Trip report: Illawarra / Shoalhaven area

To: birding australia <>
Subject: Trip report: Illawarra / Shoalhaven area
From: Grant Brosie <>
Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 20:42:18 -0700 (PDT)

Sent this report last week but seems to have been lost in cyberspace somewhere. 
Hopefully the original doesn't turn up after typing this one.

I spent last Tuesday/Wednesday birding around the above mentioned areas trying 
to mop up a few year ticks I'd missed so far. The weather conditions were great 
with blue skies and a light breeze, although the frost Tuesday morning was so 
thick I had to shoulder barge the car door open.

First stop was Barren Grounds and I managed to find all my target species 
except Pilotbird. Highlighted birds are year ticks:
CRESCENT HONEYEATER - 1 in the top carpark
Eastern Bristlebird - 1 only
GROUND PARROT - 1 flushed from beside track, stunning in the early light
Beautiful Firetail - 3 including a male displaying
Southern Emu-wren - 1 female
BASSIAN THRUSH - 1 very friendly, got within 1.5m

>From Barren Grounds I headed south to Barrara and Lake Conjola looking for 
>Hooded Plovers. Sadly I dipped at both spots. Are they still present in the 

Barrara produced many coastal birds like Little Wattlebird, New Holland 
Honeyeater and Aust. Gannet. A Square-tailed Kite was seen patrolling the beach 
and flew straight over me, too close for the camera to focus!

Lake Conjola had the following:
Eastern Curlew - 1
Whimbrel - 1
Bar-tailed Godwit - 5
Red-capped Plover - 15-20
Pied Oystercatcher - 4
Little Egret - 2
White-fronted Tern - 4-5
Was disappointed to see people with dogs on the sand islands.

Spent the night in the Booderee NP at Jervis Bay. Watched the sunrise over a 
completely flat ocean. In the heath around the ruined lighthouse I saw/heard 
atleast 3 pairs of Eastern Bristlebird. I also recorded them in the heath 
behind Hyams Beach and on the corner of Jervis Bay Rd and Erowal Bay Rd. Other 
good birds seen in the area included Sooty Oystercatcher, Variegated Fairy-wren 
and the only White-throated Treecreeper for the trip.

Making my way north I stopped several times to look for seabirds, but due to 
the poor conditions (sun and no wind) this proved unfruitful. Saw Black-browed 
Albatross at every stop but nothing else. The sea was so flat that the 
albatross weren't disappearing behind the swell even when resting. A Kelp Gull 
at Coalcliff was my 4th sighting ever......3rd for the year.

Last stop was Eastlakes Golf Course where I hoped for Greenfinch. Dipped once 
again!!!!!! Apparently I'm not meant to see this species. Did see 
Black-shouldered Kite, Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoo and nesting Red-rumped 

All up I saw 95 species. Surprise of the trip was not recording a single Grey 
Fantail in 2 days.

Grant Brosie
Raworth, NSW

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