Re: local extinctions (Sydney, NSW)

To: palliser <>
Subject: Re: local extinctions (Sydney, NSW)
From: morris <>
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 21:38:08 +1000
Hi Tony
I make the following comments on your message about local extinctions:

Great Crested grebes
This bird was not a regular bird in the County of Cumberland until man
made structures for water management were constructed viz large dam at
Bringelly, Prospect Reservoir, Penrith Lakes &  Cranebrook Gravel
pits,where it was recorded nesting in the 1980s. These sites are all off
limits to bird watchers in one way or another, they have been seen at
such sites in the past 10 years and may well still breed there!

Musk Duck - ditto, there were not the suitable sites for breeding in the

Turquoise Parrot
5 were recorded at Maroota SF in 1995 so that they may breed there, used
to breed at Annagrove & Dural but this is very urbanised now, still
breeding very close to the north, west and south of the County!

Barking Owl
This still could be breeding in the County, there are a number of
records of calling birds, the best known sites are just outside county
ie Stannix park! Maroota/Sackville areas could be suitable! I agree
however that there are no recent breeding records but they are hard to
find nesting!

Black-eared Cuckoo
While not as common as in former years, one was record ed at Ropes Ck
Colyton in 1995, formerly more widespread but could be expected at
Scheyille NP and Windsor Downs NR where Speckled Warblers occur. Egg
collectors chased this bird from the County!
Hooded Robin
Last record for the County was Greendale in 1990 and Camden in 1989 &
Annagrove in 1988, may still be present but agreed no breeding records
for 10 years!

Eastern Bristlebird
Hasn't occurred in the county for 50 years atleast, harly a recent loss!

Straited Fieldwren
Tianjarra Trig, in Morton NP south of Nowra wa always the northern limit
of distribution until there were several sightings at Towra Pt in the
1980's. No breeding however was ever proved for that site. So that the
northern breeding range is still Tianjarra Trig or thereabouts!
Brwon Treecreeper
Used to occur at Greendale, no recent published records, was never
common in the County but used to occur near Wilberforce just to the
north of the County. Some one might have some recent records.

Was never a Sydney bird until that feral population was let loose in the
Western Suburbs, still present between MtDruit and the next railway

White-backed Swallow
The last Co. of Cumberland record that I could find was Richmond in 1992
at a gravel pit. There are a number of records in the past 10 years for
Penrith Lakes, Cranebrook Gravel pits and Bakers Lagoon, and at other
sites just outside the County. Perhaps other members of Birding Aus may
have records. Gravel pits are favoured nest sites and these are often
off limits.
So of your 10 birds only the Black-eared Cuckoo & Hooded Robin look bad.

Of the next 10 birds, I woul say that the habitat is not right for
Haory-headed Grebes to nest (they prefer inland wetlands); Bush
Stone-curlew have definately declined but there are still records for
the County in the past 10 years and the pair at Pittwater still nest
there! Red-capped Plover could nest at a number of sites under certain
conditions, they have nested at Homebush Bay, North Botany Bay and
Bakers Lagoon in the past; the southern limit of the Bar-shouldered Dove
has always been Tuggerah Lakes, but there are a few at Towra Point and
south of Wollongong, so if anything they have extended their range in
recent years; Sooty Owl breeds in Royal Np where the only suitable
habitat in the County can be found!; Pheasant Councal, who knows but I
suspect they do nest here, they certainly are resident to the north in
Gosford and Wyong!; Rufous Songlarks only come to breed during droughts
inland, the County is not their preferred habitat, a few turn up most
springs; Red-capped Robin , yes definately declining but only limited
habitat in County and may too only be driven in by droughts, however the
Diamond Firetail still occurs in the County, mainly in the upper reaches
of the Nepean River and has definately greatly declined!

Alan Morris
NSWFOC Records Officer

PS I would be happy to be corrected on anything that I have said!.

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