Hawksbury Area 55kms NW Sydney

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Subject: Hawksbury Area 55kms NW Sydney
From: "Simon Blanchflower" <>
Date: Fri, 10 Jan 2003 14:42:22 +1100
Hi all,
Went for a trip around the Hawksbury this morning (10th January) and saw over 100 species in just a few hours!
Richmonds / Turf Farms
Interesting birds in this area included a nice male White-Winged Triller in the small swamp behind Pughs Lagoon, a female Brown Songlark along Powers Lane, a single Brown Quail and 25 Zebra Finches around the turf farms. Not much at Fernleigh's Lagoon, its dried up a fair bit since I was last there about 3 weeks ago - only counted 5 Sharp-Tailed Sandpipers.
Mitchell Park
This is the first time I have visited this place in ages as its been closed due to bush fire danger. It was great to walk around the tracks - this is one of my favourite places local to Sydney. There is alot of variety in this park and you generally see something interesting each time you visit - never a dull moment!
Today wasn't a let down, in fact today was one of my most memorable birding experiences yet- I found a male and immature Glossy Black Cockatoo close to the track (swamp track that runs to the firetrail) feeding on cones - I got within about 5 meters of them and watched them for over 10 minutes before they flew a short distance deeper into the scrub - Didn't have my camera (typical) which is a real shame - this is closest I have ever got to Glossies! Not far from where I saw the GBC's was a single White-Eared Honeyeater, as well as a couple of Peaceful Doves. In the section that borders the river were a couple of Rufous Fantail,  further along the track was a Brown Goshawk as well as Yellow-Tufted Honeyeater, Yellow Thornbill, White-Throated Gerygone and Variegated Fairy Wren. Also in the MP was a single Dollarbird on wires over the picnic area as well as Sacred Kingfisher and Cicadabird in the same area (a number of Cicadabirds were calling throughout the park 5+). Nearby was also a nice female Leaden Flycatcher. On the way out of the park near the entrance saw a single Dusky Woodswallow. A memorable morning with about 50 species here seen in total.
McGraths Hill STW
Stopped here on the way home and saw some interest birds here including Chestnut Breasted and Nutmeg Mannikin, 6 Glossy Ibis, a total of 36 Sharp-Tailed Sandpipers (highest count I have had here in sometime), another male White-Winged Triller, 2 Pink-Eared Duck, 4 Baillon's Crakes, both Yellow (1) and Royal Spoonbills (7), and a single Swamp Harrier.
Cheers and best wishes for 2003
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