Today, 15th October 2006, I enjoyed another good day's birding in
Sydney's Eastern suburbs (approx. 10km south of Sydney CBD).
At Penrhyn Rd, Port Botany, where I met Lorne Johnson, we had a good
mixture of shore birds including 9 Pacific Golden Plovers, 11 Red-necked
Stints, at least 21 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, 2 Grey-tailed Tattlers, 6
Red Knot, 35 Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 Pied Stilts. On the sand spit
there was 8 Whiskered Tern (all in immaculate fresh breeding plumage), a
Caspian Tern and a White-fronted Tern amongst the Crested Terns and
Silver Gulls. There were also 2 Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos and a
Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo calling in the nearby dune scrub.
Lorne and I also spent some time later that morning at the East Lakes
Golf course where we found 17 Latham Snipe, a single Sharp-tailed
Sandpiper, a Baillon's Crake, 8 Whiskered Terns (probably the same 8
that were at Penrhyn Rd earlier on), a few Black-fronted Dotterels, a
few Darter, a Pied Stilt, 4 Tawny Grassbirds, 3 Hardhead, a Plumed
Egret, a pair of Red-rumped Parrots, a Sacred Kingfisher, a Restless
Flycatcher, both Yellow and Yellow-rumped Thornbills, a few Red-browed
Firetails, Greenfinches and several Figbirds. We also saw a number of
Eastern Water Dragons swimming in the water.
I spent most of the afternoon with Stuart Pickering, doing a sea watch
at Magic Pt, Maroubra where the highlights were one or two Wandering
Albatrosses and 7 or so Black-browed Albatrosses amongst the hundreds of
Shearwaters. We also had a number of sightings of Humpback Whales that
were on their migration south.
Also heard near Magic Pt were Rufous Whistlers, another Horsfield's
Bronze-cuckoo and a Southern Emu-wren.
Our list of sea birds and numbers for the 4 hours (12:00-16:00 pm
approx.) we were at Magic Pt today included the following:
Fairy Penguin (one heard calling)
Black-browed Albatross (7)
Wandering Albatross (1-2)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater (1,000)
Short-tailed Shearwater (400)
Fluttering Shearwater (10)
Australasian Gannet (15)
Great Cormorant (2)
Kelp Gull (1)
Silver Gull (500)
Crested Tern (30)
Humpbacked Whale (at least 6)
I also made another brief visit (about 20 minutes or so) back at Penrhyn
Rd where I met Graham Buchan. It was almost high tide then and most of
the shorebirds seen earlier on were congregating together with a Kelp
Gull and Silver Gulls on the sand spit.
Overall I recorded 90 species yesterday in Sydney's Eastern suburbs
which is an excellent tally of birds given the proximity to Australia's
busiest and largest city.
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