Hawkesbury Area (in drought) - Sunday 27th June 2004

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Subject: Hawkesbury Area (in drought) - Sunday 27th June 2004
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 21:13:21 +1000

Though still showing large signs of drought, there were still a good variety of birds to look at within the Hawkesbury area (approx 55km NW of Sydney) today and as follows:


MITCHELL PARK – the Salvinia weed appears to be taking over this part of Cattai Creek and something should be done soon to eradicate it. Birds were a little quieter than usual, but I did manage to find a Common Bronzewing, a Bassian Thrush, Rose Robins, Olive-backed Oriole, several Satin Bowerbirds, a few Gang-gang Cockatoos (one I got within a couple of metres as it was feeding a hakea so I was able to take a nice photo) and I heard a Collared Sparrowhawk/Goshawk calling beside the creek (it sounded very close to where I was standing but the rainforest canopy was between it and me). A Red-bellied Snake was sunning itself beside the creek in the middle of the day. Not much trees or shrubs in flower at Mitchell Park and therefore only the resident Honeyeater species like Bell Miners and Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters were more evident in the honeyeater group.


LONGNECK LAGOON – this appears in better shape than it has for years with the removal of the salvinia weed. There were 4 Australasian Grebe, Plumed and a Great Egret, a Yellow-billed and 8 Royal Spoonbill, 11 Hardheads, a Black Swan on a nest amongst other common waterbirds. There was a Jacky Winter and a Restless Flycatcher on a nearby fence and Peaceful Doves heard calling.


RICHMOND-WINDSOR TURF FARMS – 200 plus Masked Lapwing beside Fernleighs Lagoon (my highest count at this lagoon is 285 Lapwings this year.) but lower number of other water birds due to the drought with only a Pacific Heron, another Yellow-billed Spoonbill, 9 Plumed Whistling-duck among other common waterfowl. There were 2 Wedge-tailed Eagles (flying over Richmond), a Whistling Kite and the usual resident pairs of Black-shouldered Kites (at least 3 pairs) and Australian Kestrels. The sprinklers and tractor activity were attracting good mobs of Cattle Egret (200 plus non-breeding birds), Straw-necked Ibis, large numbers of White-faced Herons and hundreds of Magpie Larks. I also saw a Varied Sitella on the edge of the turf farms beside the River, a few Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos and some Red-rumped Parrots (which I almost trod over when they were feeding beside the road.


A total of 91 species for the list for about half a days birding and in drought conditions.


A pleasant warm winter day in Sydney!


Edwin Vella


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