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Date: 30 December 2013 4:02:09 am AEDT
Subject: Birdline New South Wales Weekly Update
Birdline New South Wales
Published sightings for the week ending 29 Dec 2013.
Sun 29 Dec Black-browed Albatross, Shy Albatross. north head manly.
About 50 albatross of north head today with 35 black browed albatross & 15 shy
Common Tern Lake Belvedere, Sydney Olympic Park
Single Common Tern photographed sitting on a post in the middle of Lake
Belvedere late this afternoon. Certainly a rarity here-no. 172 on the local
Wedge-tailed Eagle, Peregrine Falcon Bundanoon township
This morning, I watched 4 Wedge-tailed Eagles making the most of blowy
conditions over the wooded range and paddocks by Blue Gum Rd. One bird was a
juvenile. Pot hook displays from the birds and rolling and parrying from one
bird when another dived at it, was tremendous to see. A Peregrine Falcon
gliding and soaring over home for quite a while was also terrific.
Sat 28 Dec Superb Parrot Start of Barryrennie Rd, Cowra
Large (100+) flock of Superb Parrots seen at start of Barryrennie road early
this morning feeding on roadside. Large number of juveniles present. Smaller
flock (25) observed later near Fragar Rd.
Jon & Alison Elliott
Sat 28 Dec Whimbrel, Peregrine Falcon Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
Whimbrel (1) Peregrine Falcon (2) Flew low over the small beach at the end of
Sat 28 Dec Great Knot, Red Knot, Red-capped Plover, Grey-tailed Tattler
Boat Harbour, Kurnell
Visited the shelf on a lower than normal high tide. Apart from the usual
suspects at this time of year the highlights were: Red-capped Plover (3)
Grey-tailed Tattler (2) Great Knot (1) Red Knot (1) Photograph attached.
Curlew Sandpiper, Whiskered Tern Breeza
On two farm dams near the Kamilaroi Highway at Breeza (just across the rail
track), 2 Curlew Sandpipers were spotted (photo). My first sighting of this
species, which has not been seen inland recently. Together with many common
aquatic birds, there were also about 10 Whiskered Terns (photos taken), which
have been scarce in recent months. The farm dams may have had an influx of
birds from nearby Goran Lake, which is now dry.
Musk Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grassbird Quipolly Dams
At the NEW Quipolly Dam, amongst numerous other aquatic birds, one male Musk
Duck (top panel; further information link) and 3 Great Crested Grebes (bottom
panel) were spotted. A Little Grassbird was heard calling from reeds.
Little Bittern Deniliquin
A great few days birding around Deniliquin with the highlight being the Little
Bittern in a pond in the township.
Bernie OKeefe, Hedley and Irena Earl
Freckled Duck, Australasian Shoveler, Rainbow Bee-eater Quipolly Dams
At the OLD Quipolly Dam, next to a whole slew of more common aquatic species, 4
Freckled Ducks (photo; one bird at centre) were spotted today, a male
Australasian Shoveler (photos obtained) and overhead a flock of about 40
Rainbow Bee-eaters (photo taken; not the season for them to be in a flock;
usually observed in such numbers when it is time to migrate). The water level
is low, ducks can feed almost everywhere; the water's edge is about 15 m from
the bird hide.
Sooty Oystercatchers Warden Head, Ulladulla
20 Sooties were seen on the rocky platform below the lighthouse at Warden Head.
These were probably driven there by the many holiday makers seen on all the
local beaches. It should be noted that on the wader count 2 wks ago we seen
around 4 on our section in the survey.
Pacific Baza, Wedge-tailed Eagle, Collared Sparrowhawk, Dollarbird 4
Goodhugh Street, East Maitland (Private home)
Added 4 new species to my backyard list. Pacific Baza (1) Wedge-tailed Eagle
(2) Collared Sparrowhawk (1) Dollarbird (1)
Fri 27 Dec Eastern Bristlebird Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
Many Eastern Bristlebird's heard along the main trail including a very
confiding bird feeding out in the open for 15 minutes.
Fri 27 Dec Freckled Duck, Whistling Kite, Hoary-headed Grebe Tuggerah STW
A check of the waterbirds late afternoon found 8 Freckled Ducks, the most that
have been present here all year. They were mixed in with 400 Grey Teal and 350
Hardheads, 80+ Black Ducks and 12+ Hoary-headed Grebes. Other birds present
included 20+ Fairy Martins, 3 Whist;ling Kite, a White-bellied Sea-Eagle, a
Swamp Harrier, 16 Royal Spoonbills and Reed Warblers.
Ruffs, Broad-billed Sandpiper, 'unusual' sandpipers, Yellow Wagtail
We had four sightings of Ruffs yesterday afternoon, comprising at least 2
birds. Single Broad-billed Sandpiper amongst the hordes of Sharpies and others
(best recent count of Red-necked Stints, at 35). Towards dusk we found a bird
that appeared initially to be a Sharpie/Pectoral-type bird, with yellow legs,
streaked chestnut crown, buffish tinge to feathers on the back and mottled
colouring on the chest that was reasonably sharply demarcated to the white
underparts (similar to a Pec). Then we saw the bill(!), which appeared very
much like a Curlew Sands bill. It was marginally larger than a neighbouring
Sharpie. The bill is too long for a Cox’s Sandpiper and the strong super speaks
against a Cox’s as well(?), but I’m at a loss to work out what it was. Of
course, as soon as we repositioned to get it in a better light it flushed. A
poor image is attached at the bottom of the three images. A second ‘peep’ was
seen soon after, about stint-sized, perhaps marginally bigger with a longish
bill (longer than one would normally expect on a Red-necked Stint) with a pale
base to the bill. It was nearly dark when we were watching it so plumage
features were hard to judge. Legs were dark. A Yellow Wagtail was seen this
morning (28/12) by Tony Bischoff and Ann Lindsey (who had 3 Broad-billeds this
Mick and Steve Roderick, Tony Bischoff
Grey Goshawk Irrawong Reserve
A single white morph bird seen swooping, emerging with a small bird and bejng
persued by a Dollarbird. The size of the prey was fitting with a Dollarbird as
was the colour, locally the only other candidate would be a young Purple
Swamphen from neighbouring Warriewood Wetlands.
Pink-eared Duck, Intermediate Egret Castlereagh
On a small, roadside pond, four Pink-eared Ducks have been stationed since
Christmas Day among many Australian Wood and Pacific Black Ducks. An
Intermediate Egret was also there this evening.
Thu 26 Dec Australasian Bittern (3), Banded Lapwing (15), Australian
Pratincole (5) Rice Farm at Willbriggie south of Griffith
The bitterns have been recorded on this rice farm since 17 November and today
the three were seen flying from one rice bay to another. Also the Pratincoles
had a chick - only one chick seen. The Banded Lapwings and Pratincoles were all
in freshly ploughed paddocks.
White-throated Needletail Cambridge Gardens, Penrith area
At least 100 in small groups hawking low over suburbia heading in an easterly
direction. I saw more heading south towards Penrith.
Wed 25 Dec Sulphur-crested Cockatoo Mona Vale - private property
Dark grey and white "piebald" cockatoo, crest mostly dark grey with some yellow
through it, extremely tame. Has it been someone's pet? How does it get this
colouring? Totally accepted by other cockatoos and even appears to be the
dominant one. [Moderator's note (NH): It's a melanistic Sulphur-crested
Cockatoo. Not necessarily an escapee. However, if you believe it is, you should
post your sighting to http://www.parrotalert.com/;
http://www.petsearch.com.au/showpets.asp?Type=13 or http://www.gumtree.com.au/
(lost & found pets). Hopefully the owner will find his/her lost pet.]
Tue 24 Dec Collared Sparrowhawk Red Rock, Coffs Harbour
Collared Sparrowhawk (1) Photographed with prey - probable Blue-faced Honeyeater
Jean & Paul Newman
Australian Koel Moree Golf Course, Moree West
The Pheasant Coucal that was present (and heard calling only) from mid-November
to early December (3 weeks total) is no longer present. Instead, now a single
Australian Koel has suddenly made its presence which was heard callling only.
The Koel (believed to be a calling male) was heard calling from gums near the
riverbank whereas the Pheasant Coucal was heard calling from low dense
vegetation on the riverbank. Koels, like the Pheasant Coucal are rare in the
area, unlike the very common Channel-billed Cuckoo, of which young are around
at the moment.
Osprey, Little Egret, Nankeen Night Heron, White Bellied Seaeagle
Merimbula Creek, Merimbula, NSW
Pair of Ospreys, male and female judging by the size difference, seen around
midday in a large eucalypt on Merimbula Creek, approx 300m upstream of
footbridge, with a fresh kill (large Bream). Also excellent views of 2 Little
Egrets in breeding plumage on Back Lake, a flushed Nankern Night Heron and lots
of waterfowl on the creekline. Bush birds including Yellow Thornbill with young
and a hunting White-bellied Sea-Eagle also seen.
Helenna Mihailou and James Vincent
Pink-eared Duck, King Quail, Royal Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Spoonbill,
Red-kneed Dotterel, Richmond Lowlands
Quick stop along the Richmond Lowlands lanes with dropping water levels.
Pink-eared Duck (1), King Quail heard between Triangle L and Cornwells Rd,
Royal Spoonbill (1), Yellow-billed Spoonbill (6), Red-kneed Dotterel (8
including 6 on the stud dam near bend in Old Kurrajong Rd), Black-fronted
Eric Finley (2906)
Pied Oystercatcher Mill Stream, Sydney Airport
4 Pied Oystercatchers observed feeding at the entrance of the Mill Stream this
morning. Over the years we've often seen one or two, but never 4. Possibly a
successful breeding this year? Also an unusual observation 2 Eastern Osprey at
the southern end of the main runway in the early afternoon.
Spotted Harrier Warden Head, Ulladulla
This morning an adult Spotted Harrier glided leisurely passed 4 mtrs in front
me, riding the thermals along the cliff face. These are rare in this area and
this is the first SH I've seen down here for app 4yrs . At first I almost
dismissed it as Squared-tailed Kite, which are now seen regularly down here
over the last few years.
Sooty Owl, White-throated Nightjar, Southern Boobook, Owlet Nightjar
2 x Sooty Owls active and calling at dusk on the McKeown Valley trail. Also a
White-throated Nightjar was seen hawking for insects and an Owlet Nightjar and
Southern Boobok heard calling.
Mon 23 Dec Swamp Harrier Murwillumbah
Adult and Juvenile. Juvenile under pattern looked like a Whistling Kite.
Plumed Whistling Duck Dam on Dunns Boundary Road Corner, Maraylya
9 on far side of dam
Grey Goshawk Cheltenham Station
A Grey Goshawk flew over Cheltenham Station and landed in one if the gums at
Cheltnam Girls High. It was being harassed by Cockatoos the whole way.
Banded Lapwing Cornwallis Road Windsor end
Forty six Banded Lapwing feeding on turf farm.
Fork-tailed Swift Bay Street, Botany
5 Fork-tailed Swifts flying East, at least 2 showing wing moult Observed just
before Southerly change.
Sun 22 Dec Blue-faced Honeyeater 23 Ashgrove Place Bundanoon
The bird was observed in a tall eucalypt (|E. Macarthurii) in my garden. It
called several times, and was eventually chased away by a Noisy Miner. It was
obviously a Blue-faced Honeyeater, which I have previously observed in North
Queensland. Three of us heard the call, which we checked on Morcombe's app to
make sure we had identified it correctly.
Ground Parrot, Spotted Quail-thrush, Sooty Owl Ben Boyd National Park
Two night camping at Saltwater Creek camping grounds. Plenty of interesting
birds around camping grounds particularly in the heath and coastal banksia
forest including: Striated Fieldwren, Southern Emu-wren, Brush Bronzewing,
Scarlet Honeyeater and heaps of very noisy Yellow-tailed Cockatoos. During the
night we heard calls of Southern Boobook from the camp and Sooty Owl when
driving Saltwater Creek track. There was resident Tawny Frogmouth at the camp.
Other interesting birds: Spotted Quail-thrush and Rose Robin (near Disaster Bay
Lookout), Ground Parrot (2), Tawny-crowned honeyeater ( track trough the heath
to City Rock lookout,
Little Lorikeet Milperra
Twice on Sunday afternoon a pair of Little lorikeets flew over the yard heading
towards the former Riverlands Golf Course
Eastern Yellow Wagtail Hexham Swamp Nature Reserve
After seeing Mick Roderick there, I managed to spot 2 Yellow Wagtails which
were very hard to approach. Like Mick, saw thousands of Sharpies, 45 Marsh
Sandpiper, 50 or so Whiskered Terns and lots of Australian Crakes all over the
place. Only 2 White-fronted Chats seen. though.
White-winged Black Tern Ash Island, Hexham
7 White-winged Black Terns were amongst 100 or so Whiskered Terns beside
Wagtail Way. Also present were c300 Red-necked Avocets, 20 Sharp-tailed
Sandpipers, an Osprey with a White-bellied Sea-eagle beside the River and a
young Spotted Harrier perched beside Bell Frog Way.
White-throated Needletail, Collared Saprrowhawk Near Howes Valley,
At 10:50am WTNTs in two small groups of about 15 in each were hawking low at
treetop level around one kilometer past halfway house truck stop. Further
north, at Howes Valley Creek, a pair of Collared Sparrowhawks were soaring low.
Black Kite, Black Falcon Scone area
At least 100 Black Kites hanging around the area near meat works at Scone. We
also saw a Black Falcon (female) that buzzed in over the field making all the
Starlings take flight.
Ákos Lumnitzer and David Hollands
Sat 21 Dec Masked Owl, Sooty Owl Murramarang National Park
Spotlighting in the park starting from a picnic area near Princess Hwy (1.3 km
north from the turn off to Durras North Dr) and following Dangerboard and
Forest Rd. We could hear a begging calls of Masked Owl chick from their usual
nesting hole near picnic site. We also got very good view of adult Masked owl
coming back to the hollow with a small prey. Sooty Owl were calling along
Forest Rd (at least 2). Southern Boobooks were constantly calling.. Also seen
one Tawny Frogmouth ( just near Princess Hwy)
Black Bittern, Spottless Crake, Cicadabird Tomakin, nsw
Surprisingly good place for birding - particularly near the Tomaga River bridge
and on the grounds of the Moorings Resort. Black Bittern roosted on the trees
near the resort lagoon. I've seen it several times walking around the lagoon.
Other interesting birds: Striated Heron, Cicadabird, Leaden Flycatcher, Azure
kingfisher, Royal Spoonbill, Tawny Frogmouth, Nankeen Night heron,
Square-tailed Kite, White-throated Needle-tail. Another good birding spot in
nearby are Bevian Rd Wetland. There was a large flock of Hoary-headed Grebes
(200), Nankeen Night Heron (6), Spotless Crake (1), Grey Goshawk (1) and plenty
of Brown Gerygones
Fri 20 Dec Mash Sandpiper, Spotted Harrier Wilfords Lane wetlands, Lake
A young Spotted Harrier was flying over pasture near wetland. Plenty of waders
and ducks in the wetland ( I was lucky to get the access to the site). Over 200
Pink-eared ducks and a small group of A. Shovelers (at least 4). At the edge of
wetland (mostly on the drying mud): Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (41), Curlew
Sandpiper (5), Black-fronted Dotterel (2). In the little very shallow creek
nearby a solitary Marsh Sandpiper was foraging. Lake Burrill (from the
village): Musk Duck (1 - male), Buff-banded Rail (1), Azure Kingfisher.
(Moderator's Note: See posting for Spotted Harrier at Ulladulla on 24/12/13
Osprey, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater Bawley Point Headland nsw
Twelve Ruddy turnstones were feeding along the surf zone. A pair of Sooty
Oystercatchers on the beach. Osprey appeared from nowhere flying above our
heads. Two Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters calling from the old wattle tree at the
entrance to the Bawley Pt.
Beach Stone Curlew, Little tern, Pacific Gull Burrill Lake Estuary
A single Beach Stone Curlew on the beach. There were also: Little Tern (2),
Red-capped Plover (2), Sooty Oystercatcher (2) and juvenile Pacific Gull among
Silver Gulls and Crested Terns.
Sanderling, Hooded Plover, Little tern Lake Conjola Nature Reserve
At the entrance to Lake Conjola approx. 40 Little Terns (some breeding) and
good selection of waders: Hooded Plover (1), Ruddy Turnstone (4), Red-necked
Stint (3). Bar-tailed Godwit (3), Australian Pied Oystercatcher (2), Red-capped
Plover. There was also a single Sanderling running on the beach with turnstones
Black Bittern Fishermans Paradise, Lake Conjola
Very good view of Black Bittern flushed out casuarina branches overhanging
Conjola Creek (just past Fishermans Paradise when Conjola Creek is entering the
Sat 14 Dec Chest-nut-rumped Heathwren, Square-tailed Kite, Rockwarbler,
Pilotbird, Pacific Baza Morton National Park (12 Mile Rd)
I was bird watching along 12 Mile Rd up to the plateau (beyond George Boyd
lookout). At the dense heath on the plateau Chestnut-rumped Heathwrens were
common singing from the top of hakea bushes. The rocky picnic area near the
entrance to the Rainforest Walk was excellent for Rockwarblers. We also found
there: Green Catbird, Wonga Pigeon, Rufous Fantail, Pilotbird (2). Granite
Falls - Pacific Baza (1 in a tree) and Square-tailed Kite flying over the falls.
Mon 2 Dec Freckled Duck, Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Intermediate Egret
McPhersons Rd Swamp, Tuggerah
A check of this wetland mid afternoon found 18 Freckled Duck still present.
Other interesting species included 6 Chestnut-breasted Mannikins, Tawny
Grassbirds, 1 Yellow-billed Spoonbill and 10 Royals, Torresian Crows and
Cisticolas, 2 Intermediate Egrets.
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