Kurrajong Hills and area over Xmas inc WTNT and White (Grey) Goshawk

Subject: Kurrajong Hills and area over Xmas inc WTNT and White (Grey) Goshawk
From: e finley <>
Date: Sun, 27 Dec 2009 03:07:30 -0800 (PST)
Hi all
Conditions were very different to the summer norm over the Xmas weekend in 
Kurrajong Hills nw of Sydney, with max temps just nudging the 20s - Xmas Eve 
was the last of several days this month to top 40 degrees. 20 mms of rain fell 
on Xmas Eve and Day.
There 24+ White-throated Needletails flying fairly low and towards the 
southeast around 3pm, my only local record for 2009.
A great sighting for the weekend was my first local record of a White (Grey) 
Goshawk. The bird was perched below road level in a grove of remnant western 
Sydney dry rainforest trees in grazing land on Mill Road below Hermitage Road. 
The slope meant the bird was clearly visible just below road level allowing 
great views and a few pics. There are at least 2 pairs of (grey) Grey Goshawks 
resident in the area but they are difficult birds to see despite their calls 
being one of the typical sounds of the hills here. The pair living in our gully 
may be nesting at present – for the past few weeks they have been extremely 
vocal and very localised, with at least one bird calling very frequently from 
one spot for 2-3 hours after sunrise and again for the last 2 hours pre sunset, 
with prolonged calling sometimes occurring at other times. The main call source 
is close to our house above remnant rainforest but I have not found the exact 
location as yet - it would
 require neighbour’s permission and is not quite visible from roads or our 
The wet conditions also brought the Yellow-throated Scrubwrens, with 3 
different pairs seen along Douglas Farm Rd including a pair with at least 2 
dependent young.
Common Bronzewings were much more conspicuous than usual along the roadsides 
all over the area including Bells Line of Road from the heights to Kurmond. I 
picked up a beautiful male who had probably been hit by a car on Mill Road and 
dropped him with a local WIRES rep. Last weekend I took them a Tawny Frogmouth 
found in a similar condition along Kurmond Road a few kms away.
Rufous Fantails were also seen along Douglas Farm Road – I rarely see them here.
At McGraths Hill the water levels of the ponds next to the Windsor road had 
fallen to create the best potential wader conditions here in a long while. On 
Xmas morning there were at least 12 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and a Marsh 
Sandpiper here as well as over 25 Pied Stilts and 4 Royal Spoonbills.
Cheers, Eric Finley

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