Black-necked Stork at Werrington NSW 10/5/06

To: "Timothy Hyde" <>, "'alan morris'" <>, <>
Subject: Black-necked Stork at Werrington NSW 10/5/06
From: "Greg" <>
Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 11:29:10 +1000
Hi Timothy,

I originally received the Black-necked Stork report from the observer and notified Alan Morris. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a painful 'doubting Thomas' when it comes to unusual bird reports as they often turn out to be something other than what is reported. Because of this I sought further clarification. The following are the relevant excerpts from the observer's emails:

"It was grazing along a golf driving range where they had just mowed the lawn. It shocked me because I have been working for WIRES for 8 years and had never seen one in NSW. I didn't think they were in NSW. The only other time I saw one was around Proserpine in Qld.
It was an adult, black head and black on the wings
......with white underbody, red legs. I thought I was seeing things. It was Colonial Golf Course.... south creek runs along the driving range. What first caught my attention was the white going into the black wings which made me do a double take because it stood out, the head and neck were definitely black.

I'm absolutely positive, I love my birds and spend much time observing them in the wild. This fellow stood out like a sore thumb, I only wish I had my camera. I live not far from the location so I'm going to stake it out for the next couple of weeks and fingers crossed try and get a shot if I see him again."

So from the above you can see that the observer is 100% sure. It is unlikely to be a Straw-necked Ibis as the white neck base going into black wings doesn't match that species. There have been a few Sydney region stork records over the past few years (at Oatley, North Ryde and near Bringelly). Black-necked Storks, despite their size and outstanding plumage are very difficult birds to find when you want to, except at the nest. One stork in a very large area is like a needle in a haystack. Despite this it would be great if any Sydney, or visiting, birdos could keep an eye out for the bird. The record will be more valuable if it is supported by further sightings. I do not have personal experience of the observer's birding skills but I believe that the evidence supports the claim that the bird was, indeed, a Black-necked Stork.

I would be interested in other subscribers' opinions on this.

Greg Clancy
PhD student
University of New England
National Marine Science Centre
Coffs Harbour NSW 2450

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