Today, 30th May 2004, Graham Turner and I spent the morning at
Prospect Reservoir (approx. 35-40km west of Sydney CBD near Blacktown) to see
if we can locate more Swift Parrots and any other interesting birds. Not too
long after arriving we saw a small group of 4 Swift Parrots flying over and
calling but this was unfortunately the only views we were able to get of them
(these parrots can remain quite for quite some time when feeding in the foliage
and therefore easy to miss). Being a fairly large area, more Swifties could be
present elsewhere. However, we did see in addition to the Swift Parrots a nice
light phase Little Eagle, an Immature White-bellied Sea-eagle, Bar-shouldered
Doves, Rose Robins (I only saw one nice coloured male and I heard several others),
a female Crested Shrike-tit, Variegated Wrens, 3 Brown Gerygones, Weebills,
quite a number of Varied Sitellas, lots of Striated and Spotted Pardalotes, a
number of Double-barred and the more numerous Red-browed Firetails and Olive-backed Oriole.
There are quite a number of species of Eucalypt in flower including
Swamp Mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta) (thanks Graham for confirming the identity
of this species. The Mahogany is originally a coastal species growing naturally
on fairly swampy ground) and Mugga Ironbarks (E. sideroxylon) (both species appear
to have been planted in or on the edge of the forest/woodland around the north
side of the reservoir), Narrow-leafed Ironbarks (E. crebra), Forest Red Gums
(E. tereticornis) and Spotted Gums (E. maculata). The flowering activity around
the reservoir (the peak flowering has yet to come!) was attracting numerous
Yellow-faced, White-naped, Brown-headed, Fuscous, White-plumed, New Holland
(these seem to be increasing at Prospect) and several Scarlet Honeyeaters
amongst 11 species of Honeyeaters present.
Later in the morning it was nice to see flying in a thermal an adult
White-bellied Sea-eagle, a Little Eagle and 5 Whistling Kites (the later
calling as they went up higher in the air).
In the reservoir it self were 53 Great Crested Grebe amongst other
usual water birds.
Another beautiful morning at the Reservoir!