A few sightings from this area on the nw outskirts of Sydney in
yesterday's welcome lower tempertures with some very light rain. The
foothills are now very dry - only a few mms of rain fell on the garden
in Jan , and temperatures have topped the 40 C mark on more than 10 days
since Xmas. There are still a lot of Grey Gums flowering in the hills,
although most look to be close to ending. Lower down in the Hawkesbury,
swamp water levels are dropping in places creating decent mudflats.
Bushell's Lagoon - sightings here from approx 7-830am included
Pink-eared Duck (6), Aust Shoveller (c 12), an immature plumage
White-bellied Sea-Eagle, Whistling Kite (3), Black-fronted Dotterel (5),
Brown Quail (pair with 3 well grown young), my first Silver Gull (5)
here in a long time, many Zebra Finch, Goldfinch and Nutmeg Mannikin,
very large numbers of Clam Reed Warblers also present along the approach
hillside in trees and bushes, numbers probably grown by the recent
season's young, Little Black Cormorants (over 70) outnumbering Little
Pied, Black and Darter, and Aust Pelicans (over 80) rounding up and
feasting on carp as the fish seem to be struggling with the lowering
water levels. 4 species of egret also present inc Intermediate (4+).
Surprisingly, no migrant waders seen on the quite extensive muddy areas
on the Windsor side of the lagoon which are clearly visible from the
causeway. Possible Baillon's Crake was too brief a sighting to be
Pitt Town Common - late afternoon after 4pm, also showing extensive
muddy verges on the Pitt Town side entering from the town, this time
with some waders - Lathams Snipe (1), Sharp-tailed (c 6) and Pectoral
(1) Sandpiper, Masked Lapwing (65+), Pink-eared Duck (c 30), Aust
Shoveller (c 6), an adult White-bellied Sea-Eagle, and an Aust Hobby
diving at Fairy Martins.
Kurrajong Hills - Bell Miners and Common Bronzewings both with nestlings
(2 and 1 respectively) due to leave nest in the next few days - both in
Turpentines a few metres from veranda. Also in the garden yesterday
were Grey Goshawk, Wonga Pigeon and Scaly Thrush, all regular visitors
at present. A Barking Owl was heard on 7 Feb.
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