NSW South Coast - 28/12/05-2/1/06 (long)

Subject: NSW South Coast - 28/12/05-2/1/06 (long)
From: Marnix Zwankhuizen <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2006 14:07:50 +1100
We spent an amazing time over new years down in the Narooma-Bermagui area on
the south coast of NSW.

Thu 29 Dec
A brief stop at Monga NP produced *Pilotbirds*, *Crescent Honeyeater* and a
Jezebel (butterfly). We arrived at our accommodation in Narooma which turned
out to be alive with birds. While swimming in the pool we could see or
listen to the calls of *Brown Gerygone*, *Common Koel*, *Dollarbird*, *Lewin's
Honeyeater, White-headed Pigeon* and *Pilotbird!* Each night a *Southern
Boobook* called. Also 6 *Bar-tailed Godwits* at Handkerchief Beach.

Fri 30 Dec
A walk around Wagonga Inlet produced 120 *Bar-tailed Godwit*, 6 *Eastern
Curlew*, 3 *Pied Oystercatcher*, 3 *Little Egret* among others. But the most
amazing sightings were of the marine variety along the Mill Bay Boardwalk: A
Common Octopus superbly changing colour, a Green Moray Eel, its yellow head
protruding from its home, two enormous Smooth Stingrays, one easily 3 metres
long and 2 metres wide, several Southern Eagle Rays and a Fiddler Ray, not
to mention numerous smaller rays, possibly Estuary Rays or Stingarees. All
these rays were easily seen each day at high tide. Fishes included Banded
Seaperch, One-spot Chromis, juvenile Keyhole Angelfish at their southern
limit, Old Wives and Blackfish or Luderick. To top it off as the tide
receded tens of thousands of Soldier Crabs appeared in waves to feed. The
lone *Bush Stone-Curlew* was present most days near the skate park.

Sat 31 Dec
6 *Bar-tailed Godwits* and 2 *Pied Oystercatcher* at Dalmeny. There were no
shorebirds present at Brou Lake, but did find *Variegated Fairy-wren*
and *Shining
Bronze-Cuckoo*. At Mystery Bay were 8 *Bar-tailed Godwit* and 1 *Sooty
Oystercatcher*. At midday in extreme heat I walked around Ringlands Bay to
the giant fig tree rainforest. Birds included 2 dark morph *White-bellied
Cuckoo-shrikes*, *Cicadabirds* in the canopy of the fig tree, 2 *Wonga
Pigeons*, 1 *Brush Cuckoo* and *Brown Gerygone*. Back at Narooma there was
also 1 *Grey-tailed Tattler* in the harbour.
A brief spotlighting sojourn at 10pm along Box Cutting Rd in Bodalla SF
produced a group of 2-3 Yellow-bellied Gliders, 2 *Southern Boobooks* and a
beautiful 2 metre Diamond Python.

Sun 1 Jan
Spent the day at Wallaga Lake and Beach. Birds included 4 *Royal Spoonbill*,
2 *Hooded Plover* and 3 *Little Terns*, one of which was incubating an
egg(s). Also 30 *Bar-tailed Godwits*, 4 *Pied Oystercatcher*, 2 *Red-capped
Plover*, 1 *Red-necked Stint* and 10 Bottle-nosed Dolphins in the waves
metres offshore. At Bermagui Harbour we saw several more enormous Smooth
Stingrays and Eagle Rays, as well as 1 *Eastern Curlew* and 5 *White-throated
*Black Swans* were nesting at Bermagui Lagoon, Long Swamp and near Bumbo 
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