Little Ravens at Castleragh (western Sydney) - 22nd June 2003

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Subject: Little Ravens at Castleragh (western Sydney) - 22nd June 2003
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 21 Jun 2003 21:15:17 +1000
Today, myself and David Mitford saw at least 20 Little Ravens just outisde the southern boundary of the Castlereagh NR (approx. 55km west of Sydney CBD). This is most likely due to the drought as they are normally found west of the Divide in NSW. Good comparisons where had with a few of the Australian Ravens also about not only due to their distinctive calls but there size difference and far less distinct throat hackles especially when the birds called. They were just slightly larger than the
White-winged Choughs which where also near them. The Little Ravens have been present here for at least a month or so now.  We searched here for the Diamond Dove, Black-chinned Honeyeater and Scarlet Robin that was seen on the CBOC outing the previous day without success.
There were lots of birds in the recently and heavilly burnt Castlereagh NR  with Peaceful Doves in fair abundance (which came in to the playback calls of the Diamond Dove) as well as Double-barred Finches all over the place; heaps of Striated and Spotted Pardalotes; Honeyeaters esp. Red Wattlebirds, Fuscous and Yellow-faced, White-naped and Brown-headed (the previous hundreds of Noisy Friarbirds have cleared out of the area); Common Bronzewinged Pigeons, Golden Bronze and Fan-tailed Cuckoos, several Dusky Woodswallows (15 plus), an over-wintering male Rufous Whistler (appears to be much a regular occurrence), Crested Shrike-tits, small numbers of Varied Sitellas, a few Jacky Winters, a passing Swamp Harrier and a nice Little Eagle soaring above. Surprisingly (but maybe due to the fires) none of the usually common Grey Fantails and Eastern Yellow Robins were seen or any of the Red Robins (Scarlet, Red-capped or Rose with only the later heard).
A nice few hours at Castlereagh.
Edwin Vella  
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