Hunter River Sites and access

To: Peter Ewin <>
Subject: Hunter River Sites and access
From: Peggy Svoboda <>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 23:35:51 +0000
Hi Peter,
You can also find information at which has
links to Hunter Bird Observers Club, downloads of HBOC birding routes
(including one for Ash Island), species lists, etc. Please give me a call
if you have any questions or suggestions for additional information that
would be helpful to have in the library or other sections of the website.
Cheers, Peggy

*Peggy Svoboda*, Senior Land Services Officer - Estuaries
Hunter Estuary Program
Kooragang office: Schoolmasters House, Ash Island

NSW Local Land Services - Hunter
Locked Bag 2010 | Paterson | NSW 2421
T 02 4964 9308 | F 02 4964 9307 | M 0418 649 308
E   <> |  Web- <>
additional information:

On 28 September 2016 at 23:13, Mick Roderick via Birding-Aus <
> wrote:

> HI Peter,
> I'm not sure where you looked on the HBOC website, but we have plenty of
> info on a number of sites in the Newcastle area (though admittedly, some
> are in need of an update). You'll find them at the link below.
> The "Newcastle Wetlands" one has the access directions for Hexham Swamp.
> For Stockton Sandspit (assuming that is where you mean by the 'wader
> roost') see the "Newcastle City and Lower Hunter Estuary" birding route
> (which is one that needs updating, however the directions are still
> current). The best time to visit here isn't necessarily high tide, though
> you will see plenty of birds then. The best time is between 2 to 3 hours
> after (or to a slightly lesser extent, before) high tide. This is because
> many birds that roost on the largely inaccessible Kooragang Dykes fly over
> to the sandspit beach as a 'staging point' after the tide has dropped
> sufficiently that the beach is exposed. After a while, the vast majority
> end up flying north to (most definitely inaccessible) Fullerton Cove.
> Ash Island is still accessible but you don't hear much about it because it
> has largely been 'superseded' by Hexham Swamp and Tomago Wetlands, both
> which have been the subject of incredibly successful rehabilitation work.
> Wagtail Way hasn't lived up to its name for many years (but you will still
> see 'some' birds if you visit).
> Bird-wise, Hexham Swamp has recently hosted an Aussie Pratincole, but
> people that were there today failed to see it. The conditions are pretty
> poor really, with so much water around, so there aren't the droves of
> Sharpies etc that were here a few years ago. It just won't stop raining
> here. You'll almost certainly get onto White-fronted Chats there. Stockton
> Sandspit is a great spectacle and isn't affected by high rainfall, so I'd
> definitely be going there.
> Personally I'd be doing most of my birding around Paynes Crossing! ;-)
> Mick
>       From: Peter Ewin <>
>  To: Birding Aus <>
>  Sent: Wednesday, 28 September 2016, 18:31
>  Subject: [Birding-Aus] Hunter River Sites and access
> Evening all,
> My planned camping trip over the next week on the Lachlan has been foiled
> (I too was hoping to get to Round Hill but roads are still closed) so we
> are heading instead to the Hunter Valley to my in-laws place at Paynes
> Crossing. On one of the aya where the weather is a bit more friendly
> (probably Tuesday based on forecast) I am hoping to sneak down Newcastle
> way and try and add a few coastal birds to my annual list.
> I have had a look on the HBOC site but there isn't much info on specific
> sites. The locations I was probably going to try for were:
>   *  Hunter Wetlands Centre (easy enough - I have been there before)
>   *  Stockton Wader Roost - Assume best time is at high tide and does
> anyone know a link to the best tide info for the site?
>   *  Heham Swamp - there were details about access to a site in the
> archives - happy to have a look but easier if someone knows if they are
> still valid (was to do with track/road work?)
> I don't see many reports lately about Ash Island - is it still accessible
> and is it worth the visit (I have been there a few times and a drive up
> Wagtail Way was always productive).
> Any tips or hints appreciated.
> Thanks in advance.
> Peter
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