waterbirds of Tuggerah lakes

Subject: waterbirds of Tuggerah lakes
From: Anthony Scott <>
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 03:23:39 +1000
I am doing a study of the Tuggerah Lakes on the Central Coast of NSW which
involves piecing together the ecological history of the lakes.  I am doing
this by interviewing 30 or so of the local residents who have been in the
area for the last 40-80 years.  A number of them were born in the region
early this century, and the oldest person i have interviewed so far is 96
yrs old (and still going strong).  I am also delving into historical
information such as old newspapers, pioneers diaries etc.  Another potential
source of information are the old scientific journals, including the bird
journals.  Does anyone know of any stiudies of waterbirds on the Tuggerah
lakes or any references that mention this lake system. I am particularly
interested in references from 50 or more years ago but I am also interested
in tracking down any recent studies as well.

As an example of the type of information that i am tracking down, an article
about the Tuggerah lakes in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1867 mentions black
swans, black duck, teal, shovellers, sea curlew, snipe, pelicans,
cormorants, spoonbills, nankeen herons, jabirus and a tall crane like bird
which I think must be a brolga.  It also provides a description of the taste
of each of these birds and does not recommend eating the pelican or the
cormorants!  A number of the older residents i have interviewed also used to
regularly hunt the local birds for food including teal, swan, waders, musk
duck, wattle birds (they call them gill birds), top knot pigeons and flock
pigeons.  (I am not yet certain what they mean by flock pigeon.)  Last
century black swan used to be hunted for down also.    

Anyway, if anyone has any old refereences  of waterbirds in the Tuggerah
lakes i would like to hear from them.



Anthony Scott
CSIRO Land & Water
GPO Box 1666
Canberra ACT 2601
(please note new email address is 

phone 02 6246 5774
fax 02 6246 5800

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