Showed a friend of mine from Tasmania, David Walker, some of my favourite
birding areas in the Hunter and Sydney region over the weekend - 1st
and 2nd April.
The Yellow Wagtail (in as yellow breeding plumage as you ever going to
see it) was still present on Ash Island near Newcastle on Saturday
1st April (No Joke!!!). It was a new bird for David and I said to
David that he was very lucky as It should’ve gone by now. The Wagtail was very
active feeding on the road (only a few metres in front of the car giving very
good and cooperative views) aswell as amongst the salt marsh on the road side.
It was also seen calling from the top of mangrove for some time. Also on Ash
Island were 20-30 Greenshanks, 2 Marsh Sandpipers, 2 Brown
Quail, about 5 Tawny Grassbirds, 3 Caspian Terns and
Still a few waders in the Stockton estuary with 2-3 Pacific
Golden Plovers (among several others) in full breeding plumage (very
beautiful birds indeed), a few Whimbrels, several Terek
Sandpipers, Grey-tailed Tattlers etc, aswell as Mangrove
Gerygones and Mangrove Heron.
Around Nobby’s Head In the mouth of the Hunter River, were about 30
White-winged Black Terns all resting together on a floating buoy with 2
Common Terns. Most of the White-winged Black Terns were in varying
amounts of breeding plumage, 2 in full breeding plumage (very stunning indeed).
I also saw about 10 Common Terns (in varying amounts of breeding plumage)
perched on rocks with Crested Terns and Silver Gulls. Two were in full breeding
plumage with complete black caps, grey underside and very long forked tail
(quite graceful looking). A few Little Terns were also flying about and a
dark phase Arctic Jaeger.
We also checked out Grahamston Reservoir (near Raymond Terrace) were
amongst 7 Musk Ducks , one male was calling and displaying.
On Sunday 2nd April , at Mitchell Park at Cattai (about
50km north-west of Sydney), a pair of Powerful Owls were bumped into
halfway along the trail along Cattai Creek. At Central Colo (about 20 km
north of Windsor or 70 km north-west of Sydney), we also saw a nice male Rose
Robin which has just recently come down from the highlands, a Pacific
Heron, Gang-gang Cockatoo and heard a Superb Lyrebird
preparing for the coming breeding season.