Scarlet Honeyeater

Myzomela sanguinolenta

Last Sunday the two boys and I walked down to the Cascades to meet Mat and some of his friends who were doing the 100km Oxfam walk. We did the salmon thing and headed against traffic from Bungaroo. We were on the Oxfam course between about midday and 2pm, the people we were passing were at the 75km or so mark and had been walking though the night without sleep, some people really showed it, most seemed pretty happy though.

Will did very well and walked the whole distance, Tom refused to walk and sat in the backpack until he got too uncomfortable then demanded to be carried!

We had lunch and a bit of a play at the cascades, Mat arrived at about 2:30pm, he was fine.

I finished dad! Lunch at the Cascades

Just after leaving the Cascades I spotted this small bird with bright red coloring in the bush just off the fire trail. It was on a Mountain Devil plant flying from flower to flower drinking the nectar. It moved fast and it was difficult to get a good photo, it let me get within a few meters before flying away. Another one I’ll have to return for to try and get a clearer picture.

It turns out to be a male¬†Myzomela sanguinolenta. It’s also known by a number of different common names, Birds in Backyards goes with Scarlet Honeyeater so that’s good enough for me.

The male Scarlet Honeyeater has a bright red head and body, it’s upper wings and tail are dark grey with lighter grey colouring underneath. The females are dull brown with dull white underparts. They are small birds, the adults being 10 – 11cm long.

Male Scarlet Honeyeater on a Mountain Devil plant. Another pretty boy.

Scarlet Honeyeaters are found from Cape York all the way down the east coast of Australia, but are less common south of Sydney where it’s a summer migrant. They’re also found in New Caledonia, Indonesia and surrounding islands.

Sources and more info

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