Influx of White-winged Trillers

To: "Vella" <>
Subject: Influx of White-winged Trillers
From: Andy Burton's Bush Tours <>
Date: Fri, 26 Oct 2001 09:59:49 +1000
Hi Edwin,

In my many years birding in coastal (sandstone) Sydney I have only
seen one Triller although I sometimes see them on the alluvial soils
and shales away from the coast, closer to you.

My sighting was of a male bird on passage, almost exactly one year
ago. It was feeding on insects in a heavily flowering Grey Ironbark
Eucalyptus paniculata. The tree was in a rare, (for this area) small
stand of these trees on sandy soil abutting the Lane Cove River. This
was close to where the narrow band of sand met the sandstone. The
bird was in Chatswood West at 33°  47.945´   151° 09.130´.


Another fitness walk today at Fairfield Regional Park, west of
Sydney, during lunch break saw/heard atleast 4 White-winged Trillers
(possibly more) calling from the same trees and acacias beside a dam
as we walked past. They were very obvious, with male Trillers
chasing each other close to the ground. It appears now they have
established territories and most likely will nest there after being
around the same spot and being very territorial for the past week.
There are probably other areas in western Sydney where there is a
good congregation of Trillers at the moment, besides this area and
the Richmond Turf farms.

I always see a few breeding each year in Sydney, but some years,
they can be in almost any patch of good habitat and locally common.
I would imagine any WW Triller sighting along the coast, esp. over
coastal Sandstone woodland or near the relative built up
Sydney's northern and eastern areas, are most likely birds on
passage. They would prefer more open habitat (usually amongst
scattered Eucalyptus in open paddocks or open woodland, esp. near
water) typically found in Sydney's west.

I remember once at Round Hill Nature Reserve (central-western NSW)
seeing no less than I think, 200 WW Trillers pass through (many
stopping to feed on ants/caterpillers?) and seeing 8 nicely plumage
male Trillers all on the same termite mound. An awesome sight
indeed. This was about mid Nov. 98.

They are a very noticeable bird esp. if you regularly pass through
and live near their teritories, which I do. Their calls are quiet
loud and travel very far, and some calls are like that of a canary.
I would rate them as one of my favourite bush birds for their
beautiful call and striking pied plumage.

Edwin Vella

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