Castlereagh, Londonderry and Richmond Turf Farms (Western Sydney) - 13th

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Subject: Castlereagh, Londonderry and Richmond Turf Farms (Western Sydney) - 13th June 2005
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 20:26:55 +1000

At Castlereagh Nature Reserve (approx. 55km NW of Sydney CBD) today (13/6/05), I was very surprised to find a CHESTNUT-RUMPED HEATHWREN a species normally found on the sandstone ridges surrounding Sydney. I first took notice of the heathwren when I heard it’s scolding alarm calls and with a few squeaks brought it in full view. It also was heard briefly singing. Also very close to where the heathwren was, were  3 Variegated Wrens (another bird more typical of sandstone habitat) comprising of a nicely plumaged male. Other interesting birds at Castleregah NR was a single BLACK-CHINNED HONEYEATER (a scarce resident or nomad of Castelreagh NR) amongst the abundance of Fuscous Honeyeaters (probably the most numerous species present at Castlereagh NR); Brown-headed, White-eared and Scarlet Honeyeaters (also very surprisingly there appeared to be not a single Yellow-faced or White-naped Honeyeaters or a Noisy Friarbird), Shining Bronze-cuckoo, Peaceful Doves, Crested Shrike-tit, Buff-rumped Thornbills, many Striated Pardalotes (lots of the Tasmanian subspecies with 6 seen together in a small eucalypt), Double-barred Finches, Dusky Woodswallows etc. A few Mugga Ironbarks were in full blossom in and just outside the Nature Reserve but I did not observe any of the honeyeaters feeding in them and all the honeyeaters were observed well away from those trees.


One the edge of the Dept. of Defence land at Londonderry (end of Torkington Rd), there were much more Mugga Ironbarks in blossom attracting several White-cheeked, White-eared, Scarlet, Brown-headed, Fuscous but very few Yellow-faced Honeyeaters (maybe many of the later have gone further north!) and Eastern Spinebill.


I also had a look around the Windsor - Richmond turf farms and lagoons (60 km NW of Sydney CBD) were near the Orange Orchard towards Windsor along the Cornwallis Rd, I saw a flock of 300 plus Zebra Finch and 20 plus Double-barred Finch as well as 11 Bar-shouldered Doves amongst the Crested Pigeons and Spotted Turtle-doves.


At the end of Onus Lane Richmond, there were a flock of around 400 Corellas (mainly Little with a few Long-billed amongst them). This is the largest flock I think I have seen in Sydney. They were all put to flight when a Brown Goshawk appeared and circled above them.


At Fernleighs Lagoon (at the end of Triangle Lane) there were 143 Hardhead, 5 Pink-eared Ducks and 7 Australasian Shoveler, a Yellow-billed Spoonbill, an Azure Kingfisher, a few Pied Stilts as well as 4 Red-kneed and 2 Black-fronted Dotterel.


And finally at Pughes Lagoon in Richmond were 90 Plumed Whistling-ducks, a Plumed Egret and a Nankeen Night Heron.


Edwin Vella



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