Trip Report North & Central coast NSW

To: "Steve McBride" <>, "Norm & June" <>
Subject: Trip Report North & Central coast NSW
From: "russ lamb" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 15:13:18 +1000
On our brief trip to from Maleny,Qld to Tuncurry NSW (Feb 11 to 16) along the 
coast we achieved our goal of seeing lots of wetlands. Unfortunately, most were 
seen from the car, had few birds, and would normally have been called paddocks. 
In truth we did very little birding because of the consistent rain.
   First stop was the Byron Bay lighthouse where, with Steve , we searched for 
the Artic Tern seen by Phil Gregory on Ist Feb. The only terns seen were 
Crested, some distance away amongst the Short-tailed Shearwaters, there were 
none around rocks below the lighthouse. We did get great views of large rays, 
sharks, and turtles close-in to the rocks.
      Paid a brief visit to Flat Rock before Ballina which produced 
Crested,Common & Little Terns, Reef Egret, Ruddy Turnstone, Red-necked Stint, 
Soooty Oystercatcher amongst others.
       Next day caught-up with Ken Shingleton at South-West Rocks and tried for 
the Lesser Yellowlegs at Jerseyville. Ken hadn't seen it for a few days and was 
concerned when we couldn't locate any of the accompanying Marsh Sandpipers at 
the hide. Dodging cattle and showers we then trudged through wet grass and 
reeds along various branches of the channel, searching-out sites previously 
used by the Yellowlegs, without success. Ken fears it has now departed 
following the heavy rains received .
  We had made a brief morning-tea stop at Red Rock (about 35km north of Coffs 
Harbour) where we  got excellent views of a Square-tailed Kite flying low and 
slow over a patch of banksia heath. The estuary there contained Pied 
Oystercatchers, cormorants, and a few Eastern Curlew.
    Rain and relatives then intervened until we were heading homewards.We paid 
a brief stop at the Bagotville Barrage late in the day to find Black Swan, 
Great Egret, Jacana, but nothing exceptional. Monday morning was bright and 
sunny so we took the punt across to Mobbs Bay and South Ballina Beach. Saw an 
Osprey slowly tearing small pieces from a whiting, mouth first and then a total 
of 12 Brown Quail (incl. 3 chicks with both parents) along a 400m stretch of 
the gravel road, over a 5 minute period. Nothing but a few Silver Gull on the 
     On to Lismore where we visited both STW sites and Lismore Lake. The Three 
Chain Rd site had Latham's Snipe, a perched Channel-billed Cuckoo, Plumed 
Whistling Duck, Black-fronted Dotterel along with the corms and Cattle Egret. 
The Lake also had snipe, dotterel, and Royal Spoonbill. Towards Casino we found 
McMahons Lagoon where we added Aust Shoveller,but by now the rain had returned 
and we admitted defeat.
       All-up we got 96 species over the six days, not a bad total given total 
birding time was limited, and we had confined ourselves to wetlands, beaches 
and car-birding.
(We utilised bird route brochures for the Ballina, Lismore & Coffs Harbour 
along with specific info from June Harris and Steve McBride)

Russ Lamb, Maleny,SEQ

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