A great morning in the Hawkesbury area - 7th December 2002

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Subject: A great morning in the Hawkesbury area - 7th December 2002
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2002 20:33:47 +1100

Today, I, Graham Turner and David Koffel had a most enjoyable morning in the Hawkesbury area (approx. 55 km NW of Sydney CBD) seeing a number of rare species with quite pleasant weather for this time of year (not extremely hot as it has been). There is no doubt, that the Hawkesbury has produced an excellent load of birds this year for the many privileged birdos in Sydney. I would like to express my appreciation to Keith Brandwood for reporting many of these.


At Pughes Lagoon in Richmond, the water has gone down to expose more mud on the edges and produced today 5 Red-kneed Dotterels, a few Pied Stilts, a couple of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, a Darter, 2 Plumed Egrets and a Baillons Crake. A beautiful plumaged male White-winged Triller showed its pride and glory from on top of a Casuarina.


Along Onus Lane in the Richmond Turf Farms, roadside puddles attracted at least 6 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and 2 Baillons Crakes.


At Fernleighs (Bush?s) Lagoon (also in the Richmond Turf Farms) produced a great variety of birds including 3 Glossy Ibis, a Darter, a Yellow-billed Spoonbill, a male Australian Shelduck (fairly rare for the Hawkesbury), 30 plus Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, a RUFF, 3 Marsh Sandpipers, 1 Greenshank, atleast 11 Red-kneed Dotterels, both an adult White-bellied Sea-eagle and Whistling Kite and interestingly a female White-fronted Chat (first time we have come across this species in the Hawkesbury. I have only seen them in places like Homebush and the shores of Botany Bay within the limits of Sydney). In the surrounding paddocks, were 5 LITTLE CURLEWS (the last time we saw them in this area was back in 1994), both Stubble and King Quail heard calling, another male White-winged Triller, Singing Bushlarks, Brown Songlarks (very good views through scope of one of the males calling on a mound) and Rufous Songlarks (heard).


Our final place visited today was Bushells Lagoon at Freemans Reach, were there was both a Plumed and Great Egret, a Pacific Heron, 3 Yellow-billed Spoonbills, 3 Brown Quails, 2 Pacific Golden Plovers, 50 plus Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, a PECTORAL SANDPIPER, 5 Marsh Sandpipers, a Greenshank, one Lathams Snipe and 30 plus Whiskered Terns, a Whistling Kite, Pallid Cuckoo and a lone Zebra Finch.


Edwin Vella    


PS For those interested in the Ruff and Little Curlews, David Mitford called me to say that they were still there this afternoon at the places I mentioned above.

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