Good birds near Balranald (including Fork-tailed Swift)

To: ? birding-aus <>
Subject: Good birds near Balranald (including Fork-tailed Swift)
From: Peter Ewin <>
Date: Mon, 17 Dec 2012 19:48:07 +1100
Evening all,
Spent a few days last week surveying the birds using some environmental water 
flows off the Murrumbidgee River just to north of Balranald in south western 
NSW. Most of the sights are on private land so can't provide details but good 
birds included:
2 Painted Snipe
1 (and probably 4) Pied Honeyeaters - a female seen well and then disappeared 
with at least 3 other birds
1 Fork-tailed Swift on Burke and Wills Road (AMG 54 735833 6179557 on a public 
road) rapidly flew from the north just above tree height at about 20 metres 
before just as rapidly disappearing. Was amongst a huge, circling flock of 
Woodswallows (Masked and White-browed) and there may have been more about. 
Weather was hot (about 35) and windy from the north east. My first sighting of 
this species in SW NSW.
A good mix of waterbirds including 20000+ Black-tailed Native-hens, large 
numbers (one wetland probably held 150+) of Red-kneed Dotterels, 2 Freckled 
Ducks, a few Blue-billed Ducks and Glossy Ibis (first for the year).
The only scolopid waders this time were Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (had Ruddy 
Turnstone and Red-necked Stint at the same spot in October) but other birds 
(Red-necked Avocets, Whiskered Tern, 2 spoonbills and Great Crested Grebe) were 
in similar or greater numbers.
Will be back in the same area in February so might be interesting to see what 
happens as the water dries up.

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