Prospect Reservoir (near Blacktown) NSW 13th Oct 2001

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Subject: Prospect Reservoir (near Blacktown) NSW 13th Oct 2001
From: "Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 20:55:26 -0700
Made a short visit today after lunch to Prospect Reservoir (approx. 40 km west from Sydney CBD) to see what birds are currently about there. There were 200 Great-crested Grebes (this is probably the only place currently in Sydney where you can see, what I believe, one of Australia's most beautiful birds. They were pairing or in loose groups, and I even saw a pair display with head-shaking movements. Also I have never seen them in these numbers at any location within Australia before), around 100 Black Swans, a Swamp Harrier, a Whistling Kite, 2 Whiskered Terns (good to see something different amongst the hundreds of Silver Gulls) skirting over the water and reeds, as well as some Brown Quail calling amongst the side of the reservoir. The Whistling Kite was seen having a go at an injured? Silver Gull in the middle of the reservoir, and the Kite managed to pickup the Gull for a little while but dropped it, made some more attempts to pick it up again, but for some reason eventually gave up and soared off.
In the parkland nearby was a Peregrine Falcon soaring low over some Welcome Swallows and Fairy Martins, a Brown Goshawk flying over the canopy, a Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo calling from overhead wires, a Fan-tailed Cuckoo or two also heard, several Scarlet Honeyeaters feeding on flowering red Coral Trees and Bottle Brushes, as well as the usual abundant Red-whiskered Bulbuls. Despite Scarlet Honeyeaters being a common-abundant Sydney bird, I never get sick of seeing these beautiful gems close at hand, and was impressed to squeak in and then be surrounded within a couple of metres from a number of them.
There were still some flowering Mugga Ironbarks beside the picnic area car park at the top of the hill and where attracted by both Little Wattlebirds and White-plumed Honeyeaters. I have checked these a couple months back for both Regent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots but without any success this year (the later species turns up on occassions at the right time in the area).
Edwin Vella
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