Good Birding on the NSW Central Coast

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Subject: Good Birding on the NSW Central Coast
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 10:05:37 +1100
Hi Birders,
The drought continues to casue distruption to birdlife and so has in part caused many birds to come to the Central Coast (the local government areas of Gosford & Wyong, 60-100 km N of Sydney) in January. The level of Tuggerah Lakes is quite low and the best conditions for waders since 1993 are currently being experienced.
A Great Knot was at Picnic Point, The Entrance on the 11th, 2 Black-tailed Godwits were at North Chittaway, off Geoffrey Rd on 19th, and 20+ Marsh Sandpipers 11-19/1, at Chittaway Bay, Berkeley Vale, Chittaway Point, Picnic Point & Budgewoi Lake. Over 300 Whiskered Terns can be be found at those same locations. Most years we not see Whiskered terns, and then just the one small flock on one occasion. Around the shores of Tuggerah & Budgewoi Lake, there are up to 3000 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and lesser numbers of Red-necked Stints.
At Karagi Point sandspit, opposite The Entrance township, 30+ pairs of Little Terns continue to care for their chicks, 13 have already fledged and another 15+ chicks, mostly runners are being fed in the colony. Non-breeding Little Terns, c 40 Common Terns and 2 White-winged Black Terns can also be seen in the vicinity of the colony or on sandy banks in the entrance channel or just offshore. Large feeding flocks of Pelicans & Little Black Cormorants are feeding in the entrance channel, along with up to 20 Caspian Terns and smaller numbers of Turnstones, Red-necked Stints, Red-capped Plovers and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, in addition to the gulls and Crested Terns. When the bait fish shoal and start a feeding frenzy by the cormorants and pelicans, the scene can be quite dramatic!
The freshwater wetlands and the Tuggerah STW are also providing good birding. Up to 26 Pink-eared Duck and two Freckled Duck & 6 Shoveler have been present at the STW during January, and yesterday 7 Freckled Duck, 14 Shoveler and 2 Pinkear were on the Dairy Swamp at Tuggerah. Up to October last year, there had been no Freckled Duck records for the Central Coast. There wereare also 6 Hoary-headed Grebe, 1 Intermediate Egret & a Yellow-billed Spoonbill present this morning, along with the usual wetalnd birds. All the wetlands at the newly created Pioneer Dairy Reserve (yet to be opened to the general public but possible to visit on outings with the Central Coast Group Birding NSW), were visited in the last few days as part of the Painted Snipe National Survey. While no PS were seen 10+ Latham's Snipe were counted and how the Freckled Duck were located. The very large Moreton Bay Figs, currently fruiting, near the Dairy Swamp, are still attracting numbers of Channel-billed Cuckoos, while Glossy Ibis were seen here in late December.
There have been plenty of Pacific Bazas around with one at the STW, one Wadalba Water Tower and an adult feeding a juvenile on 16/1 at warnervale Airport. Musk and Little Lorikeets are present across the area in small numbers. Finally 60+ Fork-tailed Swifts (last seen on the Central Coast in Nov 1990 at Norah Head) were present over Bateau Bay for more than 2 hours along with Tree Martins & White-throated Needletails early yesterdau afternoon.
Alan Morris
Central Coast Group, Birding NSW
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