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

Subject: Good birding at Prospect Reservoir - Sydney, NSW - 13th November 2005
From: "simon hayes" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Nov 2005 18:12:33 +1000
Hi Edwin,
Nesting Goshawks. Very good !
Brown falcon. Nice :-)
Where were the C B Mannkins ?

From: "Edwin Vella" <>
To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Good birding at Prospect Reservoir - Sydney, NSW - 13th November 2005
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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