What we saw and where.
Green Parrot. Seen every day. One
in the Gardens near or on the aviary established to captive breed the parrots
when their population, once thousands, dropped to thirteen. Several seen
feeding on African Olives on Old Pitt Rd.[OPR] early, one unbanded on Red Road,
another flying over the Mts.Pitt-Bates saddle around midday, four flying over
the main gully late afternoon. They have a distinctive duck-like quacking call
which carries. Said to be one third larger than the NZ species.
Scarlet Robin. Eight pairs in all,
seen daily, from Gardens up OPR to Mt Bates. Very approachable.
Golden Whistler. Upper part of all
the tracks, especially OPR and Mt.Bates track off it. No breeding plumaged males
seen but individuals with a dirty yellow wash from throat to vent below , and
females with very yellow in vent region. Also heard calling early and after a
Grey Fantail. Common, cheeky,
recognisably different call to Sydney's birds.
Grey Gerygone.Ex NZ. First seen at
breakfast in motel garden on day one, common in National Park [NP] in canopy on
trunks and branches or on ground, even hovering. Also in mixed feeding flocks
with Long-billed White-eyes and Silvereyes. Very grey,variable white;- eyebrow,
eye ring and outer primaries.Nice Gerygone type song.
Long-billed White-eye. Flocks of
up to sixteen counted flying through the canopy anywhere in the NP during day,
call lower and slower than Silvereye's, which are often in same flock.
Long-billed is larger, has pale longer bill, green chin/throat and dark grey
belly , no brown on flanks. We had closeups on the final early morning, using
the bill to prise up lichens on branches for food beneath, and an interesting
technique for unfurling the rolled-up tips of dead palm leaves to access morsels
within. They inserted the bill then opened it widely to about 90 degrees,
spreading the tube open. Seen on all tracks.
White-breasted White-eye. Not seen
by us , but by a Ranger in dense forest in a gully six months ago.sic. Larger
than Long-billed, dead white below, solitary, in highest canopy, does not
Crimson Rosellas noisy and
obvious, along with Australian Kestrels are responsible for
holding back the native species by dominating nesting sites and eating the birds
respectively.Three Welcome Swallows seen cruising over the
summit area along with kestrels, and two kestrels hanging on the wind at Ball
Mallards, Pacific Black Ducks and
everything in between , as well as grey geese common at
Kingston near the old and picturesque convict settlement, also Purple
Swamp-hen, but dipped on the rail and crake.
Ground Birds. Feral
Chickens dotted all over the Island on pastures, mostly motley
blackand white, but a superb cock in full Jungle-Fowl plumage on OPR early along
with an Emerald dove, also seen in the Gardens and top end of
OPR. Eight California Quail that morning and several
other places; usually grassy areas near cover into which they disappear on
approach.Quite a few driving to Cooks Monument.Very decorative but quite
,Song Thrushes very vocal early [from
3am],Goldfinches in weedy pastures and bacgskyards,
Greenfinches frequent around Selwyn Bay Reserve and
Cascade Reserve on the coast. Starlings by the thousand. A few
House Sparrows around town.
Saw Masked Booby , Black Noddy,
Wedge-tailed Shearwater and White Tern from Hunters Point at Kingston ,
opposite Nepean and Phillip Islands, the latter terribly eroded. A solo
Red Tropicbird at Point Ross. Roosting Black
Noddies at the Hundred Acre Reserve .
White Terns in pairs, swooping in
unison like figure skaters at Ball Bay late one afternoon was one of the great
birding sights. The backdrop was Norfolk Island Pines up the cliff-face, black
rocks at the base, deep blue water, and the brilliant white birds diving to the
water and up together is unforgettable.
They were common all over the Island among taller
stands of pines, fluttering in the pines as they settled down to
We could have spent longer looking at seabirds,
going out on a boat for Grey Ternlets around Phillip Is., and spending a few
days after the White-breasted White-eye, possibly the Owls bred from the last
female N.I. Boobook subspp. and closely related NZ males, but it was
enjoyable .and productive for a weekend
Michael and Penny Hunter