Good birding at Prospect Reservoir - Sydney, NSW - 13th November 2005

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Good birding at Prospect Reservoir - Sydney, NSW - 13th November 2005
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 12 Nov 2005 21:15:59 +1100

I certainly enjoyed a good morning today (Sunday 13th November 2005) at Prospect Reservoir (approx. 40km west of Sydney CBD near Blacktown.


The nesting pair of Grey Goshawks was seen again with their 2 healthy looking chicks (both covered with white down) in their nest. The adult pair of Goshawks were busy away from their nest hunting prey but were frequently seen flying over or in the trees near the nest tree. At one time both adults were seen driving away another Grey Goshawk (Prospect Reservoir must be high prize real estate for the Grey Goshawks. The third adult bird may have been one of their previous year’s offspring). This was definitely the highlight for the morning and I will follow up on the nesting progress over the next few weeks. An excellent nesting record for the Blacktown shire!


Another highlight this morning was observing a pair of nesting Great Crested Grebes in one of the northern inlets of the reservoir. I can now understand how I have not been able to find a nest of this species up until now, as this nest I saw this morning was fairly secluded even though it was very close to the water edge of the patch of reeds. Before I found the nesting birds, I heard sound strange rattling calls coming from the reeds and then saw one of the Grebes come out into the open than its partner. After a few minutes of waiting both birds came back to the same area of reeds they had come out of and then I observed one of the birds sit on the nest and maintaining it. An Australasian Grebe (in breeding plumage) was swimming very close to their nest but there was no sign of aggression by the larger Grebes towards the smaller species of Grebe. In another inlet I also disturbed another pair of Great Crested Grebes which I suspected to be another nesting pair.


Out in the more open water, I saw a raft of about 40 Great Crested Grebes (presumably non-nesting birds). As many a 200 or more Great Crested Grebes have been seen in past winters at the reservoir but I get the impression a lot of them leave to nest elsewhere.  


Other interesting birds at Prospect Reservoir this morning included Black Swans (including a pair with 5 cygnets), Whistling Kites, an adult White-bellied Sea-eagle, a Swamp Harrier, Brown Falcon, Peaceful and Bar-shouldered Doves, Fan-tailed Cuckoos, 3 Channel-billed Cuckoos (all 3 landing in a eucalypt on the edge of the reservoir, then driven off by 3 Ravens), Crested Shrike-tits, Variegated Wrens, Weebills, White-throated Gerygones, Varied Sitellas, Yellow-faced and Scarlet Honeyeaters (a few of the later species have now come back after their suspected disappearance in Sep-Oct unless they were just keeping quiet during those 2 months), Mistletoebird, Double-barred Finches, Chestnut-breasted Mannkins and Olive-backed Oriole.


Another interesting sighting was a nice sized Lace Monitor (Varanus varius) clinging onto a trunk of a eucalypt and lots of Dwarf Green Tree Frogs (Litoria fallax) were heard on the edge of the reservoir.


Edwin Vella


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