Some observations from south-western NSW

To: ? birding-aus <>
Subject: Some observations from south-western NSW
From: Peter Ewin <>
Date: Sun, 18 Jul 2010 18:23:22 +1000
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 
Broken Hill

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 
very quiet)

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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