Following my previous email a few
weeks ago and further to Graham Turners email early this week, I have further
news regarding the status of the Mugga Ironbarks (Eucalyptus sideroxylon) in the
Castlereagh, Londonderry and Landillo areas (approx. 55 km
north-west of Sydney CBD).
Many of the Muggas are now in
full bloom and a few trees are now starting to attract some birds but not yet
the full potential as can expected over the next few weeks/months. There are
also other Muggas yet to flower and have plenty of bud. There is a high chance
that this part of Sydney will be again be invaded by the large numbers of
Honeyeaters with good chance of sightings of both Regent Honeyeaters and Swift
Parrots as was the case in 1998. Both these endangered species that time stayed
for a number of months. There are now good stands of flowering Mugga along
and Fifth Ave, (Llandilo),
The Northern Rd (Berkshire
Tickner St and Devlin?s Rd
(Castlereagh) and various other locations in this region. The flowers of the
Mugga vary from cream to reddish and the tree itself is a deeply furrowed black
Ironbark. Along Fifth Ave, Llandilo where I saw most of the activity this
afternoon, the most numerous Honeyeaters were both Scarlet and Yellow-faced
Honeyeaters with lesser numbers of
White-plumed, White-eared and White-cheeked Honeyeaters, Red Wattlebirds, Noisy
Friarbirds (though these are more numerous elsewhere) and Eastern Spinebills.
Both Striated and Spotted Pardalotes were also feeding in the Muggas.
The Yellow-faced and White-naped
Honeyeater migration has only begun, so give it a bit of time, and these trees
will be loaded with birds along with the hope for Regent Honeyeaters, Swift
Parrots and who knows Black Honeyeaters! perhaps.
After this, I also spent an hour
or so in the Richmond turf farms (a
little further north) and saw 3 interesting birds all in the same spot along
Cornwallis Rd to the north
of Bakers Lagoon. A brilliant adult Spotted Harrier put on a good show in good
light along the eastern edge of Bakers Lagoon (the turf farms are a fairly
reliable spot to see this Harrier every autumn and winter), a cooperative Grey
Goshawk perched on powerlines (the Grey Goshawks seem to move in more open
habitat in autumn/winter judging from past experiences) at the same time, and a
very good record for Sydney, a WHITE-BACKED SWALLOW. These Swallows use to breed
in Sydney but not for sometime and I
have not heard any records of them since the early 1990?s.
A good few hours birding in