ASIT Trip to the NSW Central Coast

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Subject: ASIT Trip to the NSW Central Coast
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 18:37:18 +1000
Australian Special Interest Tours had a day trip to the NSW Central Coast today, with the first stop at North Burge Reserve, Woy Woy where it is possible to overlook Ramsay Island in Blackalls Bay, the only Pelican breeding site in this part of NSW. During the peak of the season about 300 pairs nest on the small, low sandy island, today there were about 200 pairs present, some courting, some on eggs, some with small young and a creche of large young. A few Bar-tailed Godwits and alas many Mallards were present around the Island. On a smaller nearby island were Caspian Terns and single Eastern Curlew and Whimbrel.
Ourt next stop was Boyd Close, St Huberts Island where excellent views were had of the two adult and two large young Bush Stone-curlews to the extent that we did not have to get out of the coach. Yellow-rumped Thornbills fed amongst the Curlews, and Wood Ducks roosted with them!
Our lunch stop was on Ourimbah Creek at Chittaway. Overhanging the creek was a tree with 2 Darter nests, on one a male was incumbating but the other, a new nest, not completed but with green leaves draped over it, a male Darter was waving his wings to attrack a mate. She came briefly for an inspection but soon departed and another male also arrived and did his wave display for her benefit too. An Olive-backed Oriole called strongly throughout lunch and a Magpie-lark was also noted on a nest!
Two hours were spent at the Dairy Swamp, Tuggerah. At Dairy Swamp were the usual waterbirds but an immature Double-banded Plover was an unexpected surprise, while a large Red-bellied Black Snake, was watched trying to catch a frog, oblivious to 20 people gathered around watching! It must have caught it eventually as it disappeared after 10 minutes. We then went to nearby Tuggerah Lagoon where we had reasonable views of a Tawny Grassbird, fleeting views of an Southern Emu-wren, and good views of Swamp Harrier, 3 Sea-eagles & Whistling Kites! Plenty of Hardheads and a few Noisy Friarbirds and Satin Bowerbirds.
Our last stop was at Gavenlock Rd Swamp, Tuggerah to see the Chestnut-breasted Mannikins. Alas although we saw about 12 they whizzed past without anyone getting a good look. Better views were had of the Royal Spoonbills, Swamp Harrier and Great Egret at this little swamp. Recently Mannikins were also seen at Wamberal Lagoon and the Ourimbah F3 Interchange rest Area, the latter site had 2 nesting pairs. 78 species seen throughout the day.
Alan Morris
Central Coast FOC
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