Prospect Reservoir (40 km west of Sydney CBD) - 2nd August 2003

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Subject: Prospect Reservoir (40 km west of Sydney CBD) - 2nd August 2003
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 2003 00:55:17 +1000

This morning, I managed to get a few hours off to check around my local area for any Swift Parrots for this weekend?s survey. I drove around the suburb of Greystanes (approx. 40 km west of Sydney CBD) for half an hour (a site where I have seen them a few years ago) and heard/saw Rainbow and Musk Lorikeets, New Holland Honeyeaters etc but no Swifties. The Spotted Gums (Eucalyptus maculate) appear now in flower in this area and other parts around my local area.


I spent also 2 hours looking around Prospect Reservoir for the Swift Parrots (again another site where I have seen Swifties spend the winter). No sign of Swift Parrots or Regent Honeyeaters here as well, despite seeing one good tree in full blossom, dominated mainly by White-plumed and New Holland Honeyeaters. Both Little and Red Wattlebirds, several White-naped Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills and of course, Noisy Miners, were also about the picnic areas. The Scarlet Honeyeaters and Noisy Friarbirds are often present here towards the end of winter.


I searched the top picnic area (on the hill) for Swifties but saw the Mugga Ironbarks not in flower. Here Red-browed Firetails were abundant feeding on the ground on the seeding Kangaroo grass with 3 Peaceful Doves, several Eastern Yellow Robins (many tame birds out in the open), Red-whiskered Bulbuls (at least 6 on the ground. Have seen these Bulbuls feed here on the ground before and I wonder what they might eat!) and Superb Blue Wrens. One of a few Fan-tailed Cuckoos (trilling away nicely) and a family of 3 Crested Shrike-tits (this place is usually very reliable to see the later species) were showing very well. This upper picnic area offers one of Sydney?s best lookouts overlooking the Reservoir and with the Blue Mountains in the background. Going down the hill I also saw 2 Bar-shouldered Doves and small groups of Nutmeg Mannikins, Double-barred Finches and loads more Red-browed Firetails.


From here with scope (and with 2 very tame Eastern Yellow Robins by my side), I was able to see the Reservoir with loads of water birds including 3 species of Grebes ? 100 plus Hoary-headed, 5 Australasian and 120 plus Great Crested Grebes (saw a single tight raft of about 60-80 Hoary-headed Grebes and a fairly loose raft 100 of Great Crested Grebes), 1000 plus Coots (probably heaps more amongst the far away dots (water birds) about the western side of the reservoir), several Little Black and Great Cormorants, Australian Pelicans, Black Swans, Silver Gulls and a new bird for my local shire list, a Caspian Tern. There were also good numbers of raptors with a nice adult White-bellied Sea-eagle, 14 Whistling Kites seen at the same time (9 about the southern reservoir wall and 5 on the northern side. There could have been more Whistlers, but this is what I could positively count as being present at the same time. Has anyone seen large numbers of Whistling Kites like this before?), 3 Black-shouldered Kites and a Swamp Harrier flying near the reservoir (coming from the new Nelson Ridge estate next door which looks much like a big ugly hole with a few buildings). From this hill I could also see both Straw-necked and Sacred Ibis soaring high towards the Blue Mountains but probably just over the Eastern Creek Tip (a place I should check out for Black Kites and Black Falcons!). Fairy Martins have also arrived and as I tried to whistle in a Golden Bronze-cuckoo one of the Crested Shrike-tits came in instead after hearing me from all the way from the top picnic area.


A good relaxing 2 hours in my local area.


Edwin Vella

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