Good Birdwatching on the Central Coast

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Subject: Good Birdwatching on the Central Coast
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 18:38:21 +1100
Seventeen birders, including two visitors from the United Kingdom visited the Central Coast on 18 October and had a great days birding, seeing over 84 species. The main event commenced with a visit to Burge Road reserve, Blackalls Bay, Woy Woy from where you can look onto Ramsay Island to see our local Pelican rookery. There were about 30 juvenile Pelicans in a loose creche while about another 40 pairs of birds had recently commenced nesting, so that there was much coming and going. Also on this little sandy island there were about 20 nests of White Ibis on the one low She-oak but the main highlight was seeing a juvenile Pied Oystercatcher feeding with its parents because successful breeding of Oystercatchers on the Coast is not a common event. At the waters edge near where we were standing, good views were had of a Striated Heron, Little Egret & Great Egret, a pair of White-breasted Woodswallows were nesting on a mooring pole, while our overseas visitors were able to compare the differences of Long-billed and Little Corellas which were feeding together on the grass.
Our next stop was the Katandra Reserve at Matcham but on route to that rainforest reserve we passed briefly by Kincumber Pony Club grounds where the resident pair of Bush Stone-curlews were quickly located close to the coach which acted as a great hide so that no one needed to alight! Katandra Reserve has missed out on some of the local rains so was somewhat dry and a bit quiet so that birds like the Cicadabird, Rufous Fantail, Rose Robin, Catbird and Brown Cuckoo-Dove were heard calling but showed little activity. However here we did get good views of Rufous & Golden Whistlers and Black-faced Monarchs, a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike was loacted nesting in the car-park during our lunch, and Sacred Kingfishers were seen constructing a nest in a termites mound. Scarlet Honeyeaters, a Shining Bronze-Cuckoo, Olive-backed Orioles and Leaden Flycatchers were some of the other birds seen.
Our third main site for the day was the Tuggerah STW which provided great bird watching experiences. First a Brown Goshawk gave good views enabling easy identification, and then a Swamp Harrier made a number of swoops over the wetlands trying to catch some of the coots and lapwings, enabling all to see its under and upper wing and tail patterns. Good views were had of Clamorous Reedwarblers and more Scarlet Honeyeaters, some sneaky Black-fronted Plovers were found hiding in the grass at the edge of the ponds, Fairy Martins and Welcome Swallows were busy overhead, while Cattle Egrets, Royal Spoonbills and the three common cormorant species were roosting side by side and so helped with identification purposes, while the usual ducks were present. Yellow-faced and White-cheeked Honeyaters were feeding in the Coral Trees and Dollarbirds were swopping over the ponds. Altogether a very pleasant day on the Coast with good company and great birds.
Alan Morris
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