South Coast NSW / Victoria (last week)

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Subject: South Coast NSW / Victoria (last week)
From: "Simon Blanchflower" <>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 12:42:58 +1000
Hi folks, just got back from a trip to the NSW South Coast where we stayed at Merimbula for a bit of a break and managed (of course) to get some birding in. Didn't see a huge number of species - 91 in total, but did see some interesting birds and spectacular scenery...
At Mallacoota (Vic) saw over 60 species in a morning around the inlet and Croajingolong NP with the highlights as follows: A Peregrine Falcon over the cliff south of Shipwreck Creek (Croajingolong NP), also in this NP nearby saw a number of Wonga Pigeons. Also in the park saw a single Topknot Pigeon + a single Wedge-Tailed Eagle. Around the inlet, saw 4 Bassian Thrush together under a tree in the caravan park adjacent to the lake as well a few  Little Ravens (heard at least one calling) nearby. On the lake itself was the largest "raft" of Hoary-Headed Grebes totalling 250+ that I have ever seen - also was Royal Spoonbill and a couple of Great Egrets. On the exposed sand nearer the beach there were the following waders: 25 Bar-Tailed Godwit, 1 Double-Banded Plover, a number of Red-Capped Plover together with a lone Pacific Gull.
Further up the coast in NSW 25 Double-Banded Plovers (roosting on the sandspit) together with 4 Eastern Curlew, 15 Bar-Tailed Godwit, Royal Spoonbills and Little Egrets on the Merimbula estuary. Also of interest were 8 White-Headed Pigeon on phone lines along the Tathra River Estate Road and a Brown Goshawk nearby, a single Yellow-Nosed Albatross (and not much else unfortunately) at Green Cape lighthouse, a couple of Pacific Gulls at the mouth of Womboyn Lake, and a couple of Eastern Reef-Egrets (near Lennard's Is - Ben Boyd NP and Nelson Bay - Mimosa Rock NP).
An interesting trend that I noticed in this part of the country (relative to Sydney where I do most of my birding) is that both White-Browed Scrubwren (particularly) and Brown Thornbill were very numerous in most places visited whereas in Sydney I've noticed a decline in numbers in recent years. Also Bell Miners and White-Bellied Sea Eagles seemed common also.
Came back to Sydney via Canberra and saw a few interesting things here too on a quick stop over:
Botanical Gardens : Crescent Honeyeater, Gang-gang Cockatoo and Bassian Thrush. Also 4 Red-Rumped Parrots outside Qestacon.
Jerrabombera Wetlands: 5 Greenfinch feeding on dried Thistles, 35+ Pink-Eared Duck, a couple of Hoary-Headed Grebes on the river and 5 Blue-billed Ducks on the sewage ponds.
The south coast as many of you know has spectacular coastal scenery and the 3 National Parks (Mimosa, Ben Boyd, and Croajingolong (Vic)) we visited were just amazing especially in winter as hardly anyone was around. I think my favourite was Mimosa Rocks between Bermagui and Tathra.
Happy birding!
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