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 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 number of birds. All Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot reports should be forwarded to Mick Roderick to assist in the recovery of these severely declining species: Note we will not be publishing reports of Accipiter raptors (Collared Sparrowhawk, Grey/Brown Goshawks) unless they are in unusual locations, are seen with unusual prey or have been seen performing atypical behaviour.

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Reports published in the past 30 hours.

August 2017
Wed 16Spectacled Monarch
Marshals Creek Nature Reserve, Old New Brighton rd, Ocean Shores
Lovely to hear that call again, bird came close overhead with a couple non digital whistles.
Duncan Fowler 16/8 #231563
Regent Honeyeater
Woolgoolga - Crossley Street STW area
The Regent Honeyeater reported recently is still using the same Banksia at the edge of the beach access track and is very approachable. When I saw it, it was mostly using the lower half of the tree and occasionally harking for insects around the tree. (Moderator's Note: This bird has been present since at least the 15th July, when it was found by Michael Alfa. So far as has been reported to this point in time the only vocalisations it is performing are Little Wattlebird calls. MR)
David Charley 16/8 #231557
Mon 14Latham's Snipe (4)
Teven Rd Swamp
Following the report of the first Latham's Snipe for ACT yesterday, I checked the local swamp at West Ballina today & flushed 4 from one location. eBird checklist
Steve McBride 14/8 #231537
Sun 13Square-tailed Kite
Single bird in flight, being harassed by an Australian Magpie.
Peter Higgins 15/8 #231551
Diamond Firetail
Inverary Rd Canyonleigh
Three feeding on lawn with eight Goldfinches
Ross Bennett 14/8 #231541
Glossy Black Cockatoo
Tugalong Rd Canyonleigh. 1 km north of cafe
Pair feeding in casuarina on roadside.
Ross Bennett 14/8 #231540
Pink-eared Duck, White-breasted Woodswallow
Newcastle Wetland Reserve
510 Pink-eared Ducks counted on the part of Newcastle Wetlands Reserve that backs onto the golf course and bypass on-ramp. There are more Pink-ears back towards Sandgate (albeit not many) so this is not a complete count. Also reporting that White-breasted Woodswallows have returned to this spot and to at least 4 other sites in the Hexham Swamp / Shortland area and are already in reasonable numbers (i.e. their arrival appears to be more widespread and in greater numbers than is usual in early August when we just get a trickle of birds). My first recorded return to Shortland was of 8 birds on 12/8/17; 8 days earlier than my previous earliest return. (Update 15/08 - 3 Freckled Ducks also present)
Mick Roderick 14/8 #231530
Sat 12highlightHutton's, Fluttering and Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Soldiers Point (Norah Head)
During a couple of hours sea watch in the early part of the afternoon and in very calm conditions, there were at least 20,000 Hutton's/Fluttering Shearwaters quite close to the coast with several rafts of hundreds of birds foraging on the water and many more passing through (the majority of the later I saw were actually what I considered most likely Hutton's Shearwaters which appeared to outnumber the birds identified as Fluttering by 10:1). The only time I have seen this many Hutton's was off Stockton beach quite some time ago. However, this is certainly the time of the year that the Hutton's do peak in their numbers before heading off to their breeding grounds in the Kaikoura range in NZ. There was only a single Black-browed albatross feeding on cuttlefish, at least 30 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (my first for the season), 30 Australasian Gannets and amongst the mammals, several pods of Bottlenose Dolphin and a Fur Seal. On the reef were 4 White-fronted Tern and 3 Red-necked Stints. A White-bellied Sea-eagle also flew past.
Edwin Vella 16/8 #231562
White-breasted Woodswallow
A couple seen on powerlines at Slade Park beside Budgewoi Lake. This and another sighting of 4 birds at Davistown Foreshore Reserve by Christina Port on the same day, and 4 at the Dairy Swamp , Central Coast Wetlands seen by G.J.Nelson on 13/8/17 represent the return of these migrants to the Central Coast, possibly a day or two earlier than usual (AKM)..
Edwin Vella 16/8 #231561
highlightAustralian Bustard
Between Lightning Ridge and Collarenebri NSW
This bird was seen near an old bore drain. Near by was a male emu with a number of very young chicks. No other Bustard was seen The bird was on private land but near a road.
Suzanne Mahoney 15/8 #231554
Pacific Baza
Oatley Park
Feeding in foliage but being harassed by Noisy Miners.
Graham Fry 15/8 #231553
Rainbow Bee-eater
Two small groups (possibly only a couple of birds in each) in flight to south over suburb. First records here for this season. Do not winter here and not present on preceding weekend at site where they have bred annually.
Peter Higgins 15/8 #231549
Freckled Duck
Pitt Town Lagoon
On the Birding NSW club outing on Saturday we found 2 Pink-eared Duck, 2 male Australasian Shoveler and 8 Freckled Duck on Pitt Town Lagoon.
Trevor Waller and BNSW outing 14/8 #231529
highlightAntipodean Albatross, Campbell Albatross, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, White-faced Storm Petrel
Offshore--Sydney Pelagic
Cooler water temperatures finally produced a productive pelagic trip after many quiet ones on the east coast this winter - fifteen species recorded but no rarities however. Highlights were our first Wandering-type Albatross this year (an Antipodean gibsoni), 2 White-faced Storm Petrel, 300 Fluttering Shearwater (all seen in the morning), 370 Hutton's Shearwater (almost all seen on the return trip), 16 Wedge-tailed Shearwater (first returns), 2 Campbell Albatross, 37 Black-browed Albatross and 17 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross. 8 Humpback Whales and pods of Common and Oceanic Bottlenose Dolphins added to the entertainment. (Photographs by Steve Hey) (Moderator's Note: Great to finally see a winter pelagic with good numbers and diversity this year off NSW! MR)
Roger McGovern and all on the Avalon IV 13/8 #231521
Olive-backed Oriole
Marrickville, Steel Park
One bird singing from Casuarinas along the Cook's River, also a few Red-rumped Parrots in that general area.
David Mitford 12/8 #231520
Fri 11Banded Lapwing
Northern Budgewoi Beach
Banded Lapwing photographed at the Northern end of Budgewoi Beach this morning. (-33.217893, 151.592128}. It was associating with two Pied Oystercatchers.
Gerard Satherley, Arron Davies 11/8 #231512
Thu 10Red-browed Treecreeper, Brush Bronzewing
Limeburners Creek Nature Reserve
Three Red-browed Treecreepers seen in a narrow strip of open forest in Limeburners Creek Nature Reserve. Unexpected here, so close to the coast and surrounded by vast areas of dense heath and melaleuca swamp. We also heard the distinctive repetitive 'hoop' call of a Brush Bronzewing. Despite the availability of suitable habitat, reports of this species on the mid-north coast are few and far between. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy & Keith Fisher 11/8 #231514
Restless Flycatcher
A lone Restless Flycatcher was in a tiny ravine by Bundanoon Sewage Works late this afternoon. First RF I've seen in the Southern Highlands in 9 years of living here.
Lorne Johnson 10/8 #231508
Wed 9Australasian Shoveler (2)
Sydney Olympic Park
A pair of shovelers on big pond at Wentworth Common were first this year for me. Also Rose Robin (1), Brown Gerygone (2) and Brown Honeyeater (1) brickpit carpark; Red-kneed Dotterel (2) Waterbird Refuge, several Fairy Martins, European Goldfinches and Hoary-headed Grebe (18) in Homebush Bay.
Dion Hobcroft 9/8 #231501
Plumed Whistling-Duck
near Grafton
250 Plumed Whistling-Ducks on dam corner of Eatonsville Rd and Mulligan Drive Waterview Heights
Eric Wheeler 9/8 #231500
Tue 8Painted Button-quail
Bungawalbin National Park
One Button-quail seen at roadside eating a large worm. We watched it find the worm in the damp area on the road edge. The Quail hid behind a tuft of grass whilst eating the worm, hence no decent photo.
June Harris and Rose Wisemantel 9/8 #231497
Mon 7White-breasted Woodswallow
At least 2 birds in flight over suburb, flying south. Another single bird seen 10 Aug, also moving southwards. Do not winter here.
Peter Higgins 15/8 #231550
Sun 6Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Werri Beach - northern headland, Gerringong
Highlight of a 2-hour sea-watch at Gerringong was the first Wedge-tailed Shearwaters of the season (a pair, and heading north!). Otherwise the usual species, including 10 Black-browed Albatross and several flocks of Fluttering Shearwaters.
Robert Griffin 8/8 #231496
Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Campbell Albatross
Port Stephens pelagic
On one of the quietest pelagics yet off Port Stephens (only 9 species recorded outside the heads, with just 6 tubenoses) the highlight was probably seeing the first Wedge-tailed Shearwaters of the season. This was not just one or two birds either, with about 35 birds counted, including a flock of 9 birds flying together. The only other mild highlight was having two immature Campbell Albatross at the boat. There were no Black-broweds, no Shy-types or Wandering-types seen at all, and nor any storm-petrels of any sort. It has been a very unproductive winter for seabird trips off NSW by all accounts.
Mick Roderick and all aboard the MV Argonaut 7/8 #231493
highlightBanded Lapwing
Sydney Airport - (restricted area - no public access)
3 Banded Lapwings at the south eastern end of the main runway. This isn't the first record of the species here but it has been many years (perhaps 7-10?) since the last sighting and none previously at this particular location.(Moderator's note: Rare bird in eastern Sydney! AKM)
Nigel Coghlan 6/8 #231487
Banded Lapwing
Mongogarie SW of Casino
Three birds flying north over property at 0915. No previous recorded sightings for this area.
Lyle McNamara 6/8 #231486
Sat 5Powerful Owl
Douglas Farm Rd, Kurrajong Hills
Single bird sitting on swimming pool fence about 11pm. First record in nearly 20 years here despite looking and listening out for call.
Eric Finley 7/8 #231491
Black Bittern
Richmond Lowlands (seen from Streeton Lookout)
Single bird in sunshine on banks of Hawkesbury River clearly visible from Streeton Lookout at Freemans Reach, on far bank of river. eBird checklist
Eric Finley 7/8 #231490
Grey Goshawk - white morph
Brown's Field, Wahroonga
At 1PM noticed a white morph Grey Goshawk flying overhead being persistently harassed by a vociferous Australian Raven. First time I've seen a white goshawk in Sydney so delighted! Would have to be one of the most stunning raptors in the world, we are very lucky in Oz!
Nick Billington 6/8 #231485
Fri 4Blue-billed Duck
Little Langothlin Lagoon
Twenty-five Blue-billed Duck in among the reed beds that dominate the eastern half of the lagoon. I suspect there were more in this area as not all patches of open water were observable. Also good numbers of teal, Pacific Black Duck and Australian Shoveler. A number of Black Swan pairs had downy cygnets.
David Charley 5/8 #231480
Audley, Royal National Park
A Pilotbird was heard this morning calling for three minutes in the area between Audley and Wattle Forest in the Royal National Park. It was heard briefly again in the same location in the early afternoon. There were also two Scaly-breasted Lorikeets preening each other high in a eucalypt at Audley this morning.
Andrew Patrick 4/8 #231474
Thu 3highlightRegent Honeyeater (update)
Private properties at Paxton and Quorrobolong (Cessnock LGA)
A minimum of 31 Regent Honeyeaters were counted today at 2 properties in the Cessnock area; one at Paxton (birds first found 1st Aug) and at Quorrobolong (birds first found mid-May). There were 15 birds found at the Paxton site followed by 16 at the Quorrobolong site, the latter during the middle of the day when birds are more difficult to find. I am confident that at least the 20 birds that we counted here in June are still present. Birds at both properties are feeding on Spotted Gum blossom, but at the Paxton site are predominantly feeding on stringybark blossom (the same species that they were feeding on there in 2009 - an undescribed stringybark endemic to Cessnock). In my opinion there are almost certainly more aggregations of birds in the Paxton-Ellalong area that haven't been found as yet. Of interest there was a banded bird at the Paxton property that had been banded by BirdLife Australia at the Quorrobolong property in June 2012. The bird was an adult female (2+yrs) at the time of banding. Swift Parrots also present at the Paxton property.
Mick Roderick and Alex Berryman 3/8 #231470
Tue 1Regent Honeyeater, Swift Parrot
Private property near Paxton (no public access)
During a monitoring survey on private property near Paxton I found 4 Regent Honeyeaters feeding on Spotted Gum blossom. I found the birds at the very end of the survey and had to rush off to a meeting soon after, so I'll be heading back to see if there are more in there. This is the first record of Regents at this site since late July 2009 when 3 birds were found feeding on stringybark blossom. Also present were a few Swift Parrots (heard flying around) and about a km away a clumping group of Dusky Woodswallows that have over-wintered.
Mick Roderick 1/8 #231455

July 2017
Mon 31Noisy Pitta
Ourimbah State Forest, New South Wales. Red Hill road
I was mountain biking and a bird caught my eye I was very alert because I usually see a family or a single Lyrebird so I stopped and had a good look. The bird had green/ teal blue wings, red under carriage, cream-ish front and a black and brown head, long-ish legs and a decent sized beak. I looked all week on the internet to ID the bird and finally found it ..... "Noisy Pitta" which is ironic because it didn't make a sound for about the 3 minutes I watched it. Moderator's Note: A rare bird on the Central Coast this autumn/winter. AKM))
Hutch Steuerwald 7/8 #231488
Red-necked Avocet
Wilford Lane Wetlands Milton -35.350338, 150.434251
Two Red-necked Avocet were a surprise at the wetlands we regularly visit along with large numbers of Black-winged Stilts - at least half being juveniles. Also good numbers of Grey and Chestnut Teals along with a few Black Swans.
Charles Dove - Chris Brandis 31/7 #231446
Sun 30Rufous Fieldwren, Redthroat
Fowlers Gap Research Station
Five singing fieldwren observed and another three non-singing birds observed in a 500m x 500m area. Also a pair of Redthroat with a juvenile in the same area. Chenopod shrubland
David Charley 3/8 #231464
Regent Bowerbird
Hyland Park NSW
Male bird observed for several minutes feeding on seeds of Hibbertia scandens. (Moderator's Note - publishing due to the interesting feeding behaviour noted MR)
Peter Mackey 30/7 #231437
Sat 29Swift Parrot
Hunter Economic Zone (restricted access)
6 Swift Parrots observed feeding in the foliage of Grey Gums in the part of HEZ that was badly burnt last December.
Alex Berryman per Mick Roderick 1/8 #231456
highlightPacific Koel
The Greenway between Leichhardt and Haberfield
A male calling since July 29. Seen this evening (July 31). I think there is a female around as well. This evening the bird was about 100m south of Marion St.
David Hair 31/7 #231449
Glossy Black & Gang Gang Cockatoos, Little Lorikeet
Private Property, Quorrobolong
On the private property at the western side of the Watagan Range at Quorrobolong, on the regular annual CCGBNSW Outing, 2 Gang gangs, 6 Little Lorikeets and a Pacific Baza were seen on this property as well as the usual large range of honeyeaters. On the public roads in the general vicinity of this property, particularly Whitings, Milfords &, Swans Lane and Heaton Gap Rd, we saw a pair of Glossy Black Cockatoos, 6 groups of Grey-crowned Babblers, Jacky Winters, Australian Pipits, Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Brown Falcons, Nankeen Kestrels and 2 Wedge-tailed Eagles. This is the first time in 20 years that Glossies have been seen on this outing.
Alan Morris & 27 members CCGBNSW 31/7 #231447
highlightSwift Parrot
Douglas Farm Rd, Kurrajong Hills
A pair of Swift Parrots seen in flight, landing on edge of remnant Western Sydney dry rainforest. First local record in several years. Also seen in recent days a single Pacific Baza, several White-headed Pigeons, and male and female Sambar Deer (now frequently seen in the area). Koala calling on 26 Jul evening. (Moderator's Note: There are normally a few records of Swift Parrots each year in Western Sydney; this is just the 2nd one reported in 2017, the first being from Dural back on the 20th May. MR) eBird checklist
Eric Finley 31/7 #231445
White-throated Gerygone
Riverside Drive, Port Macquarie
First White-throated Gerygone heard for the season.
Lindy Frost 30/7 #231435
Fri 28Rose robin
Warriewood Wetlands
A nice sighting of a male Rose Robin on a relatively quiet day at Warriewood. At the start of the boardwalk by the bridge.
Chris and Jane Gregory 30/7 #231443
Thu 27Redthroat
Stephen's Creek Reserve, Broken Hill
Two pairs in almost the exact locations where I use to find these birds in 1986 and 1987. Old Man Saltbush common.
David Charley 28/7 #231427
Wed 26highlightAustralian Bustard
Beside the road on the Kamilaroi Highway, 20 kms west of Brewarrina
Two Australian Bustards seen by the side of the Kamilaroi Hwy, 20km west of Brewarrina.
Peter Mann 8/8 #231494
Little Shrike-thrush
Hyland Park NSW north of Nambucca Heads
One bird sighted in remnant rainforest adjacent to State Forest. (Moderator's Note: although not a particularly unusual record, publishing here as the species can be difficult to find towards the southern edge of their range. There have been some recent records [early July] posted on eBird from Nambucca Nature Reserve. MR)
Peter Mackey 27/7 #231423
Tue 25Grey-fronted Honeyeater, White-fronted Honeyeater, Yellow-plumed Honeyeater, Brown-headed Honeyeater
Nombinnie Nature Reserve (East)--The Old Wheat Paddock
Large numbers of honeyeaters. Mallee very heavily in bud and starting to bloom. [Moderator Note: thanks for the update on conditions. It's worth noting that, while Grey-fronted HE is highly nomadic in that area but White-fronted, Yellow-plumed and Brown-headed are resident. It would be terrific to see eBird lists along with these reports. AR]
Mark Hocking 28/7 #231425
Spotted Nightjar
Round Hill, Round Hill Nature Reserve, near Lake Cargelligo
Two birds roosting among rocks within two metres of each other on Round Hill. Birds not seen until they flushed when I was almost close enough to step on them on my way down from the trig station. They only flew a short distance allowing good photographs. Obvious white wing spots. Unusual winter sighting
Mark Hocking 28/7 #231424
Brown Cuckoo-Dove
Horsfield Bay, Woy Woy NSW
6 Brown Cuckoo-Dove feeding on privet fruit in the back yard and Australian King-Parrots also sharing same tree. (Moderator's Note, as with the report of the 23/7/17 at Knapsack Gully, Emu Plains, it is not unusual for Brown Cuckoo-Doves to feed on privet berries and at both locations the birds are not at the edge of their range nor is 6 birds an unusually large number, although for both locations it may be unusual to see such a concentration. We therefore would not publish further sightings of Brown Cuckoo-Doves unless the circumstances were much more "unusual" than this. AKM)
Andrew Whitaker 26/7 #231421
Sun 23Brown Cuckoo-Dove
Knapsack Viaduct
6 Brown Cuckoo Doves spotted in a eucalyptus halfway between the Viaduct and reserve in the afternoon. Rock Warblers and plenty of crimson Rosella also present
L. Morgan 24/7 #231415
Freckled Duck
Teven Rd Swamp
In the order of 3500 ducks present, which is a large number for the Far North Coast of NSW. Mostly Teal but also a minimum of 85 Australasian Shovelers (likely many more) and 2 Freckled Ducks. eBird checklist
Hans Wohlmuth 23/7 #231407
Fri 21Cattle Egret
Smeaton Grange (near Narellan)
5 Cattle Egrets on the back oval of Magdalene Catholic High School early morning. The first time I've seen Cattle Egrets there in 8 years of working at the School.
Lorne Johnson 21/7 #231394
Thu 20Brahminy Kite
Snapper Point, Munmorah SRA
This Brahminy Kite was photographed at Snapper Point. One had been photographed by another observer at Wybung Head a couple of weeks earlier. There were several White-bellied Sea Eagles flying in the same area.
Maurice Ashton 22/7 #231395
Superb Parrot
Boss Lane, 18 km North east of Warren
During a four day visit to Nyngan/Macquarie Marshes/Warren 16-20 July the only Superb Parrots that I saw were 3 flying over the Oxley Highway at Boss Lane near Warren. This compares with 34 birds at 6 sites for a comparable period and location 16-20 September 2010.
Alan Morris 21/7 #231392
Gilbert's Whistler
Old Wheat Paddock, Nombinnie Nature Reserve, Lake Cargelligo
Male bird seen and heard around 12pm
Mick Crosland 20/7 #231391
Brush Turkey
Sloane Street, Summer Hill (follow-up to previous post)
In reference to the Brush Turkey in Summer Hill, a Brush Turkey took up residence here about 6 to 8 weeks ago. Mainly based behind the houses 14 to 28 Sloane St. Also regular over at 17 in the evenings as they feed it there.
Steve Edwards 20/7 #231388
Tue 18Brolga
Canonba rd, 5 km N.E of Nyngan
A group of four Brolgas were close to the road with several Emus being present in an adjoining paddock. There have been no Birdlife Australia Atlas records in the Nygan area since 2010.
Alan Morris 19/7 #231387
Australian Brush Turkey
Cadigal Reserve, Summer Hill
On bike path between Parramatta Road and Grosvenor Crescent Summer Hill. About 8 ks from Sydney CBD. (Moderator's Note: I grew up in Summer Hill and lived there 1942-1970, I could never envisage then that one day Brush Turkeys could be found in this suburb. I wonder if they occurred there at the time of first white settlement? AKM).
Michael Manuell 19/7 #231385
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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