Ash Island, Newcastle, NSW 2nd-3rd April 08

To: "Birding-Aus (E-mail)" <>
Subject: Ash Island, Newcastle, NSW 2nd-3rd April 08
From: Gavin Goodyear <>
Date: Sat, 05 Apr 2008 05:57:13 +1000
G'day all,

First a big thank you to those who have been reporting the presence of Eastern Yellow Wagtail at Ash Island. After mentioning to my boss ( a non-birder ) on Tuesday that this bird was still around last Sunday and I had tried for it in 2005 without success, he told me to take the rest of the week off to try for it. Tom Tarrant asked where to find a boss like that and I was a bit shocked myself.

I left Brisbane on Wednesday morning and after more roadworks than I've ever seen before in one hit I arrived at Ash Island at 1430EST and headed straight for Wagtail Way. My heart sunk as I turned onto Wagtail as there were a pair of Peregrine Falcon hunting along the track. I'm sure no self-respecting Peregrine would bother with such a tiny morsel as a Wagtail so I did the slow drive along the track flushing Pipits, White-fronted Chats and Willie Wagtails. I continued on to the electric substation where the only thing I saw was a large Red-bellied Black Snake basking beside the track. Returning back down Wagtail Way I stopped to look through the Chestnut Teal and Black-winged Stilts and as I went to take off there was the Eastern Yellow Wagtail in its breeding finery sitting 5 metres in front of me. After watching it for a few minutes headed into Newcastle for the night.

Returned Thursday morning and again headed straight out to Wagtail Way where Brown Falcons were hunting over the grassland at the northern end. After seeing four Sharp-tailed Sandpipers fly off from the eastern side of the track, I pulled up and got my scope and camera out. I started to walk along the road when another "Sharpie" flew from the west side and landed 25m away. A quick look revealed it was a Pectoral Sandpiper. After getting a series of disturbingly poor photos ( its the cameras fault, never the bloke behind it) I continued to walk south down the road and heard the EYW fly over whereupon it landed about 40m in front of me and posed briefly for some more shocking photos.

Lots of good birding to be had here and I would strongly recommend a visit to anyone passing through.


Gavin Goodyear
Lacey's Creek . Brisbane. Qld. 4521

Home     61 7 3425 2484
Mobile   0429 180 710


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