Sydney birding

Subject: Sydney birding
From: (Andy Burton)
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 14:24:03 +1000
        On Monday I took Ivan Davidson from the UK to Sydney's west to help
him fulfill a birding wish-list. There is currently some terrific winter
birding in Sydney as has been reported on Birding-aus already and we found
some interesting birds. We had 100+ species on the day.

        Only one Regent Honeyeater was at trail 27 in the Castlereagh NR
and there were 10+ Swift Parrots (40+the day before) at the Londonderry
site. The Regent was "chortling" away while it happily fed only metres from
us giving great views of its black, white and gold refinery. White-naped,
Fuscous and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters are still common in the area and two
Dusky Woodswallows are overwintering. The Little Eagle which I have seen on
my three recent vists to the area was overhead and a pair of Brown Goshawks
lazily quartered the canopy.  A few Little Lorikeets were dashing about or
feeding in the flowering ironbarks.

        I was interested to find a few, large, Grey Kangaroos in the
reserve and wonder if they have always been there or whether they have been

        The Stubble Quail and Singing Bushlarks were at Cupitts Lane,
Richmond, the latter species having Pipits and Skylarks nearby for
comparison. (Thanks Trevor).

        10 species of raptor included crippling views of an adult Spotted
Harrier in nearby Cornwells Lane. A major highlight was a SQUARE_TAILED
KITE drifting slowly above the partially open canopy at Mitchell Park. My
first sighting for the County of Cumberland (ie Sydney) although a few
years ago I saw one just across the Hawkesbury River near Freemans Reach.

        On Sunday in a flock of about 30 Chestnut-breasted Mannikins in
Pitt Town Bottoms Rd was a BLACK_HEADED MANNIKIN. I have read of this
introduced species being found on the Hawkesbury floodplain but believed it
to be extinct in the Sydney area. Are there any other reports of this
species from south-east Australia and in particular the Sydney region in
recent years?

        The bird was seen in reeds abutting a small wetland on the left
hand side of Pitt Town Bottoms Rd not far from its intersection with Pitt
Town and Saunders Roads.

Andy Burton
Andy Burton's Bush Tours
703/4 Francis Road
Artarmon, NSW  2064

Ph      61 2 9904 8468  (home and bus.)
Fax     61 2 9904 8768

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