blog!


    Hi, superb picture Kim, really wonderful, well done.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>