Prospect Reservoir (western Sydney) 18th May 2002 (on the search for Swi

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Subject: Prospect Reservoir (western Sydney) 18th May 2002 (on the search for Swift Parrots and Regent HE's)
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 19 May 2002 22:39:55 +1000
On Saturday, 18th May I decided to look around my local patch in the hope of finding either Regent Honeyeaters or Swift Parrots as there are a number of Mugga Ironbarks and other good trees in flower in my area. Swift Parrots have been seen a few times in my area in recent years, but not every year and there has been a record of a Regent Honeyeater nearby.
Despite this, there were a number of interesting birds about at the Reservoir. In the reservoir itself there were no less than 4,000 Eurasian Coots which is the largest number I have ever seen in Australia (I though 400 one time at Pitt Town was extraordinary). This may be as a result of the drought inland as I have never seen such number in previous winters. Surprisingly however, there were few other waterbird species with only 3 Great-crested Grebes, a few Australasian Grebes, 2 pairs of Hardheads, 2 Dusky Moorhen, a few Black Ducks, 40 plus Black Swans, several of Little Pied, Little Black and Great Cormorants and 200 or so Silver Gulls. What was also good was seeing 7 Whistling Kites and an Immature White-bellied Sea-eagle about (had 3 of the former circling low above me at one time with 2 others nearby). Up on the hill facing the reservoir there where no less than 15 Bar-shouldered Doves and atleast one Peaceful Dove (taking advantage of the abundance of seeding grasses), 4 Eastern Shrike-tits (a male with 3 females/Immature birds), lots of Eastern Yellow Robins about the car parks (very numerous as usual), a few Dusky Woodswallows and Striated Pardalotes. Bar-shouldered Doves appear to be increasing in Sydney and the ones in Prospect may be even driving out the Spotted Turtle-doves (I hope!) as I did not see any of the later as I usually do.
There was only one Mugga Ironbark in flower on the hill and all the rest appeared to be in fruit. This follows two very good seasons in blossom. I have not observed the Swift Parrots feeding on these Muggas when they were there 2 years ago. They appeared to be feeding only on the flowering Spotted Gums nearby. This may be due to the aggressive Little Wattlebirds and White-plumed Honeyeaters hoarding them as they were on Saturday.
Hopefully I will have more success with the Regent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots in the official survey weekend at the end of next week.
Edwin Vella
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