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, Joshua Bergmark and Simon Blanchflower.

We support ethical birding .


Moderators' Note

Birders are encouraged to post lists to Eremaea eBird, where sightings are incorporated into the atlas. To do this you need to register with Eremaea eBird 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 2016
Mon 27highlightSpotless Crake
Vaucluse House Gardens, Vaucluse
I was amazed to site a Spotless Crake feeding in Olola Ave (west side). Got two good looks at it before it flew 10 meters and disappeared into the bracken and grasses along side a seepage drain. This area has a good stand of eucalyptus and indigenous reeds and grasses left by the gardeners.
Marie Lister 27/6 #227867
Sun 26Little Lorikeet, Black-chinned Honeyeater
Private Property, Gowan NSW (149 20 0.423E , 33 6 51.135S)
At least 2 Little Lorikeets feeding in the White Box which was also providing snowy weather food to Black-chinned, Yellow-tufted and White-naped Honeyeaters.
Melissa Mason, Tiffany Mason 28/6 #227875
highlightBuller's Albatross
Offshore--Sydney Pelagic
The rearranged June pelagic trip off Sydney had a very enjoyable day with 17 species and lots of albatross but no rarities. Highlights were 15 Buller's Albatross (a one day record for Sydney), 60 Fairy Prions and a stay over Short-tailed Shearwater. 50 Black-browed Albatross, 25 Shy Albatross, 20 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross and 5 Campbell Albatross were all good numbers.
Rob Hynson and Josh Bergmark per Roger McGovern 27/6 #227872
Black Kite
Pacific Highway, South Grafton, near Alipou Creek
1 bird circling low near Highway in morning.
Greg & Val Clancy 27/6 #227871
Magpie Goose
Pacific Highway, Clarenza
The Magpie Geese are still present at this site with an estimated 100+ loafing at the edge of the water in the morning.
Greg & Val Clancy 27/6 #227870
Topknot Pigeon
Clarence River, Yamba
Eight separate flocks (from 40 to 120 birds each) observed flying N and NW over a period of an hour or so in the late morning, numbering in excess of 580 birds in total. Another observer had seen a number of similar sized flocks in the preceding hour.
Greg Clancy 27/6 #227869
highlightWhite-browed Woodswallow
Botany Bay National Park - North, Cemetery Firetrail
Single male observed feeding around cemetery edges. (Northern / La Perouse section)
Andrew Robinson and Ainslie Lenehan 27/6 #227865
Sat 25Pacific Gull and Great-winged Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
An adult and a juvenile Pacific Gull was the highlight today. Also saw plenty of Fairy Prions and Black-browned Albatross, 3 Yellow-nosed Albatross,3 Shy Albatross, 3 Kelp Gulls,1 GIant Petrel(sp) & a Great-winged Petrel at 5.02pm.
David Mitford & Edwin Vella 26/6 #227862
highlightSwift Parrot
Hunter Economic Zone (Crown Land)
4 Swift Parrots heard, then seen flying away from an area west of 'the roundabout' holding good Spotted Gum blossom (attended by 50+ Fuscous HE and quite a few Noisy Friars). This is the 6th distinct location that Swifties have been recorded in HEZ this year; 5 of which are on land zoned for industrial development. I was only passing through and did not do a thorough search of other areas. Painted Button-quails flushed from nearby too.
Mick Roderick 26/6 #227855
highlightSalvin's & Buller's Albatross, Northern & Southern Giant Petrels and Cape Petrel
Offshore--Kiama Pelagic (SOSSA)
In spite of adverse conditions, the SOSSA pelagic went out, although only to 12km offshore. The trip highlight was a sub-adult Salvin's Albatross, however there was an estimated 40+ Buller's Albatrosses for the day, with nearly 20 observed at the same time. There was also 10+ Northern (7 together) and 1 Southern Giant Petrels. Other birds included many Black-browed Albatross, Shy, Campbell's and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, a single Cape Petrel, Solander's, Grey-faced and Great-wing Petrels, along with Wilson's Storm-petrels, Fairy Prions and 2 Brown Skua's. A lone Short-tailed Shearwater accompanied us for much of the day as well. Further information
Brook Whylie and all aboard the MV Kiama 25/6 #227854
Grey-crowned Babblers
Walliston Rd Mathoura
7 Grey-crowned Babblers were seen about 15 kms North of Mathoura. (Moderator's Note: While Grey-crowned Babblers are expected to occur around Mathoura, but from experience, I know that they can be hard to find. AKM)
Marlene Lyell 25/6 #227852
Fri 24Bush Stone-Curlew
on street outside house No 69 Kincumber Crescent, Davistown
One of the five resident pairs of Brisbane Water's Bush Stone-Curlew have been showing well lately. Usually they can be seen roosting by day in the front yard of houses No 67 or 69 Kincumber Crescent Davistown, but on 24/6 they were standing on the road outside No.69 in the rain while today they were seen in the small foreshore park opposite No.67. The birds can often be seen from the confines of your car and wont move away unless you get out! If visiting the area please respect the privacy of the neighbours as it is not a through road and quite narrow. The female is banded with a numbered plastic yellow band on one leg and a metal numbered ABBS band on the other leg. This bird was banded as a chick in 2008 and has reared quite a number of young over the years. Note for the unwary - Kincumber Cres is a street in 3 parts, the birds are in the last part!
Alan Morris 25/6 #227849
Thu 23highlightWhite-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
Lord Howe Island
One bird seen near Entrance to Lorhiti. Have not found one listed for the island so may have arrived recently. Poor picture available but no way to upload at present. (Moderator's Note: The White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike is not listed in McAllan et al 2004 "The Birds of Lord Howe Island: A Review of Records". AKM)
Sue Chatfield 26/6 #227856
Scarlet Robin, Jacky Winter, Yellow-rumped Thornbill
Waratah Rd North, Mangrove Mountain
The adult male Scarlet Robin was showing well at this site at 11 am this morning, where the road reaches the T intersection. It was on the front fence of the last house in the road. Other birds present included 4 Jacky Winters, Yellow-rumped Thornbills, 60+ Red-browed Finches, Peaceful & Bar-shouldered Doves etc.
Alan Morris & Allan Benson 25/6 #227850
Chestnut-breasted Mannikin, Black-shouldered Kite, Nankeen Kestrel
Bow Bowing Park, Minto
We found 8 Chestnut-breasted Mannikin's at Bow Bowing Park, It is the first time I have seen them here. Also there was a Black-shouldered Kite hunting and 2 Nankeen Kestrel's on a powerline. The Kestrel and Kite are usually here. Other birds seen were: A few Golden-headed Cisticola's, 3 Australasian (Richard's) Pipit, lots of Straw-necked and Australian White Ibises, Some Cattle Egrets, 4 Chestnut Teals, 2 Australasian Grebes on a flooded field.
Timothy Paasila, William S 23/6 #227837
Wed 22Black Bittern and Osprey
Deep Creek, Narrabeen
A Black Bittern was flushed from trees under the pedestrian / car bridge at Deep Creek. It flew back towards the lake. Two Ospreys were arguing over a caught fish.
Carol Abbott 26/6 #227858
highlightHooded Plover
Dolphin Point - Ulladulla - -35.396521, 150.447649
Great to see the Hooded Plovers are now starting to gather in small numbers at Ulladulla Dolphin Point, whereas at this time of year they normally gather at Racecourse Beach on the flatrock area just about 5 Kilometres away from Dolphin Point, but the food they normally source was devastated by large amount of sand deposits onto the rock areas. The numbers vary between 4 - 14 at any one time, with 12 present on 18/6, but hopefully will gradually increase. Last year we had up to 18 at one time on the feeding grounds which is around 1/3 the NSW population. The H/Plover in the photo is a very young bird and must have been a very late hatching.
Charles Dove 22/6 #227831
Tue 21Brolga
43 brolgas foraging in a freshly harvested field near Ulmarra ferry. Recall a similar number of birds recorded near here in 2015.
Ian Colvin 21/6 #227826
Freckled Duck
Avon Lake Rd, Boco Rock
Single Freckled Duck. Observed in an ephemeral roadside lake on Avon Lake Rd near the Boco Rock wind farm. In 18 months of monthly surveys this is the first and only time we have observed a Freckled Duck in this vicinity. Recent heavy rain has filled all the previously dry ephemeral lakes in the region. Also in this lake were a mix of Aust Shovelers, Grey Teal, Pacific Black Duck, Aust Grebe and Black Swans.
George Madani and Lachlan Hall 21/6 #227824
Sat 18White-winged Chough
NW of Rappville on Lawrence Road not far from sawmill, Casino
Large group of approx. 15 birds flushed off side of road. Not a common species in this area ssw of Casino. Also Grey-crowned Babblers in same locality
June Harris 21/6 #227825
Little Egret
Jewfish Bay, Oatley
Single Little Egret was roosting on a whalf with a Eastern Great Egret. I haven't seen a Little Egret here before.
Jesse Gibson 18/6 #227808
Port Botany
Single Whimbrel seen near the pilings at the wader site in Port Botany - approx 11;30am, low tide. Also 2 Aust Pied Oystercatchers but no other waders seen.
Tom Wilson 18/6 #227804
Fri 17Regent Honeyeater
Soccer Fields, Dirah st, Lake Cathie
The single Regent Honeyeater was sighted in a Swamp Mahogony in the South Eastern corner of the soccer fields at Lake Cathie. The bird was extermely "tame", it almost landed on me! The tree was a feeding hot spot for Rainbow and Scaly-breasted Lorikeets and one Spangled Drongo.
Michael van Kempen, Carol and James Clark. 19/6 #227815
Ground Cuckoo-shrike
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
A flock of 10 Ground Cuckoo-shrike's seen flying high over the back end of the zoo heading north over the Newell hwy.
Andrew O'Brien 17/6 #227798
Thu 16Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Speckled Warbler, Inland Thornbill
Pindari Dam Road - east of Pindari Dam, east of Ashford
At least three pairs seen or heard in dense shrubby Red Gum / Ironbark / Callitris Pine woodland. Birds recorded at three out of six sites visited. Also detected were a number of Speckled Warbler including a group of 4 and also 2 Inland Thornbill.
David Charley 19/6 #227813
Scarlet Robin
Richmond, Powells Lane
Female Scarlet Robin on side of road. Also present Rufous Whistler(f), Double- barred finches (20), Nutmeg Mannikins (15), Gold Finches (15) and Australian Shovellers (pair)
Michael Rutkowski 16/6 #227789
Bar-tailed Godwits (winter), Black-winged Stilts, Grey Fantail
Mill Stream Lookout (Botany)
9 overwintering Bar-tailed Godwits and 19 Black-winged Stilts on the sandbank in Mill Stream. I wonder if these are the same godwits I reported here last winter. Seems to be a regular winter haunt for godwits and stilts. Grey Fantail in the banksias near the carpark. eBird checklist
Richard Murray 16/6 #227788
Wed 15Comb-crested Jacana
Boggy Camp Flat, Mole River, West of Tenterfield.
Single juvenile observed foraging on river crossing ford and standing preening on fallen timber at rivers edge. West of expected range.
David Charley 19/6 #227812
highlightSwift Parrots
HEZ Woodland Kurri Kurri
2 groups of Swift Parrots, 10 and 2 respectively, amongst Spotted Gum blossom.
Steve Roderick 15/6 #227783
Tue 14highlightRegent Honeyeater
Soccer fields, Dirah St, Lake Cathie
Between 2pm and 3pm sighted TWO birds in the area. Two people present were both observing different birds at the same time at one point. I verified by sighting both birds and both were regent HE. Multiple photographs taken as birds were perching on low branches unobscured. No bands visible on any photographs. unable to determine if photos are of different birds or just the one.
Kenneth John Sheather 15/6 #227782
Freckled Duck
Emerald Downs Golf Course
Minimum count of 4 Freckled Ducks, possibly more, amongst 18 or so Wandering Whistling Ducks. Big dam on the 18th hole, viewed from Topaz Cl. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy 14/6 #227777
Mon 13highlightPacific Emerald Dove
Kirkham Rise Reserve, Cobbitty
We heard an Emerald call from a gully infested with African Olive within the western end of the reserve. Also present were good number of winter migrants passing through (Silvereyes as well as White-naped and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters), Rose Robin. Speckled Warbler, Peaceful Doves and a good sized flock of Double-barred Finches. Both Swamp Wallabies and Common Wallaroos also put in a good show.
Edwin Vella and Mark Fuller 13/6 #227769
highlightBlack-tailed Godwit
Lake Cargelligo Wastewater Treatment Plant
Also at least two pairs of Australian Shelducks among the usual suspects. [Moderator's Note: Initially identified as a Barwit, consult with a number of birders has generally lead to an agreement that this bird is a young Black-tailed Godwit, in particular citing the tibia length - an interesting bird! JB]
Leo Berzins 13/6 #227766
Sun 12Fuscous Honeyeater
Chiltern Trail, Ingleside
Single Fuscous HE seen near Chiltern Rd end of trail approx 4:10pm. Not associating with any specific tree or other group of HEs that I could tell. Regular HE species for site all very active in late afternoon, with high numbers of E Spinebill in particular. Also juvenile Mistletoebird seen.
Tom Wilson 12/6 #227756
Sat 11highlightEastern Grass Owl, Barking Owl and King Quail
Partridge Creek Port Macquarie
We went late afternoon to the swamp to find the Grass Owls. We flushed several small quail at the edge of the swamp and later had great views of male and female King Quail walking through the burnt stubble. As dusk fell a Barking Owl started calling from the nearby woodland and called for 30 minutes or so before moving to another location where it continued to call. We did not see this bird. Around 17.30 two white flying shapes appeared from across the swamp and flew towards us and over and around us for perhaps 10 minutes. We had fantastic views of these two male Eastern Grass Owls. Just to finish off the day a Barn Owl was seen nearby, a three owl night
Peter West, Sue Proust, Louise Earnshaw, Clive Meadows, Tony Bischoff 12/6 #227755
Regent Honeyeater
Corner of Dirah St and Karikeree St Lake Cathie
Single unbanded bird seen at 12pm feeding high up with Rainbow Lorikeets, White Cheeked Honeyeaters, Noisy Friarbirds, Little and Red Wattlebirds and some Scaly Breasted Lorikeets
Daniel McKeon 11/6 #227748
Powerful Owl
Streeton Lookout, Freemans Reach
Heard calling to the north 12.10am. I live about 150m nth of the lookout, owl was heard calling further nth. Calling 3-4 times per minute for several minutes. Distinctively deep call, very different from the Boobook heard a few nights ago. Also heard a higher pitched response from nearby to the west a few times initially before ceasing, not sure if this was a possibly a female Powerful Owl or a Boobook responding? Havent heard a Powerful Owl locally before, not something I would have expected. [Moderator comment: Powerful Owls are known to occur nearby in Cattai NP. Unusual habitat at Streeton Lookout for a POwl, suggests the bird was foraging. AR]
Mike Felstead 11/6 #227742
Fri 10Black-necked Stork
Stratford south of Gloucester
Bird was sighted flying away from the observers from west to east over a large dam wall then banked to land revealing its identity. Bird landed out of sight and sex could not be determined.
Allan Richardson 10/6 #227740
Thu 9highlightRegent Honeyeater
Dirah Street (soccer field) Lake Cathie
Lots of good birds feeding in the flowering Swamp Mahoganies. 3 Spangled Drongos, Striped Honeyeaters, Noisy Friarbirds and Regent Bowerbird. RH has no bands 10.30 am
Marie Lister 9/6 #227730
Wed 8Common Tern
Rosendahl Reservoir, Port Macquarie
Feeding in the late afternoon. A young bird staying over.
Marie Lister and Liam Murphy 10/6 #227732
highlightLesser Frigatebird
Maroubra Beach
Single bird flying majestically, close to coast line, periodically moving inland, heading in northerly direction around 5pm.
Emma Stradling 8/6 #227725
highlightGould's Petrel (type)
2 nm off Sydney Heads
A cookilaria petrel flew past the Maggie Cat about 3 pm while we were whale watching. Views weren't close but it had dark upperparts and a distinct but moderate dark border to the underwing. Had to be a Gould's Petrel but I've never seen one off Sydney in winter before.
David James 8/6 #227721
highlightBrahminy Kite
Macquarie University, North Ryde Campus
Single adult flew northwards over the pool complex (west side of campus) approx 8:20am. Not sure if it's the Hawkesbury River bird on an excursion or a storm refugee from further north heading home? (Moderator's Note: The Brahminy Kite from Spencer on the Hawkesbury River has not been seen for over 4 months. AKM))
Tom Wilson 8/6 #227717
Tue 7Double-banded Plover
Pelican Island, Port Macquarie
3 birds seen at wader roost by 5 members of Hastings Birdwatchers on routine monthly bird count. Our first visitors from NZ so far this winter.
Ted Giblin 8/6 #227723
Blue-faced honeyeater
Croquet Club, Coogee
One bird seen perching on the fence between Bardon Park and the Croquet Club. Observed for 15 minutes.
David Eldridge 7/6 #227710
Mon 6Australian Logrunner
National Falls, Royal National Park
A single female logrunner seen about 100 metres downstream from the lower falls.
Marc Anderson 7/6 #227708
Pomarine Jaeger, Fairy Prions & Great-winged Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
A Pomarine Jaeger was yet another surprise bird today. 5 Great-winged Petrel, 1 Brown Skua, 12 Black-browned Albatross, 1 Giant Petrel (sp), 1 White-fronted Tern also logged. Further out, Fairy Prions were streaming through in groups of a dozen or so. At least 200 seen, but none close enough to see well. 2 probable Dwarfe Minke Whale added to the mix.
David Mitford 6/6 #227702
highlightSooty Tern, Lesser Frigatebird, Common Noddy
Off Royal NP
Steady stream of Sooty Terns with groups of up to 16 flying northwards totalling a minimum of 300 individuals over a three hour period. Very unusual to see such a number close inshore as a result of the intense East Coast low conditions. Other highlights 1 Common Noddy and 1 Lesser Frigatebird.
Martin Schulz 6/6 #227700
highlightSooty Tern, probable Brown Booby
Fort Drive, Newcastle
3 Sooty Terns seen off Big Ben Rocks, off Nobbys Beach, this morning. I also watched a Sulid for several minutes through the scope that appeared more compact than a gannet, being readily compared to the many gannets around, with a complete black upperwing that I saw well as the bird flew in front of a ship. It was distant and I never got a decent view at the underside, which is why I'm reporting as a 'probable' Brown Booby. Also 2 adult Black-browed Albatross types and a handful of unidentifiable Molly's. Several hundred adult gannets present, just 4 immature birds seen. 3 or 4 White-fronted Terns too.
Mick Roderick 6/6 #227699
Sun 5megamegaKerguelen Petrel
Callala Bay, South Coast, NSW
A Kerguelen Petrel was found in a backyard at Callala Bay, east of Nowra, Sunday 5 June. It has been taken into care.
Lindsay Smith, per Brook Whylie 6/6 #227703
highlightLesser Frigatebird, Sooty Tern and Great-winged Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
Very few birds before lunch, but around 2:30 the rain eased and 2 Sooty Terns appeared, normally they would have been bird of the day, but 3 Lesser Frigatebirds stole the show as they majestically cruised along the beach showing white axilary 'Spurs' to confirm their identity. Also seen, 3 Great-winged Petrels, 2 Short-tailed Shearwaters and 1 Black-browed Albatross. Another Sooty Tern flew over Mistral Point making 3 for the day.
David Mitford, Graham Buchan & Robert Griffin 5/6 #227689
highlightRed-footed Booby, Brown Booby, White Tern
Although I was not able to seawatch anything aside from gannets at North Head this afternoon, the wild weather has brought in reports of the above species from the Sydney coastline over the weekend (also see David Mitford's report above). The Red-footed Booby and White Tern were both beachcast, and are currently in care (from Coogee and Rose Bay respectively).
Facebook per. Joshua Bergmark 5/6 #227686
highlightLesser Frigatebird
Sawtell Headland
Group of 9 soaring above ocean and islands off Sawtell Headland. Quite high and the disappeared into low incoming clouds.
Anthony Moore 5/6 #227684
Sat 4highlightGreat-winged Petrel, Brown Skua & Giant Petrel(sp)
Mistral Point, Maroubra
Gale force north-easterlies in June set up an intriguing situation, we saw 30 Great-winged Petrels, 30 Black-browed Albatross, 1 Brown Skua, 1 Giant Petrel and well over 250 Australasian Gannets. Lack of diversity was also noteworthy e.g. no shearwaters, no other species of albatross and no prions.
David Mitford et al 4/6 #227681
Fri 3highlightBlack-tailed Native Hen
Near Belmore Swamps
A single Black-tailed Native Hen, previously seen on 2 occasions by Peter West and Sue Proust. Quite skittish, but settled on mud on other side of canal with a couple of Black Ducks, and seen by 16 members of Hastings Birdwatchers on a field trip. Multiple photos taken. Stayed in sight for about 30 minutes. Clear views of yellow eye , vertical tail, red legs, & white flashes on flanks
Ted Giblin 4/6 #227682
Buller's Albatross
2 km east of Botany Bay
During a whale watching cruise on the Maggie Cat an adult Buller's Albatross circled the boat about 2 km off the mouth of Botany Bay about 3 pm. Also in the same area were 1 or more Sooty Shearwaters (3 sightings), I adult Campbell Albatross, 2 Yellow-nosed Albatross, 20 or so Black-browed Albatross, 3 Fairy Prions, 10 Fluttering Shearwaters and a few hundred Australasian Gannets.
David James 4/6 #227671
Scaly-breasted x Rainbow Lorikeet hybrid
East Hills Park, East Hills
The resurgence of Scaly-breasted Lorikeet continues in SW Sydney with many nests in Milperra, Chipping Norton, East Hills and presumably elsewhere. This is the first hybrid I've seen since the early 1980s. However, this strange bird was quite different to others I've seen. Rather than being green, it was overall olive-brown or kaki; there was a yellowish wash on the nape and dirty orange mottling on the breast but no blue anywhere.
David James 4/6 #227670
Jacky Winter, Brown Falcon
Warrungwuri Reserve, Moorebank
An adult Jacky Winter in very fresh plumage was in the grassland of the former brickworks around 8am. This is the furthest east in Sydney that I've seen this species for many years. Also an adult Brown Falcon, pale brown morph (sensu HANZAB) that I first saw there in mid May.
David James 4/6 #227669
Thu 2Magpie geese
Riverina Hwy, Finley at -35.62778, 145.54
Early this morning heading to finley from tocumwal, i came cross 9 Magpie Geese flying low about to land on someone's property. I have not see here before.
Brendan toll 2/6 #227661
Wed 1Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo
Simmons St Balmain East 1' Cell
There are two Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos which have visited us for the last few days. They come for a drink from the bird bath on the balcony. The house adjoins Simmons Point Reserve in Balmain East 2041 NSW
Helen Engle 14/6 #227774
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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