Far South Coast (NSW) - 20-22 July

Subject: Far South Coast (NSW) - 20-22 July
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 09:38:55 +1000
We spent 2 nights in Eden on the Far South Coast of NSW last week staying 
in a unit perched high above Twofold Bay. Although we had perfect warm 
sunny weather while we were down there it had rained heavily in the 
previous few days which had turned most dirt roads in Ben Boyd National 
Park to impassable wet clay tracks. So Green Cape was off the itinerary.

On the first day (Thurs 20 July) we watched 4 Albatross close to shore 
from Tathra Headland. They were either Shy Albatross or Black-browed 
Albatross in my opinion. Later that day I watched about 20 Albatross 
following a returning fishing boat at Eden. Again one or both of the 2 
species mentioned above? Can anyone tell me how you can tell these species 
apart from land? The birds seen had dark upper wings which stretched over 
the body in a line. The underwings were mainly pale/white with a thin dark 

A stop on the Bega floodplain at Jellat Jellat on Thursday afternoon 
produced 4 Black-winged Stilts and 2 Australian Shelduck among the over 
1,500+ Black Swans! Also at Rutherford Creek in South East Forests 
National Park on Thursday I heard a Pilotbird and at Bull Creek in Ben 
Boyd NP on Friday there were several Crescent Honeyeaters.

Another highlight was watching a Wedge-tailed Eagle diving at full speed 
past our car near Tilba. By the time I had got out and peered down the 
hillside it was making off with a limp Cattle Egret! from among the cattle 
followed by a pair of magpies. It landed nearby obviously having a little 
difficulty flying.

At Wagonga Inlet on Saturday we were amazed to find an Azure Kingfisher 
along the Mill Bay Boardwalk. It sat quietly on a jetty by the channel 
with plenty of noisy fishing boats passing by. Other birds here included 9 
Bar-tailed Godwits, 7 Caspian Terns, a Whistling Kite and Sooty and Pied 

At Trunketabella Creek on Saturday there were 2 White-necked Herons. All 
the recently dry wetlands were now full of water including Long Swamp by 

Of the birds seen from our unit in Eden the highlights were a Collared 
Sparrowhawk hanging around the whole time chasing the resident 30+ 
Sparrows. At one point while we were sitting on the balcony I felt a rush 
of wind and heard a whooshing sound which turned out to be the 
aforementioned Sparrowhawk making a pass, it then turned back towards us 
and shot past again metres away. And a flock of 8 Varied Sittellas. On 
Saturday morning a grey morph Grey Goshawk flew past affording great 
views. A few hours later I saw another Grey Goshawk disappear into trees 
by Merimbula Airport.

At Mogareeka Inlet by Tathra on Saturday I noticed among the many Crested 
Terns and 2 Caspian Terns resting on a sandbank at least 4 smaller terns. 
They were a fair way off so I couldnt positively ID them. Any suggestions 
on the likelihood of them being either overwintering Little Terns (what i 
think) or another species? They had black caps and were about half the 
size of the Cresteds. Plenty of Double-banded and Red-capped Plovers here 

In Eden Harbour and in Twofold Bay at least a dozen Pacific Gulls of which 
only 2 were adult birds. On every visit to Eden there is always a single 
Great Egret hanging around the fishing boats, this trip was no different. 
Several were seen harassing Albatross behind a fishing boat and later a 
flock of 50 Gannets. An early morning walk along the Lake Curalo Walkway 
produced a pair of Whistling Kites, 2 Royal Spoonbills and an Olive-backed 
Oriole among others.


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