Pied Cormornats nesting at The Entrance, NSW

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Subject: Pied Cormornats nesting at The Entrance, NSW
From: "alan morris" <>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 21:06:35 +1000
Hi Birders

Pied Cormorants are a common sight at The Entrance, a large tourist town located on the narrow channel that connects the sea with Tuggerah Lakes, on the NSW Central. Coast. The Entrance is famous as a site of caravan parks and boarding houses and weekenders where past Sydneysiders holidayed on the coast by both working class families from Sydney and the people of inland rural NSW. Nowdays it is a very busy tourist/residential town, in reality, a seaside suburb now of Wyong, and connected by continous urban areas all the way back to Gosford, 14 km to the south & to Wyong, 16 km to the west.

Pied Cormorants are common birds of the shallow Tuggerah Lakes and the offshore pelagic areas. They previously nested in a clump of Melaleucas in the middle of Colongra Swamp, a freshwater swamp that is seperated from Lake Munmorah, by a narrow bern. Lake Munmorah is the 3rd of the Lakes that make up Tuggerah Lakes.

Due to the drought, Colongra Lake has been dry for at least two years and Pied Cormorants have had nowhere nest, until now that is. The town of The Entrance and Wyong Shire in particular have had a love affair with Norfolk Island Pines, Canary Island Palms and Coconut Plams, and most if not all the landscaping of the town's parks and gardens and the street scapes are using these three main trees. The Indian Mynas love them and hordes of Rainbow Lorikeest roost in them.

Yesterday to my surprise when taking a walk along the "boardwalk" at the Entrance, which is in effect a concrete causeway along the Entrance Channel with some narrow parks, mostly mown areas of kikuyu between the waters edge (no intertidal areas here as they have all been filled in) planted with Norfolk Island Pines and Coconut Palms, between the road and the many residential & hotel tower blocks, I realised that there was a very active nesting colony of Pied Cormorants in the tops of three adjoining Norfolk Island Pines. I counted over 80 nests in the three trees, mostly in the top one quarter of the trees. The nests were built of seaweed (Poisadonia sp.) and the birds appear to be at the egg and small young in the nest stage. The noise, the smell and the mess on the footpath was as you would expect! Once there are large young in the nest, the noise, the smell and the mess is going to be much worse..

Previously Council has been concerned about the mess that is made by roosting Little Black Cormorants, when 2-300 birds roost in the Norfolk Island Pines when the bait fish are running, but that situation usually only lasts a few weeks around Christmas. As this colony possibly expands to adjoining trees and the noise, smell and mess increases, it will be interesting to see what Wyong Council will do because I expect that the residents and the many fishermen along the boardwalk beneath these trees will start complaining loudly and expect Council to take action!

I am unaware of any other colonies of Pied Cormorants in such an urban enviroment.

Alan Morris

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