Birdline New South Wales Weekly Update

Subject: Birdline New South Wales Weekly Update
Date: 25 Mar 2013 01:31:35 +1000

Birdline New South Wales

Published sightings for the week ending 24 Mar 2013.

Sun 24 Mar Grey Falcon Nowlans Rd X Grimms Lane 1' Cell
Fine, clear and sunny, no wind, ~17*C. Grey Falcon (2) Two adult birds perched in the top branches of a dead tree at corner of Nowlans Rd and Grimms Ln. Spied from some distance but were not disturbed by our approach in the car, allowing close observation at leisure over ~ten minutes and comparison with illustrations in both Pizzey and Slater. Yellow cere, eye-ring and legs clearly seen; mid-grey above with narrow fawn streaks on wings and dark wingtips covering tail, off-white below with greyish breast; characteristic mid-grey 'moustache' running down from gape. Both birds same size and relatively small so presumed to be males. Photos taken with phone but not good enough to post.
Kim and Geoff Larmour

Sun 24 Mar Black Kite Castlereagh
I am pretty certain this specimen was a different one to yesterday morning's (photo is quite poor in comparison to yesterday's). The one from yesterday did not have the white flecks underneath and I have photos of both birds. Maybe we are going to get an irruption of these like the Spotted Harriers, which have been around Castlereagh for about 15 months now. Other interesting observations were the two resident Black-shouldered Kites which caught two mice each in about 15 minutes just before and after the sun dipped over the escarpment. A few of my mates saw Spotted Harrier, Swamp Harrier, Wedge-tailed Eagle and White-bellied Sea Eagle earlier in the day in the same general area. See further information for more photos, especially of the Black-shouldered Kites. :)
Ákos Lumnitzer and Mickey Mackwan

Brolga Cantril Rd Koonadan via Leeton
18 Brolgas were seen this morning feeding in a rice field just off Cantril Rd on the way to the Koonadan Historic Site (Tuckerbil). 11 birds were first seen earlier in the week and 15 on Friday and now there are 18.
Max O'Sullivan

Little Raven Old Argyle Road, Bundanoon
110 Little Ravens in paddocks adjoining Old Argyle Rd. I've never seen this many together. Awesome stuff. A few were harassing 3 Wedge-tailed Eagles.
Lorne Johnson

Bar-tailed Godwit Hen & Chicken Bay, Wareemba (Sydney inner west)
A neighbour tipped me off that godwit numbers are much reduced, and it does appear most, which are going to migrate to breed, have left. Some still likely to follow . . . photo shows one that will and one that won't!
Barrie Ayres

Musk Duck, Leaden Flycatcher, Brown-headed Honeyeaters, Varied Sitella Warriewood Wetlands/Irrawong Reserve
Single female Musk Duck on the larger pond at the housing estate (also Little Grassbirds seen here easily). Female Leaden Flycatcher and small group of Brown-headed Honeyeaters at low level boardwalk by the little waterfall in Irrawong Reserve. Varied Sitellas seen from the main boardwalk in Warriewood. Also Topknot Pigeons, Brown Goshawk and Collared Sparrowhawks seen.
Tom Wilson

Australian King-Parrot (pair) Scarborough Park, Ramsgate

Oliver Williams

Scaly-breasted Lorikeet Thirroul
Approximately 15 Scaly-breasted Lorikeets flying along the escarpment at 7.20 am.
Michael Crosland

Sat 23 Mar Sooty Owl (2) Megalong Valley, Coachwood Glen rainforest walk main entrance
A pair of Sooty Owls at Coachwood Glen. Clear mild night. We weren't out birdwatching last night... rather luminescent fungi searching (success) when we heard a call above our heads at the main entrance of the Coachwood Glen rainforest walk. Excuse the photo quality...t'was about 20 metres away.
John French & Fiona Lumsden

Black Kite Richmond UWS Campus
Single Black Kite seen close to where I last saw this species locally in June 2010
Eric Finley

Noisy Pitta Watagan National Park, Cooranbong
Well it looks like the Noisy Pittas have moved into the Watagans for the winter. Got close views of one Noisy Pitta and heard at least seven more calling.
michael ronan

White-necked Petrel Wollongong Pelagic
The highlight of today's SOSSA pelagic was a White-necked Petrel that flew round the boat several times. Also seen were a Long-tailed Jaeger nearing breeding plumage, Pomarine Jaeger, Black-browed, Campbell and Shy Albatross, Wedge-tailed, Flesh-footed, Short-tailed, Fluttering and Hutton's Shearwaters plus both Grey-faced and Providence Petrels and two Wilson's Storm-petrels.
Brook Whylie & Rob Hynson for SOSSA

Whistling Kite Cornwallis (near Windsor)
Today at Cornwallis rd Cornwallis I had eleven Whistling kites in one paddock
Tony Dawe

Freckled Duck, Black Kite Louth Park, Maitland
2 unusual species for Maitland. 4 Freckled Duck and 1 Black Kite.
Grant Brosie

Powerful Owl, Peregrine Falcon Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney
1 Powerful Owl this week without a possum but last Saturday with (pictured). Just reporting as they haven't been reported for a few months. Also of note Peregrine Falcon seen on both saturdays.
Simon Gorta

Eastern Barn Owl Sir Bertram's Stephens Drive Royal National Park
Eastern Barn Owl picked up from side of road around 10.00am this morning. Given to local wildlife carer for treatment.
Deryk Engel

Australian Painted-Snipe Approx. 60km West of Moree, NSW.
Went observing Black-tailed Native-hens on a roadside wetland when flushed 3 female Australian Painted-Snipes. A single Red-necked Avocet was also present which haven't been sighted in the area since last year.
Curtis Hayne

Black Kite Castlereagh
I was walking my dogs this morning and bumped into Edwin. Remembering having seen a large-ish bird perched on a dead tree I asked what he thought it may be. It was a kite of some sort and looking through 1,400mm of focal length of my lens I could see the occasional yellow cere and Edwin thought the tail was forked; having looked on the computer now, I can tell the poor shots from a distance were of a Black Kite perching. Still not convinced at that time though, we got super lucky as the sun started to break through the clouds and the raptor took flight, coming straight in our direction - Edwin exclaimed that it was a Black Kite. I quickly grabbed my camera and got some photos too, as I am sure Edwin has as well. This is the first Black Kite I've ever seen, and on my home turf, so quite pleased to say the least. See further info for larger image.
Ákos Lumnitzer and Edwin Vella

Fri 22 Mar Lewin's Rail Bangalee Reserve, Shoalhaven River, West of Nowra
This is an exciting sighting because we saw it in June last year, & then the lantana providing habitat for the rail was cleared. We assumed it had gone as had not seen it again until this week.
Ann Millard

Freckled Duck, Australasian Shoveler, Pink-eared Duck, Red-kneed Dotterel, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Louth Park, Maitland
2hr count from 4:15pm-6:15pm. Weather was warm, slight breeze and overcast. 1018 birds was the minimum count. Freckled Duck (2) Australasian Shoveler (84) Pink-eared Duck (202) Red-kneed Dotterel (6) Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (5)
Grant Brosie

Grey Falcon, Freckled Duck, Red-capped Robin, Rainbow Bee-eater, White-bellied Sea-Eagle Farm Property 15-20km North West of Moree, NSW
Today was success when only driving around 2 dams and stopping for morning tea along the bank of a creek for a short while. An adult White-bellied Sea-Eagle was seen. Gull-billed and Whiskered Terns and Black-fronted and Red-kneed Dotterels were numerous. Amongst a flock of about 50-60 Pink-eared Ducks were more than 8 Freckled Ducks spread across the dam which wasn't vegetated (Freckled Duck habitat). On a roadside ditch, there were 6 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, 1 Black-winged Stilt, and some Black-tailed Native-Hens which are all declining in the area due to wetlands being at capacity. Little Grassbirds were heard around the dams. A female Red-capped Robin was seen as well as a pair of Rainbow Bee-Eater (first recorded in this area, and not usually found at this time of year here). A Grey Falcon was seen flying over a patch of woodlands near the property! [Response to moderator's (NH) query: We had a quick, but good view of the Grey Falcon, first impression was mistaken for a Black-shouldered Kite, but noticed a greyer bird, with dark wingtips (not as much black as Black-shouldered Kite), as well as the yellow beak. They aren't unsual in this area.]
Curtis Hayne

Black Kite West of Boorowa 10' Cell
Black Kite (2) birds seen circling over paddock approx 5 km west of Boorowa on road to Young.
Scott Ryan

Thu 21 Mar Barred Cuckoo-Shrike Newmans Road Dam, Woolgoolga
One adult and one immature Barred Cuckoo-Shrike feeding in an impressive large fig tree adjacent to the dam. Presumably the same tree where Barred Cuckoo-Shrikes were reported by Dick Cooper on Birdline almost exactly 12 months ago.
Tim Morris

Australasian Shoveler Eastlakes Golf Course
18:00. Overcast, windy. Australasian Shoveler (4) Two females and two males in pond bordering track which divides Lakes and Eastlakes GC. Photograph attached.
Greg McLachlan & Paul Johnstone

Square-tailed Kite Katoomba
1 Square-tailed Kite flying low over Cliff Drive near Solitary Restaurant this morning. Nearby, a flock of Noisy Friarbirds had just flown through, going north.
Carol Probets

Black Falcon, Black Kite, Wedge-tailed Eagle and Whistling Kite Tatham Road, 3km NE of Tatham (east of Casino NSW)
1 Black Falcon, 7 Black Kite, 2 Whistling Kite and 1 Wedge-tailed Eagle. All birds were observed circling and hunting over a crop of soybeans that was being harvested. Property owner advised that the birds were regular visitors when they harvested and that they were taking quail (unknown species but likely to be Brown Quail, amongst others) and also Buff-banded Rail that were sheltering in the crop. Both the Black Falcon and Black Kite are rare species in the Northern Rivers.
David Charley

Wed 20 Mar Peregrine Falcon Smithfield NSW (Post Code 2164)
Peregrine Falcon (2) Appeared to be a pair, male and female judging by size difference as they soared. Observed from loading yard at work.
Ákos Lumnitzer

Wed 20 Mar Black Falcon 4km s of Bellata
2 Black Falcon flying low over paddock with tall grass.
Neville Schrader (1702)

Glossy Ibis, Yellow-billed Spoonbill, Spotted Harrier The Northern Road (9) from Luddenham to Narellan, Western Sydney
I counted 9 Glossy Ibises and 5 Yellow-billed Spoonbills along the Northern Road. They were feeding near small dams (1-3 birds, usually with Straw-necked Ibises or White-necked Herons). A single Spotted Harrier was flying over the paddock near Oran Park.
Ted Wnorowski

Pacific Baza Mitchell Park, Cattai NP
One Pacific Baza was seen perched and flying at the entrance to Mitchell Park for about 30 minutes from 8.45 am today by all the participants in the Birding NSW's mid week outing.
Elisabeth Karplus on behalf of Birding NSW

Powerful Owl Lane Cove National Park (Devlin's Creek)
A single Powerful Owl was seen roosting next to the trail into Lane Cove National Park from the end of Day Road, Cheltenham.
Carl Corden

Tue 19 Mar Black-necked Stork White Swamp, Moree NSW
2 Black-necked Storks in the reserve approx 15 km east of Moree. The swamp has seen very good conditions since January 2013, plenty of water remains.
Bec Gray

Freckled Ducks (2), Latham's Snipe West Byron Sewage Treatment Plant, Byron Bay
Now there are 2 Freckled Ducks. Also Australian Reed-Warbler with food possibly going somewhere and a single Latham's Snipe nice to have this time of year.
Duncan Fowler

Pectoral Sandpiper Stockton Sandspit, Newcastle
One Pectoral Sandpiper among c.200 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (most coming into breeding plumage). Seen c.3 hours after high tide.
Michael Kearns

Powerful Owl Bundeena NSW
One bird heard calling at 20.10 hours this evening out the front of my house. It called for about 3-5 mins, and the off and on until 1230 pm (0030 hrs). The Owl was again calling again at 5.30 hrs on 20/3/13.
Deryk Engel

Spotted Quail-thrush North Katoomba (East) 1' Cell
PM walk around Minni Ha Ha Reserve to top of Falls walk, & fire trails on eastern ridge. Cool clear afternoon with scattered cloud. Lovely, eventful afternoon. Not a great many birds species, but included 2 Beautiful Firetails, a Southern Emu Wren and a Spotted Quail-thrush (on the eastern fire trail side.... about 500 m from nearest houses) It was flushed and flew into a nearby scribbly gum, where it stayed perched for about 5 mins. Although not a very unusual sighting for the Upper Blue Mts, I haven't seen one for quite a few years up here.... and especially one so obliging to stay perched. (Moderators....I'm again unsure if this is a worthy birdline posting... but it was an eventful arvo as outlined above... cheers JF)
John French

Mon 18 Mar Grey-crowned Babbler north of Grafton
Grey-crowned Babbler (3) feeding on side of road.
Neville Schrader (1702)

Pink-eared Duck Eastlakes Golf Course
Highlight of a quick evening visit to Eastlakes Golf Course was a pair of Pink-eared Ducks on the water to the west of the track that leads to the Lakes golf course.
Paul Johnstone

Letter-winged Kite 17 km North of Wanganella
Three birds observed in low chenopod shrubland. The birds were observed at 1915 hrs, on the ground in an area beside the Cobb Highway which had been ripped for a firebreak. On reaching the birds all three took flight immediately showing the distinct underwing pattern. They then circled around for a short time before settling back down. I checked out Black Swamp (about 2 km to the north) and came back. The birds were still there, flushed briefly before settling back down. So very good views were had. Last records of this species (that I am aware of) being about the district were of a single bird observed at Oolambeyan NP in 2011 by ranger staff (reliable birdwatchers), a group of 5 back in November 2002, again at Oolambeyan and observed by myself, Carl Gosper and other NPWS staff and a single bird observed by Phil Maher and myself in 1999 on a property called Willurah.
David Parker

Black-shouldered Kite, Australian Hobby et al. Castlereagh, NSW
Late this evening the three of us saw at least two of the resident Black-shouldered Kites catching at least two mice before our eyes. Before I arrived Ravynne and Peter observed two Spotted Harriers (seen the photo proofs) and the juvenile and female Australian Hobby were still near Smith Rd. In fact, the female nearly got hit by a Ford Bronco towing a horse float as she swooped down low over the road to pick an insect off the tar surface. We just about all exclaimed at once at her antics. I also suspect that there was also a Wedge-tailed Eagle soaring well above the escarpment, I could see a very large bird of prey a long way up. On my way home, just near the Castlereagh Rd and Cranebrook Rd T-junction three Nankeen Night Herons flew beside and slightly higher than my vehicle coming off their day roosts at 19:38. First time I saw them near Penrith. Some photos of kites in the further info link.
Ákos Lumnitzer, Ravynne and Peter Phelan

Glossy Black-Cockatoo Cnr Glenrock Parade and Brisbane Water Drive, Point Clare
3 Glossy Black-Cockatoos feeding for 3-4 hours on casurina plantation. Hiding from White-bellied Sea-Eagle circling above.
Andrew Whitaker

Sun 17 Mar Grey-fronted Honeyeater Nombinnie Nature Reserve
The White-fronted and Black Honeyeaters have moved East to around Condobolin and been replaced by lots of Grey-fronted Honeyeaters at Nombinnie and Round Hill Reserves. Lots of Brown-headed and White-eared HEs still there along with Southern Scrub-Robin and Shy Heathwren. Not a great deal of bird action because it is still very dry, even after recent rain
Warren Chad

Leaden Flycatcher, Spangled Drongo, Square-tailed Kite Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside, Blacktown
A short visit to the reserve rewarded me with few new species for my site list: Leaden Flycatcher (2), Spangled Drongao (on power line outside reserve) and single Square-tailed Kite (constantly mobbed by magpies).
Ted Wnorowski

Sat 16 Mar Jacky Winter, Azure Kingfisher Kurrajong Hills
A pair of Jacky Winter along Hermitage Rd. Very local in the foothills. Azure Kingfisher has been a fairly frequent visitor to swimming pool recently - probably due to the high frog population this summer. Local pigeons - Wonga Pigeon, Brown Cuckoo-dove, Peaceful Dove, Bar-shouldered Dove - have all had a good summer. As have the Eastern Grey Kangaroos at Richmond, best numbers in 15 years around The Driftway and nearby Castlereagh Rd.
Eric Finley

Fri 15 Mar Magpie Goose Swamp, Casino 10' Cell
Magpie Goose (4) nesting
Neville Schrader (1702)

Thu 14 Mar Square-tailed Kite approximately 14km s of Uralla
Single Square-tailed Kite flying low over canopy.
Neville Schrader

Straw-necked Ibis, Red-necked Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Gull-billed Tern, Whiskered Tern Lake Goran south of Gunnedah
10,000+ Straw-necked Ibis resting on mudflat. 3,000+ Red-necked Avocets and 2,000+ Black-winged Stilts feeding in shallow water. 4 Gull-billed Terns resting on mudflat. 200+ Whiskered Terns feeding over lake and resting on mudflats.
Neville Schrader (1702)

Tahiti Petrel Byron Bay - The Pass
One Tahiti Petrel flew past me while I was surfing at the Pass. I was sitting on my surfboard at the back of the waves when the bird flew past me less than 50m away. I watched it for about 30 secs and all the field marks were those of a Tahiti Petrel. I particularly noted the dark head, the distinct demarcation to the white underside and the light under wing bar. I saw it well enough to rule out a Hutton's Shearwater, a pale-bellied Providence Petrel or a Kermadec Petrel.
Matt Davies

Mon 4 Mar possible Southern Giant-Petrel Port Stephens, 8 nm offshore
A single possible Southern Giant-Petrel approached boat whilst game fishing in about 100m depth - some ordinary photos confirmed ID. [Moderator's note (NH): Any GP at this time of the year and even more so a Southern GP are quite unusual. Unfortunately the record photographs were not made available to us. They would have been very useful to (1) confirm the ID and (2) age the bird.]
Ben Bright

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