Small numbers of Scarlet Honeyeaters (Myzomela sanguinolenta) have always been recorded in East Gippsland. I recall seeing my first Scarlets while camping at Wingan Inlet well over 20 years ago now. However, about four years ago East Gippsland experienced a major invasion of Scarlet Honeyeaters associated with a mass flowering of many eucalypt species. Since then we have had relatively large numbers of Scarlets around in spring and summer and I suspect we’ve had some over-wintering birds also.
This spring the Scarlets have been recorded in large numbers further west in Victoria as reported in this media release by BirdLife Australia: http://birdlife.org.au/media/invasion/
The Scarlet Honeyeater is sedentary in the northern parts of its range, an erratic migratory visitor to the southern parts and elsewhere a nomad attracted by the presence of blossom.
In 2015, I published this post on a pair of Scarlets that were resident in our garden for a few months: http://avithera.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/scarlet-honeyeater-brilliant-red-nomad.html
Once again this spring, we have Scarlets resident and breeding on our property. The same tree that attracted them in 2015 is again in blossom and a magnet for the Scarlet and other honeyeaters including New Holland, Yellow-faced, White-naped as well as Eastern Spinebills and Little and Red Wattlebirds.
I could not resist capturing some more photos of the vivid red and black male Scarlets and some juvenile birds with their yellow gapes and sharing them with another post.
Please click on photos to enlarge.
There were several young scarlets busy extracting nectar from the blossom – the juveniles were raised in our garden.
The tree where I took the above photos had at times up to three adult males and four juveniles feeding however I was not able to see any adult females (see photos of adult females in earlier blog post - link given above) so wondered if they were sitting on nests raising another brood?