Prsopect Reservoir (near Blacktown) NSW - 8-9th November 2003

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Subject: Prsopect Reservoir (near Blacktown) NSW - 8-9th November 2003
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2003 15:37:04 +1100
A visit today and yesterday morning at Prospect Resevoir near Blacktown (approx. 40 km west of Sydney CBD) has produced a number of interesting birds for this wonderful area on the outskirts of metropolitan Sydney. I have been surveying the surrounding bushland in the northern and western areas of the Reservoir and the reservoir itself (after being granted permission from the Sydney Waterboard and State Government to do so) and have found my local patch a very productive area for birds with no fewer than 86 species recorded in a few habitats.
Some of the interesting species seen on those 2 days include 120 plus Great Crested and smaller numbers of Australasian Grebes, 150 plus Australian Pelicans, a male Darter, a Little Egret, a pair of adult and a juv. White-bellied Sea-eagle, a Brown Goshawk flying high with 5 Whistling Kites in a thermal, Brown Quails, Black-fronted Dotterels, 1-2 Buff-banded Rails, 2 Latham's Snipe, Peaceful Doves, Pallid and Fan-tailed Cuckoos, Horsfield's Bronze Cuckoos, Sacred Kingfisher,  numerous White-winged Trillers (very numerous throughout the area with a conservative number of at least 21 very territorial pairs in the areas I checked), numerous Rufous Whistlers, a pair of Crested Shrike-tits,  several Variegated Wrens (not typical in the shale areas, saw a very nicely plumaged male), Rufous Songlark, Varied Sitellas, Brown-headed and numerous Scarlet Honeyeaters (quite abundant), Striated Pardalotes, Chestnut-breasted Mannikins, lots of Olive-backed Orioles and White-throated Gerygones and Weebills.
The calls of White-winged Trillers, Rufous Whistlers, Olive-backed Orioles, Grey Shrike-thrushes and Scarlet Honeyeters certainly dominated the scene and this truly made it like spring. Many were present in recently burnt areas. However in a few parts unfortunatley, many Australian Ravens and Noisy Miners were dominate.
I also saw a nice sized Laced Monitor, a Jacky Lizard and some Eastern Grey Kangaroos. Dwarf Green Tree Frogs (Litoria fallax) were also heard during the day in the reeds (great food for Little Bitterns which I wound imagine be also present around the Reservoir).
There is very good reed cover in the western sections of the Reservoir which looks good for all 3 species of Bittern, Rails and Crakes and the wet grass nearby good easily have King Quail or Red-backed Button-quails. Pheasant Coucals are also meant to be in the thick vegeation (seen fairly recently closeby at Greystanes) and I am hoping Speckled Warblers and other endangered Sydney woodland birds maybe still around.
A wonderful time exploring and surveying my local patch.
Edwin Vella  
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