Birding at South West Rocks, NSW

To: "" <>
Subject: Birding at South West Rocks, NSW
From: Mark Carter <>
Date: Tue, 1 Jan 2013 05:21:24 +0000 (GMT)
Hi all, 
I've been visiting relatives at South West Rocks in NSW and squeezing in a 
little birding on the side. Particularly productive this year is Boyter's Lane, 
an area of wet grassland, small wetlands and mangroves just 4km inland from the 
main town close by the small settlement of Jerseyville. Five years or so ago a 
nice bird hide with wheelchair access was constructed overlooking a lagoon 
there and it breifly achieved birding fame by hosting a vagrant Lesser 
Yellowlegs several summers in succession. That glamorous American is not there 
this year but there is still plenty to see. Highlights (for me) so far have 
been plenty of Lathams Snipe, Marsh Sandpipers, 20-odd Royal Spoonbill, 
Intermediate Egrets, Mangrove Gerygones, Buff-banded and Lewins Rails, a 
hunting Peregrine, Spotless Crakes, Chestnut Teal and more Tawny Grassbirds and 
Golden-headed Cisticolas than you can shake a stick at. None of these are 
devastating rarities but the site is so nice and the
 birds so confiding that I have enjoyed every minute of it. 
Sadly the weather has been too windy so far but if the winds drop I will get 
down there for some spotlighting- parts of the site look like possible Grass 
Owl habitat. Anyone else seen them in this neck of the woods?
Despite the provision of the bird hide and the excellent birds, the site 
doesn't seem to be visited much by birders. Next time you pass the area be sure 
to pop in for a look. If you stay in the area be sure to tell accommodation 
providers you are there birding- locals will only understand the value of bird 
habitats if they see it pays off.
While in the area be sure to go on the walk over the heathland between Little 
Bay and Arakoon Jail: Red-backed Fairy Wren are easy on the Wallum, Osprey are 
there most days and a few Glossy Black Cockatoo still turn up in the she-oaks 
near the Jail end. 

OK, time to go back to the beach!

Happy New Year!

Mark Carter

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