Good Birding on the NSW Central Coast 16 December 2006

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Subject: Good Birding on the NSW Central Coast 16 December 2006
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Fri, 22 Dec 2006 08:35:21 +1100


On Saturday 16 December 2006, 22 eager birders left Sydney, where showers and drizzle were the order of the day, and headed for the Central Coast to check out the local hotspots. By the time the coach arrived at Tuggerah the rain had eased, and we were able to bird in mild and overcast conditions for the rest of the day. First stop was Picnic Point, near The Entrance, to check out the waders. As some of the people who made up the group, were new to birding and some were from overseas, there was birding at all levels. There were plenty of waders and other waterbirds to see, with Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Red-necked Stints being the commonest. However there were a few Common Greenshanks, and a bevy of terns, being Whiskered, Little, Crested and Caspian. Great and Little Egrets provided good comparisons for the beginners, while 4 species of Cormornats rested on the sandbanks. We were also able to see a pair of juvenile Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes being fed, a juvenile White-breasted Woodswallow being fed by a number of birds and Willie Wagtails being fed in the nest. Everywhere it seemed there were Yellow-rumped Thornbills.

Morning tea was taken at North Entrance Sensory gardens, over-looking Terilbah Island. Here we were able to check out the lone Marsh Sandpiper (formerly known as the Little Greenshank) and compare it with 28 Common Greenshanks that it was feeding amongst! Plenty of Bar-tailed Godwits were feeding in the shallows, Rainbow Lorikeets were feeding young in the Casuarinas, and many White-faced Herons and Cormorants were present, along with the same four species of terns. Good views were had of Whiskered Terns in breeding plumage. Heading north towards Toukley we stopped in some coastal baksia scrub in Wyrrabalong NP and walked out to Tuggerah Beach. Yellow Robins, Grey Fantail, Silvereyes, Little Wattlebirds and Brown Thornbills were the common birds here, out at sea we could see Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, while beach cast Short-tails and a Fleshy-footed Shearwater, were strewn along the beach.

We lunched at Rotary Park, Budgewoi, where we could check out Budgewoi Lake, and there were many more waders here, mostly Godwits, Sharpies and Stints, however there were also large numbers of Black Swans (c.1300), Grey Teal (c.200) and Chestnut Teal (c.100). A pair of Chestnut Teal tried to keep their ducklings away from the rest of the ducks without much success. Royal Spoonbills, with their nuptial crests blowing in the wind, were roosting on a little sand island in the Lake, and Figbirds were feeding young in the paperbarks above the picnic tables where Orioles were also present. White-bellied Sea-eagle, Whistling Kite, Black-winged Stilts and more Whiskered Terns were found on Budgewoi Lake. We headed for Soldiers Point Beach where we walked from there to Pelican Point to check the waders out on the reefs and here we added Pacific Golden Plovers and Red-capped Plovers. It was a pleasant walk and enabled close up views of more Cormorants and Shearwaters as well as the plovers.

Our final stop of the day was at The Entrance channel, where as well as checking out the New Zealand Ice-cream Shop, we could also check out the birds on the sandbars in the channel. While there was nothing new for the day, good views were had of more Red-capped Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits, Little. Crested and Caspian Terns. All up 78 species were seen, the rain held off and Janene's scrumptious Christmas cake at morning tea, made the outing a fitting end to a great birding year and an enjoyable lead up to the Christmas Break. Merry Christmas everyone and good birding in 2007. Alan Morris.

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