Published sightings for the week ending 22 May 2011.
|Sat 21 May
||Osprey, Gull-billed Tern, Hoary-headed Grebes, Tawny Grassbirds
Bushells Lagoon, Wilberforce (approx. 60km NW of Sydney CBD)
Soon after I arrived at Bushells Lagoon yesterday afternoon, I saw a pair of Black-shouldred Kites having a go at an Osprey. An unexpected find and my first one for the Hawkesbury in my 20 or so years visiting this rich birding region. It stayed for the 2 hours or so I was there perched on a dead tree and also one of the posts (lined up with Cormorants which were not bothered being so close to the Osprey) in the middle of the lagoon. There was also a Gull-billed Tern (another new one for my Hawkesbury list) as well as 18 Hoary-headed Grebes, a flock of 200 Chestnut-breasted Mannikins, 2 Tawny Grassbirds, Restless Flycatchers and other raptors such as Brown Falcon, Brown Goshawk, Whistling Kite and Swamp Harrier.
No less than 8 Regent Honeyeaters at Morisset this morning feeding on Swamp Mahogany blossom. 4 birds seen at a previous (2002) roosting site this afternoon. Widespread blossom in the area attended by large numbers of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and, in order of abundance, Noisy Friarbirds, White-cheeked Honeyeaters, Eastern Spinebills, White-naped Honeyeaters, Little Lorikeets, Rainbow Lorikeets, Scarlet Honeyeaters, Brown-headed Honeyeaters, Fuscous Honeyeaters and Little Wattlebird.
Allan Richardson and Mick Roderick (Afternoon)
||Square-tailed kite and Swift Parrot
Blue Haven and Chain Valley Bay south
This afternoon while waiting for traffic lights to change my wife drew my attention to a Square-tailed Kite circling around a patch of bush at the cnr of Pacific Highway and Bokkara Rd Blue Haven. After the lights changed the kite was still there! Earlier in the day at Chain Valley Bay South near the boat ramp, 26+ Swift Parrots were seen and across the water at Chain Valley Bay Nth, Swift Parrots could be heard calling in the trees there in the foreshore reseve.
Barnham - Deniliquin Road
Just to let everyone know (I think there was a belated question as to their status) that the Ostrich are still present on the Barnham to Deniliquin Road - general GPS: s35 37 15, e144 20 45.
I couldn't see them from the main road and had to search down Lashbrook Road (dirt) just off the Highway (I think called the Murray Valley Highway - it's the road that goes through Caldwell to the east of the position). The birds were in the paddock to the right as I drove down about 500 metres. Clearly saw 3 adults and 2 juveniles, however I believe there was another adult out of sight in the dam in the paddock (something popped up its head!).
|Fri 20 May
Went into camping area first, too many campers. Could hear Masked Owl calling. Drove out of park on our way to Mangrove Mountain, stopped off at about 10pm and heard 2 Masked Owls calling each other near Central Mangrove. Lucky enough they were right above. Got quite a few good shots.Looks like I've attached a photo, but if you don't receive it can you please let me know.
Flat Rock, Ballina
An adult Brown Booby seen flying past Flat Rock, about 50 metres offshore, heading north, about 5pm.
Single bird seen feeding in the casuarina forest at the end of Amethyst Street at 3pm. Seemed to get disturbed and flew off shortly after it was sighted. Not much else seen today apart from large numbers (30+) of Noisy Friabirds and several King Parrots being chased by a Grey Butcherbird.
just north of Wilberforce
beautiful adult Square-tailed Kite just above canopy level in the autumn sun. Perhaps the same bird as seen by Keith Brandwood in early May?
Roger and Louise McGovern
|Thu 19 May
||Australian Shoveler, Grey Goshawk, Swamp Harrie & Whistling Kite
Tuggerah STW Tuggerah
A visit to the Tuggerah STW late yesterday afternoon found that 14 Black-winged Stilts, 32 Hardheads, Coots and 3 Australian Shovelers had returned to these ponds having been absent for over a year. Also seen were two Grey Goshawks, 2 Swamp Harriers were patrolling the main pond and interacting with 2 Whistling Kites.
Alan Morris & Laurie Smith
|Wed 18 May
Treachery Camp, Seal Rocks , NSW
A male, with possibly a mate in a Moreton Bay Fig
One Spangled Drongo seen at a local TSR about 2kms from Walcha post office. This TSR comprises stringy bark and red gum with Wallaby bush and Bush pea understorey. A drongo was sighted in this area in January this year but it is most unusual to see on at this time of the year when the nighttime temperatures are below -5 degrees.
Lori Warren & Max Harris
Sth Bilgola Headland
The bird was seen not far off the headland at about 4:30pm today. It had a few remnant juvenile markings on it's back. The bird was flying away from the coast and i was unable to see it's bill colour. The tail was scraggy-looking and worn, although from what tail there was it seemed to be most likely be white-tailed tropicbird, however I'm not 100% sure. Definately a tropicbird though.
|Tue 17 May
Cape Byron, Byron Bay, between Wategoes Beach and the Cape
Tattler still present and observable through all of the summer at close range amongst waterline rocks and cunjevoi Cape Byron, however, would usually been expected to have migrated north by now. Difficult to tell which species-open to suggestions but very barred on belly. (Moderator's Note: A dark, less recent picture, taken on 1/5/2011 of tattler appeared on inbyronbaytoday.com, and this appears to be a Wandering Tattler AKM)
||Australian Bittern, Australian Spotted Crake, Lewin's Rail
Pheasant's Nest (petrol station) Hume Highway
I stopped at the Pheasant's Nest petrol station and investigated the small nearby wetland. I found one Australian Bittern basking in the sun in front of dry cumbungi reed. Two Spotted Crake were feding in the open near the edge of cumbungi. I walked aroud the ponds and flushed one Lewin's Rail. It was running in front till found safe place to hide. There were also other waterfowl (few Pacific Black Ducks, Grey Teals, Black Swans, Dusky Moorhens and 3 Australian Shovellers)
|Mon 16 May
Katang Nature Reserve, Dunbogan
Fantastic views of a Noisy Pitta foraging on the track to the headland and a glimpse of a second bird foraging nearby. I watched this bird for five minutes or so from as close as 5m, amazing views. Interestingly this was Casuarina woodland, with grassy and fern understorey with some mesic undergrowth though there is a small patch of rainforest nearby
Bushells Laggon Freemans Reach
3 Gull-bills, first ones recorded in the Hawkesbury for the past 30years to my knowledge. (Moderator's Note: It is interesting to record that a Gull-billed Tern has been recorded at the Pioneer Dairy Wetlands, Tuggerah during the past month, the first Central Coast record away from the Coast's beaches).
Pennant hills Park
At 9.42 this evening a Powerful Owl swooped low over tennis court 13. It "buzzed" us and gave us quite a buzz as we played comp tennis. (Even people who have no interest in birds were amazed and talked about it for several minutes after our set!)
|Sun 15 May
||Australian Painted Snipe
A photo of the birds reported on this day. Thanks to Kay Parkin for the image.
Michael Ramsey - Bronzewing Birding Services
One Square-tailed Kite observed quartering over the Hawkesbury Agricultural Show at Clarendon around 2pm. Seemingly unfazed by presence of large crowds and fair rides.
||Australian Painted Snipe
Five birds seen again at the wetland they have been frequenting for the last month now. A cracking adult female, a young female and three male or immature birds were seen. Over 100 Plumed Whistling-Ducks, some Intermediate Egrets, Apostlebirds and Grey-crowned Babblers were also some other great birds around the wetland.
Michael Ramsey - Bronzewing Birding Services
||Caspian Tern, White-fronted Tern
A late afternoon visit to Long Reef (a very high tide) turned up a pair of Caspian Tern (non-breeding plumage) and just on dusk an immature White-fronted Tern - the first for me this season - came in to roost with the Crested Terns and Silver Gulls. On the reef the usual gang: Sooty Oystercatchers (15), Ruddy Turnstones, Red-necked stints, Double-banded plovers, Spur-winged Plover, a Wille Wagtail and, in the gathering gloom, what appeared to be 3 Grey-tailed Tattlers.
||Straw necked Ibis, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Dusky Woodswallow
On Triangle Road and Cornwallis Road.at Richmond
|Sat 14 May
Pearl Beach, end of Amethyst Street
2 birds seen late in the day. Feral cat also seen later that night in the same spot hunting. Tawny Frogmouth also nearby. Second time I have seen feral cat at Pearl Beach.
Mistral point, Maroubra
After many quiet weeks, a great afternoon seawatch. The absolute highlight was a dark morph Soft-plumaged Petrel, seen flying south, low and fast. Also an immature Wandering Albatross, many Black-browed, a Campbell Albatross, several Yellow-nosed, a couple of Shy and a likely Salvin's. Also several small flocks of Fairy Prions, a few pairs of Fluttering Shearwaters and a lone, late Wedge-tailed Shearwater.
(Note for moderators: for the dark morph Soft-plumaged Petrel the dark body, darker face mask, wing patterning above and below, and flight removed other possible candidates such as Kermadec, Kerguelen.
Ray Gobbe and Robert Griffin
|Fri 13 May
Mylestom, South of Sawtell
Flock of 12 Glossy Ibis heading south, following the beachline, at Mylestom, just on dawn. Heading towards mouth of Bellinger River. A cool 6 degrees C at the time. I have only seen Glossy Ibis once before in the area.
|Sun 1 May
||Scarlet Honeyeater, Hooded Plovers
Nadgee Nature Reserve (Wonboyn Lake)
Scarlet Honeyeater (1), Hooded Plovers on beach (2)
Also many birds recorded for first time, but some are very common, so this is presumably due to lack of reports from the site. (Moderator's Note: There are previous reports of Scarlet Honeyeaters in Nadgee NR-AKM)
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