Last weekend (17-18/11/07), I enjoyed some good birding in the South West
Rocks/ lower Macleay Valley area (approx. 500km north of Sydney CBD).
Like many other birdos, I also wanted to add the Lesser Yellowlegs to my
life list in which I successfully did but also wanted to do some good
exploring and birding in an area I had only visited once before.
The Lesser Yellowlegs put on a good show along Boyters Lane in Jerseyville
on both mornings I was there. The Yellowlegs associated all the time with a
small group of Marsh Sandpipers (about ten of the later were present) during
our observation. I observed the Yellowlegs for at least a couple of hours
over the 2 mornings (on my own the Saturday morning and with Matt Hinze,
Dick Jenkins, Troy Mutton et al on the Sunday morning). It was great to
watch it feed, preen etc at close range (managed to creep close but with
care to within a few metres to take a few photos without disturbing the
bird). Other interesting birds along Boyters Lane included 50 or so
Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, 5 Latham's Snipe, 4 Red-kneed Dotterels, 2 Mangrove
Gerygones, Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo, Tawny Grassbirds, a Brahminy Kite,
Cicada bird and a pair of Wandering Whistling-ducks.
Around the South West Rocks Boat ramp I saw one or two Mangrove Herons, a
flock of 35 Whimbrel, a few of both Eastern Curlew and Bar-tailed Godwits, a
Grey-tailed Tattler, a Pied Oystercatcher, a photogenic Osprey, a pair of
adult White-bellied Sea-eagles, Whistling Kites, a White-headed Pigeon,
Striped Honeyeaters, Brush Cuckoo, Rufous Fantail, White-winged Triller,
White-breasted Woodswallows as well as both Peaceful and Bar-shouldered
At Hat Head I had an Osprey, a Brahminy Kite and White-cheeked Honeyeaters
in the heathland.
Another great spot I visited was Belmore Swamp (between South West Rocks and
the Highway) which had lots and various waterbirds including several Pacific
Herons (several were nesting), nesting colonies of both White and
Straw-necked Ibis, a Brown Quail, a Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo, Comb-crested
Jacanas, 2 Australasian Bitterns, 5 Nankeen Night Herons, several Hardheads,
several Swamp Harriers and at least 200 Whiskered Terns hawking low over the
swamp. I also had a White-throated Nightjar hawking on the edge of the swamp
A nice pleasant weekend and it was great to catch up with both familiar and
unfamiliar faces (birdos and birds).
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