Birding at Eastlakes in Sydney - 19 Jan. 2003 (Not another Yellow Wagtai

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Subject: Birding at Eastlakes in Sydney - 19 Jan. 2003 (Not another Yellow Wagtail for Sydney!)
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 22:38:30 +1100

After my first visit to Eastlakes (in Sydney?s Eastern Suburbs) last Sunday, and thinking it may be good habitat for a Painted Snipe to turn up, I decided to conduct the national Painted Snipe survey at this location today. Being a local in the area, I asked David Mitford to come along and assist me to help find these elusive creatures. We decided to check first the pond opposite Donaldson Street in Pagewood, and at first sight of this pond, I said to David that this looks great habitat for something interesting. We walked down to the edge of the lake and one of the first birds David saw was a YELLOW WAGTAIL. We had very good views of this Wagtail. It was basically mouse brown in plumage with a whitish supercilium and underparts, pale yellow vent and smudges of yellow in the breast and belly. It had a dark bill and legs. News quickly spread soon after our sighting with several other birders successfully finding this Sydney rarity. This is only the 3rd record for Sydney and Yellow Wagtails are now appearing to be a more regular migrant to the central coastal parts of NSW. For those who wish to see this bird and do not see it straight away, please have patience and scan the lagoon thoroughly, as the Wagtail was seen at times disappearing in the water weed or staying still and undetected against the reeds.  


Other birds present at Eastlakes included a Common Sandpiper, atleast 110 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, 30 Latham?s Snipe (many feeding well out in the open), an Australian and 2 Baillon?s Crake, atleast 3 Darters, several Hardheads, a pair of Black-shouldered Kites, 23 Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos, a Horsfield?s Bronze-cuckoo, a few Tawny Grassbirds, both a Little and Whiskered Tern (both flying over the main pond. All lakes are freshwater) and lots of Greenfinches. Unfortunately though none of our target species (Painted Snipes) were seen.


A great area to bird and almost next door to Australia?s busiest airport!


Edwin Vella


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