I have had the opportunity for work and holidays to cover a bit of ground in SW
NSW over the last few weeks, and after a quiet few months in Mildura it was
interesting to see some very green countryside and a few things back earlier
than I would expect. Hopefully it will continue on to a good spring and we may
even get a few oddities travelling down from the big wet in Queensland. Some of
the sightings included:
Australian Shovellers - good numbers at Campbells Swamp (Griffith) on 15th of
July. Also present were a few Chestnut Teal, and singing Golden-headed
Cisticola, Australian Reed-warbler and Little Grassbird (lots). Didn't have a
lot of time but looks good for Bittern and Crakes again
Australian Shelduck - Umberumberka Reservoir west of Broken Hill July 17th.
Other waterbirds present were Little Pied Cormorant, Grey Teal, Eurasian Coot
and unidentified grebes (about 30 in the distance). At Stephens Reservoir today
the only waterbird was one single unidentified grebe. The dams seem very full
at the moment (and also very muddy)
Black-shouldered Kite - the most I have seen in the SW in the last four years.
About a dozen were seen in the first 50km north of Wentworth on the Broken Hill
road on Friday 16th (this is also the part that has the most grass).
Pink Cockatoo - my first records for the year surprisingly. Only 1 pair seen on
the trip north to Broken Hill on Friday, and a pair north of Coombah and about
15 in a flock about 2km north of Lake Popiltah on the return journey today.
Regent Parrot - 3 flew across the Sturt Highway at Bretts Road east of Euston
on 7th of July
Pallid Cuckoo - One silent bird in flight today at Living Desert north of
Rufous Fieldwren - at least one gave superb views, calling from the top of
Saltbush about 500m west of the Daydream Mine turnoff on the Silverton Road
Western Gerygone - 1 calling well in Hay SF (now?) 8th of July (adds support to
my theory that the central NSW population doesn't migrate, they just remain
Grey Fantail - 1 at Umberumberka seemed unusual (not certain if this is the
White-breasted Woodswallow - a pair at Twin Lakes, South Broken Hill July 18
(they may be resident here but all have gone from Mildura). About 6 Dusky WS
were also present at the same spot (in an artificial Red Gum forest) and this
seemed a very odd spot. A single White-backed Swallow came into drink and a
Blackbird confirmed their continued presence in Broken Hill.
White-winged Triller - a pair (not calling yet) was present about 1km south of
the Living Desert turnoff to the north of Broken Hill yesterday. A very birdy
spot, with other good species present including Redthroat, Horsfield's
Bronze-cuckoo, Hooded Robin and White-browed Babblers. The most Chirruping
Wedgebills I have ever heard were also providing good views.
Rufous Songlark - 1 calling at Twin Lakes yesterday and another at Stephens
Reservoir today would be appear to be very early breeders.
Brown Songlark - 1 heard in a wheat crop on the western Hay Plain on the 7th
and about 3 seen in the drive again on the 12th
As I said, could be a good year in the far SW of NSW.
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