Eremaea Birdlines
Interesting and unusual bird observations
Birdline New South Wales

Birdline NSW is a site for the reporting of rare or unusual birds outside their normal range, unusually high or low numbers, early or late arrivals or departures for migrant species and interesting behaviour or unusual habitat usage.

Birdline New South Wales is supported by Birding NSW, Birdlife Southern NSW and Cumberland Bird Observers Club and moderated by Alan Morris, Ashwin Rudder, Mick Roderick and Simon Blanchflower.

We support ethical birding .


Moderators' Note

Birders are encouraged to post lists to eBird Australia, where sightings are incorporated into the atlas. To do this you need to register with eBird Australia and then login. Please send any White-throated Needletail or Fork-tailed Swift sightings directly to Prof. Michael Tarburton for his research: Include date, location, and numbers of birds. All Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot reports should be forwarded to Mick Roderick to assist in the recovery efforts of these severely declining species:

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Reports published in the past 30 hours.

June 2017
Sun 25Scarlet Honeyeater
Weabonga, east of Tamworth, northern NSW
One bird seen feeding on flowering Yellow Box
Lori Warren 25/6 #231219
Sat 24Tawny-crowned Honeyeater
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
At least 3 Tawny-Crowned Honeyeaters seen well at 4:30pm. An increasingly rare bird for the Northern Beaches and over 5 years since the last Northern Beaches record.
Jayden Walsh 25/6 #231224
Large-billed Scrubwren
Warriewood Wetlands
A single bird at the southern end of the Settlement Ponds in low trees fringing the water at 10.30 am.
Carl Weber 25/6 #231216
Wed 21Black Kite
Pacific Highway South Grafton
2 Black Kites flying over Pacific Highway, South Grafton, near flood levee.
Eric Wheeler 21/6 #231200
Little Eagle
Bruxner H'way, East Goonellabah (residential suburb of Lismore)
1 beautiful pale morph Little Eagle, being chased by crows. I managed to pull off road in heavy traffic this afternoon and observe this species not often seen in area with binos.
June Harris 21/6 #231199
Mon 19Brown Falcon
Marsden Park
One dark morph brown falcon on transmission wires north of Richmond Rd, east of South Creek at about 2:30pm.
Paul Burcher 19/6 #231180
Sun 18Grey-faced Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
At least 15 Great-winged/Grey-faced Petrels today. The two that came close in sunlit conditions looked like Grey-faced Petrel candidates, but others a little too far out to see facial/bill detail. Also 5 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, 27 Black-browed Albatross, 30 Fluttering Shearwaters and 2 Giant Petrel (sp)
David Mitford 20/6 #231189
Northern Giant Petrel (juvenile)
Botany Bay National Park--Cape Banks
The bird came in close for about halve a minute, approximately 50 m's away from the cliff edge at 14:10. I could clearly see the complete absence of any facial markings, and I could with difficulty make out that the bill tip was darker, towards brownish/reddish. Further birds of note: 1 adult Kelp Gull, 1 white fronted tern, 3 black-browed Albatross, all very close to the cliffs. eBird checklist
Vincent Mourik 19/6 #231181
Sat 17Australian Magpie-white backed
Castle Cove, Sydney
A white-backed Magpie paired with a Black-backed one. This is well out of range for white backs.(Moderators Note: As previously advised on this site, our local magpies can produce white-backed offspring at times because the white-backed gene is dominant in this species. There is no evidence to show that we are being invaded by magpies from Vic.AKM).
Theo Kemp 17/6 #231166
highlightElegant Imperial-pigeon
Old New Brighton Road, NSW 2483
How likely is this observation. I was riding my pushbike along the Old New Brighton bike/walking track when i saw a dark coloured bird fly up off the road into some trees entwoned in vines about 100mts in front of me ... looked a bit like a male Satin Bowerbird but it was a gloomy grey day. I know the birds in this area pretty well, a Satin Bowerbird would be pretty rare anyway. I got off my bike, got out my binos and walked about 20mts and saw it come back onto the road. It was a pigeon I had never seen before. In my mind i eliminated the obvious pigeons I knew, of approx the same size... like a topknot, white-headed, brown, feral and wonga pigeons, what was obvious and what i remembered was the yellow eye, grey head and belly and the metallic green sheen on the wing coverts, like an emerald dove and head a bit like a topknot without the topknot and a beak like a white-headed pigeon Arriving home 10 minutes later and consulting the new Australian Bird Guide, the only bird that came close was the Elegant Imperial-pigeon. I had been assisting with planting trees for the NPWS so did not have a camera An hour later at 3pm when i returned it was gone. A Rose-crown and a bar-shoulded was calling. I will keep looking, this time with a camera. [Moderator Comment: Published in case there are others in the area that may be interested in trying to follow up this promising report. AR]
Jan Olley 17/6 #231164
Lewin's Rail
Deep Creek Reserve, Narrabeen
Was excited to get my 100th bird species for Deep Creek today; a Lewin's Rail calling from an area of thick Gahnia sieberiana.
Jayden Walsh 17/6 #231163
Fri 16highlightBlue-billed Duck, Freckled Duck
Tallawarra Ash Pond 3, Yallah (Restricted Access)
28 Freckled Ducks and 21 Blue-billed Ducks counted at the ponds. These are good numbers for this site. eBird checklist
Carla Jackett, Kim Touzel 18/6 #231171
Square-tailed Kite
Private property near Morisset Cemetry
Single bird seen moving through canopy chased by Noisy Miners. May have been the same bird seen here on 30/5/17:
Paul Schofield 16/6 #231160
highlightSwift Parrots
Nangarin Estate, The Vintage rd, Picton NSW
Small flock of Swift Parrots observed in dead Eucalyptus Teretecornis next to the vintage rd and stonequarry creek. 5 observed but may have been more. 3 observed drinking and bathing in small puddle next to road. Swift Parrots moving between branches to avoid aggressive Bell Miners
Steven G Robertson 16/6 #231159
Wed 14Wompoo Fruit-dove
Tallawudjah Creek, Glenreagh
On a walk on my property a fledgling Wompoo Fruit-dove fluttered (crash landed) out of the canopy beside me, seemingly on its first flight. I was able to place my shirt over it and inspect, then placed it in a more open area and watched as it flew ,after sometime almost vertically back into canopy. I post this because a) its evidence of breeding at this location and b) either early or rather late breeding as far as i can ascertain from literature.
Pete Knock 16/6 #231156
highlightRed-capped Robin, Beach Stone-curlew
Evans Head
2 beach stone curlews were seen on the Evans River about 300m from river mouth on exposed sandbank associating with a pair of pied and sooty oystercatchers. Seen early in morning and still there late afternoon . Also of note was a single red-capped Robin at Chinaman Beach carpark at 2pm which would be at least 70 to 100kms out of range for this species
Philip Peel 14/6 #231148
Tue 13highlightRegent Honeyeater
Quorrobolong (private property)
Minimum of 20 Regent Honeyeaters seen this morning at the property we are monitoring at Quorrobolong, south of Cessnock. The same number of birds were seen along the power easement as were present a few weeks ago (14) plus there was a group of at least 6 birds in a different part of the property where we have recorded them previously (e.g. 2012) but hadn't this time round. Hence I am not convinced numbers are necessarily building. But the birds seem very comfortable, feeding in Spotted Gum blossom, chasing away smaller nectar-sippers and were very vocal, several pairs interacting.
Mick Roderick, Denzo Neader and Lucy Knutson 13/6 #231146
Banded Lapwing
4 Banded Lapwings in the paddocks owned by the Australian Wheat Board at silos in Cobar Rd, Nyngan.
Mick Crosland 13/6 #231132
Mon 12highlightLittle Shearwater
Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head, NSW.
Found dead on hightide mark. Significant rainfall event in preceding days. (Moderator's Note: Little Shearwater is on the NSW ORAC review list so a submission is encouraged. MR)
Nick Priest 12/6 #231127
Double-barred Finch
Barton Park South--Landing Lights Wetland
One Double-barred Finch seen with Red-browed Finches. (Moderator's Note: There have been suggestions on previous Birdline posts that Double-barred Finches have bred nearby at Eastlakes Golf Course. MR) eBird checklist
Brian Deans 12/6 #231120
Sun 11Blue-billed Duck
Saleyard Ponds, Berrima Rd, Moss Vale
6 Blue-billed Duck (the most I've seen together in the Highlands), 10 Pink-eared Duck (the most I've seen together in the Highlands), 10 Hoary-headed Grebe, a Musk Duck, a Great Egret (very rarely seen in the Highlands) and a Yellow-billed Spoonbill (feeding in a wet paddock) were the highlights of a quick bit of birding at the saleyard ponds at Mossy this afternoon.
Lorne Johnson 11/6 #231110
Sat 10Major Mitchell Cockatoo
Strathbogie Lane, approx 20km NW of Junee
2 birds perched in Eucalypt trees. Must be on the Eastern extremity of their range. 1 bird was seen here in Aug 2016 which I thought was likely to be an escapee at the time. Now I'm not so sure. (Moderator's note - published as a 'possible/probable' record as it is hard to rule out escapee as it is far east of the standard range)
Steven Cooper 13/6 #231140
Kookaburra with Leucism
Killalea State Park
This afternoon there were two individuals with Leucism feeding near the entrance to Killalea State Park. At least one other normal pigmentation Kookaburra with them.
Ralph Stadus 10/6 #231108
Jacky Winter
I was thrilled to see 6 Jacky Winters in Tallong this afternoon (they are rare birds in the Southern Highlands). 3 were 2km down Badgerys Lookout Rd and the other 3 were towards the end of Warrima Drive. I've only had one JW in many years of birding in the Southern Highlands - that individual was at Badgerys Lookout, Tallong, in October 2015. Other birds of note in Tallong today were Grey Currawong, Scarlet Robin, White-winged Chough and Superb Lyrebird.
Lorne Johnson 10/6 #231107
Thu 8Powerful Owl
Boundary St, Clovelly
Calling from a rooftop TV antenna at 10.30pm.
Katie Oxenham 12/6 #231126
highlightPink Robin (probable)
Deepwater Park, Milperra
A female robin found at Deepwater at about 9:30 this morning gave fairly close views in the open for several minutes (although it was rarely still), but was not heard to call. Notably brown above and on top of head, with buff-brown wash to flanks, cheeks and hind neck, and grey brown wash across breast. Two tan wing bars. But underside of tail seemed mid-light grey, neither whitish (as in Rose) nor brown (as in Pink) leaves me confused. Did not flick wings and tail as strongly as Rose often does. Foraged on ground and base of trunks (behaviour not typical of Rose), as well as in shrubs and canopy. Was chased off by another bird and could not be relocated despite searching until 13:00 with help from Greg McLachlan (site went quiet by about 11:00). Did see and hear a greyer female and 2+ male Rose Robins for comparison. I think a 2nd look is needed. (Moderator's Note: Description fits for a 'brown' Pink Robin, which is on the NSW ORAC review list [for reports north of the Southern Highlands]. Publishing as 'probable' but further observations would be worth pursuing. MR)
David James 8/6 #231099
Tue 6Emu
Maclean/Brooms Head road
an Emu seen 10km from Brooms Head
Eric Wheeler 9/6 #231103
Pink-eared Ducks
Lismore Lake
50 + Pink-ears at Lismore Lake, now full to capacity after the floods. 6 species of duck present and good numbers of other waterbirds. Nice to see as the lake has been just a puddle to dry for quite some time.
June Harris 8/6 #231101
Grey Goshawk
Manilla Bridge to Bridge
I was a bit surprised to see an adult Grey Goshawk by the river in Manilla and thought it worthy of a report here after speaking with Matt Hinze who lives in Manilla, has birded the township extensively for a number of years and has not yet recorded GG there. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy 8/6 #231100
Sun 4Red-necked Avocet, a, Black-Fronted Dotterel
Tuggerah Bay Saltmarsh, off Lake Rd Tuggerah
10 Red-necked Avocets and 3 Black-fronted Dotterels seen on salt marsh on 4/6/17, subsequently 6 were still present on 6/6/17. Last seen on the Central Coast on 15/12/2015 when there were 2 at the same location
luke ullrich 5/6 #231085
highlightAustralian Bustard
Gibson Way, Macquarie Marshes
One male Bustard seen close to the road in open farmland between the Macquarie River bridge and Monkeygar Crossing on the Gibson Way. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy 4/6 #231078
Sat 3Topknot Pigeon
Five Topknot Pigeons obseved flying over Pacific Highway at Turramurra flying from the direction of the railway line at 4:00pm. Flew north-east. Later, at 4:10pm I observed four Topknots fly in to a tall Camphor Laurel above the war memorial next to Wahroonga station. Not sure if the same birds.
Kurtis Lindsay 3/6 #231071
Little Eagle
Lucas Heights
A lone Little Eagle circling over New Illawarra Road Lucas Heights
Kurtis Lindsay 3/6 #231070
Straw-necked Ibis
John Fisher Park, Curl-Curl
Singe bird seen on the baseball field closes to Harbord Rd/Abbott Rd junction approx 11:20am. Definitely no others seen in the area - unusual to see one so close to coast (less than 2kms) and on its own. (Moderator's Note: Agreed that 2 kms from the Coast might be very unusual for Sydney, but currently Straw-necked Ibis are present on the The Entrance High School Ovals at Bateau Bay, at a guess 450 m from the Sea!.AKM)
Tom Wilson 3/6 #231065
Fri 2Australian Bustard
5km outside North Bourke on the Milparinka Road
One adult just off the road outside North Bourke
Melissa Mason 5/6 #231086
Grey Goshawk
Between Mount Annan and Campbelltown
One adult bird perched on a streetlight at the bottom of southbound Hume Highway off-ramp from Narellan Road. Seen today at 3pm, yesterday at 5pm and 5pm on 31/5/17.
Lorne Johnson 2/6 #231062
Thu 1megamegaNorthern Shoveler
Kingston Commons, Norfolk Island
I found a male Northern Shoveler in the wetland at Kingston on Norfolk Island this afternoon. Will prepare a BARC report.
Ashwin Rudder 1/6 #231053

May 2017
Wed 31highlightBlack-breasted Buzzard
just outside Nevertire in the Mitchell Highway between Narromine and Nyngan
One Black-breasted Buzzard being mobbed by Black-shouldered Kites.
Melissa Mason 5/6 #231087
Tue 30highlightSwift Parrot, Turquoise Parrot, Red-capped Robin
Singleton Training Area (no public access)
Just 2 Swift Parrots on yesterday's survey of the Singleton Training Area. There is virtually no Spotted Gum blossom here this year which explains the lack of Swifties. A single Turquoise Parrot, a Diamond Firetail and a female Red-capped Robin observed; all of these species are just holding on here at their limit of range within the Hunter Valley (the robin not recorded here since 2013).
Mick Roderick and Lucas Grenadier 31/5 #231046
Red-necked Avocet
Barton Park South--Landing Lights Wetland
Two Avocet seen this afternoon on the wetland feeding. They have not been seen at this site since 2015. eBird checklist
Greg McLachlan 30/5 #231039
Spotted Quail-thrush, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Jacky Winter
Colo Heights (Wheelbarrow Ridge Road)
Up to four Jacky Winter calling from tree tops and powerlines on roadside. Spotted Quail-thrush heard, them one seen foraging on ground under Turpentines in a front yard under canopy. Foraging Glossy Black Cockatoos in Allocasuarina torulosa.
Kurtis Lindsay 30/5 #231037
Square-tailed Kite
McGraths Hill
One Square-tailed Kite flew over McGraths Hill McDonalds flew in from the east. 2.55pm. Chased by Noisy Miners.
Kurtis Lindsay 30/5 #231036
Mon 29Ground Cuckoo-shrike, Red-capped Robin.
Weddin Mountains, Black Piney Road
Pair seen on roadside fence wire on Black Piney Rd about three kilometres before the Nat. Park turnoff . Flew off as I stopped and were harassed by a Magpie, which in turn was similarly dealt with by the Cuckoo-shrikes. At least ten pairs of Red-capped Robin observed in the Callitris woodland of Bimbi State Forest along the access road to the National Park.
Darryl Smedley 30/5 #231038
Haycock Point Ben Boyd National Park
Three Sanderling at Haycock Point Ben Boyd National Park. These birds are unlikely to be breeding in the high arctic tundra this season!
J Hutchison 29/5 #231029
Sat 27Swift Parrot
Werakata National Park--Kearsley South Firetrail
Excellent views of Swift Parrots and masses of Little Lorikeets at Kearsley fire trial. Swift Parrot (actual sighting) count was 15, However many more heard out of view. Met other birders on the mission, not sure if they had similar luck.
Luke Shelley, Paul Shelley, Gavin Shelley 31/5 #231044
Square-tailed Kite
Bellbird Heights, Cessnock
A single adult bird circling over Wollombi RD and the adjoining house, at Bellbird Heights at approx. 1320 hrs.
Alan Morris 28/5 #231020
Fri 26Sanderling
Salty Creek mouth, Evans Head
Single non-breeding plumage Sanderling on the beach at Salty Creek mouth, uncommon here at this of time of year. Also 11 Little Terns still hanging around. eBird checklist
Steve McBride 26/5 #231014
highlightSwift Parrot
Werakata State Conservation Area (Pelton)
Reporting here (again) as this site is on public land and numbers appear to be building. I had 14 Swift Parrots last week and counted 33 this morning. Birds are best observed very early when they are associating in flocks. The one I managed to photograph 18 birds of a flock that had about 25 birds in it. From about 0730 onwards the birds settle down to feed/preen etc and are a little harder to find. Head down Pelton Road (dirt track that goes east in from the village of Pelton) and park at the second left hand turn. Just listen for the Bell Miners! Regent HEs may not be far away too, so eyes and ears peeled if you visit (a good place to look is further to the north either side of the gully that you cross). There are now likely at least 200 Swift Parrots in the Cessnock woodlands. Steve Roderick again visited the site late this afternoon and counted 47 birds. Further information
Mick Roderick 26/5 #231008
Outside normal range
Early arrival; late departure
Interesting behaviour
Hard to see
Unusual habitat
Uncommon in area
Unusual numbers
Rare vagrant
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