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, Max Breckenridge, Mick Roderick and Simon Blanchflower.

We support ethical birding .


Moderators' Note

The moderators support government regulations related to the COVID-19 outbreak regarding access to restricted areas, social distancing and unnecessary travel. We will not publish any reports that potentially breach these regulations. Birders are encouraged to post lists to eBird Australia, where sightings are incorporated into the BirdLife Australia Atlas. To do this you need to register with eBird Australia then login. 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) or Square-tailed Kites unless they are in unusual locations or are seen with unusual prey etc. We will however be more open to publishing these and other species during the period of COVID-19 restrictions.

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

February 2021
Sun 28Pallid Cuckoo
Hexham Swamp Nature Reserve
Juvenile Pallid Cuckoo along the private access road to Hexham Swamp. I thought the age and timing of this bird here was quite unusual.
Richard Murray 1/3 #259800
Tahiti Petrel, Gould's Petrel
Offshore--Port Stephens pelagic
The first Tahiti Petrel since March 2014 was the highlight of an otherwise quiet Port Stephens pelagic today (nice to have a 'chook' join the old Grinner!). The first bird called on our arrival at our first drift was a Gould's Petrel that stayed distant and the Tahiti wasn't far behind. We thought we were in for a very productive day, but alas from there it was all rather disappointing, with quite low diversity and not a single bird coming to feed at the boat. We moved into 200+ fathoms after seeing big rafts of marauding Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (~3000 birds) but that move produced only an adult Shy-type Albatross and a couple of Grey-faced Petrels. The sea was teeming with Slimy Mackerel and we saw a marlin free-jumping on the trip out.
Mick Roderick and 10 others on the MV Contagious 28/2 #259792
Plumed Whistling-duck
Yarramundi Lagoon, Agnes Banks
On the lagoon this morning were 30 Plumed Whistling-ducks.
Edwin Vella 28/2 #259791
Sat 27highlightWhite-necked Petrel, Goulds Petrel, Streaked Shearwater, Bullers Albatross
Offshore--Kiama Pelagic (SOSSA)
Single White-necked Petrel seen at 2nd berley stop - approached boat and lingered for several minutes allowing good observation of key features. Goulds Petrel seen shortly after at same berley stop. Streaked Shearwater seen at 3rd stop and followed boat closer to inshore. Also, 2 Bullers Albatross (unusual sightings for summer), at least 6 Shy Albatross, a Long-tailed and 6 Pomarine Jaegers. Seen heading eastwards (ie away from land) a Willie Wagtail, which visited the boat and then flew onwards (towards NZ?) eBird checklist
Tom Wilson and 14 others aboard MV Kato 28/2 #259794
Australian Little Bittern (male), Plumed Whistling Duck (20)
Campbell's Wetlands Griffith
Little Bittern flew from one clump of reeds to another giving clear views. Whistling- duck were roosting on a dead tree seen from the hide. Also a single Freckled Duck and a Little Eagle. Lots of Pink-eared Ducks and at least 6 Blue-billed Ducks and 4 Musk Duck. See full list below. eBird checklist
Max O'Sullivan 27/2 #259784
Fri 26highlightAleutian Tern
Manning river mouth Harrington
We noted 5 Aleutian Terns on the sand island in the middle of the Manning River around 14.00. They were roosting and preening along with other terns and waders on the island. The birds were in nonbreeding plumage. Sorry but you'll need a boat to get to the island and the river is flowing pretty fast with all the extra water we have had, so care is needed. Also present, Sue Proust, Silas Darnell and Ted Giblin
Peter West 28/2 #259790
highlightAberrant Silver Gull?? (or possible Black-billed Gull??)
Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar
Three of us, Fiona Neville, Ted Giblin and myself saw a strange Silver Gull at Farquhar with an obvious jet black bill, Ted noted black legs. Apart from that it appeared to just be a Silver Gull. If your there in the near future it might be worth keeping an eye out for. Our encounter was close but very short and sorry no photos and no sign of the other rarities seen recently
Peter West 28/2 #259789
Wed 24Buff-banded rail
I was surprised to see what looked like a buff-banded rail in my backyard about a week ago, but only saw it very briefly and hence couldn't get a positive ID. A neighbour in my street saw it in her backyard this afternoon and took several photos. This is well within the Engadine, not adjoining bushland, and there are no wetlands in our neighbourhood.
Rob Taggart 24/2 #259774
Tue 23Lesser Frigatebird
Evans Head
A distant, immature Lesser Frigatebird seen from the southern river breakwall. Last seen at about 4pm, heading south east around the headland. eBird checklist
Steve McBride 24/2 #259764
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Brownlow Hill Loop Road
Family unit, 2 adults and one younger sibling. young bird begging for food eBird checklist
Paul Heath 23/2 #259763
Bush Stone-curlew
Lennox Head
Noisy Miners raised alarm calls and were swooping something on the ground (obscured from my view) - on the main street, across from shops. A moment later, a single Bush Stone-curlew took off and flew up the road. I was surprised to learn this was only the 2nd record for Lennox Head in eBird. Although in-area, most coastal sightings stop at Ballina, just south. I'll add a side note here that last year, in an online discussion about someone else's photo of a Bush Stone-curlew, a third party made comment he saw those birds at Culburra Beach on the NSW south cast - both at the boat ramp (at north end of town) and near the caravan park (up the hill from the boat ramp) in January 2020. I doubted the report but he shared photos showing the species. I visited in spring 2020 and didn't find any. The caravan park staff weren't familiar with it but were familiar with many other local birds. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding 23/2 #259762
Streaked Shearwater,Buller's Shearwater.
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve.
2 Streaked Shearwaters and a Buller's Shearwater were seen close in to the reef during a seawatch this afternoon.
Michael Ronan 23/2 #259761
highlightHooded Plover
Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar
An immature Hooded Plover seen on the sandbar around 12 noon today. (Moderator's Note: Another plover to the Farquhar list. The probable non-breeding Kentish Plover was also reported from here on Sat 13th Feb [per Michael Kearns]. MR)
Carol Edwards 23/2 #259759
Mon 22Black-necked Stork
Central Coast Wetlands (Tuggerah)
A male/female pair was sighted together with a younger bird. It was not clear that the three were together - the male was seen apparently encouraging the younger bird to stay at a distance. The male and female were also seen engaging in pair bonding behaviour including dancing and grasping beaks. Other interesting birds seen were a pair of Buff-banded Rails with 2 chicks, however no Pectoral or Wood Sandpipers were found..
Rex Schmidt 24/2 #259769
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Shoplands Road, Annangrove
Three Wedge-tailed Eagles circling low above the canopy this morning. Two adults and a lighter coloured immature. Immature bird was doing most of the vocalising. Good to see a family group is still resident in the Hills District.. Single bird also seen on 25 February last.
Darryl Smedley 22/2 #259752
Sun 21Gang Gang Cockatoo
Wollondilly River, private property near Goodmans Ford
Flock of 15-20 Gang Gangs recorded 20 & 21 Feb. Hard to get a more accurate count as the birds were constantly moving along 2km of river front feeding on gum nuts in the mid to upper canopy.
Darryl Smedley 22/2 #259751
Plumed Whistling-duck
Yarramundi Lagoon
Continuing birds - 2 pairs of Plumed Whistling-duck seen approx 11am. Viewed from causeway looking south (if stand on the north side can stand behind the crash barrier to be away from traffic). Also 1 Yellow-billed Spoonbill and a juvenile Sea-eagle trying its luck on a Darters nest - the large Darter chicks fought back admirably!). Ebird checklist submitted through app - cannot see number.)
Tom Wilson 21/2 #259741
Fri 19highlightGould’s Petrel, Long-tailed Jaeger
Terrigal Pelagic
A belated update from last Friday’s Terrigal Pelagic out of Terrigal Haven on the Central Coast, NSW. On what was a reasonably productive but rough old day at sea the following species were observed; Gould’s Petrel (1), Long-tailed Jaeger (1), Pomarine Jaeger 12 (5), Sooty Tern 7 (3), Grey-faced Petrel 8 (3), Wilson’s Storm-Petrel 2 (1), Sooty Shearwater (1), Short-tailed Shearwater 10 (4), Flesh-footed Shearwater 500+ (50), Wedge-tailed Shearwater 200+ (10), Fluttering Shearwater 3 (1). A distant but ‘interesting’ / medium-sized looking Pterodroma sp. also went un-identified. The next trip is planned for mid / late April.
Andrew Robinson, Dean Purcell, Dion Hobcroft and all on board the Sea Runner. 22/2 #259753
Southern Emu Wren
Broadwater NP heathland Evans Head
One female plumaged SEW seen well while watching family of Variegated Wrens. The SEW popped into view with the Variegated Wrens. Locality: on track under powerlines heading north from the Evans Head STW, eastern side.
June and Mark Harris 21/2 #259744
highlightAleutian Tern
Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar
9 birds, 1 first year with the others adult non- breeding, (definitive basic), some with early moult to alternative plumage
Ian McAllan and David James 19/2 #259739
Tue 16Magpie Goose
Lawrence Egret Colony
3 Geese loafing on bank of wetland flew to water when disturbed. No recent records at this site to my knowledge. One possibly taken by immature White-bellied Sea-Eagle on 18 February. Poor quality photo shows black and white bird in talons of Sea-Eagle right size to be Magpie Goose.
Greg Clancy 22/2 #259750
Mon 15Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove
O'Sullivans Rd Bellevue Hill, adjacent to Rsoe Bay Golf Course
An immature Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove flew into a window in a set of units located opposite the Rose Bay Golf Course at 0900 hours. The bird was stunned, the unit resident collected the bird and took it to WIRES. The bird has recovered well and will be released today in the Golf Course where there are a number of large Moreton Bay & Small-fuit Figtrees. (Moderator's Note: During Feb-April there is a southward movement of mainly Rose-crowned and Superb Fruit-Doves from their North Coast breeding grounds into central coastal NSW and further south. This movement has been well documented, at least 60% are juvenile or immature birds and many are found becauise they have flown into windows! AKM)
Alan Morris 17/2 #259729
highlightAustralian Fairy Tern
Boat Harbour, Kurnell
One adult in breeding plumage, interacting with two juveniles. Adult description - bill colour consistently yellowy orange from the base and lacking a black tip. No prominent white supercilium. Small black patch in front of eye that did not extend to the base of the bill. Outer primaries appeared quite light grey. The adult was first seen flying on the western side of the harbour with a freshly caught fish. One of the juveniles took flight for a short distance (believed to be the same one photographed later on) and then the adult landed next to it. Both birds also called back and forth to each other before the adult landed and fed the juvenile. At this point in time I did not recognise the adult as a Fairy Tern but still photographed it feeding the young. It was not until ~40 minute later that I returned pass the rock platform and noticed the plumage discrepancies of the adult from that of a Little Tern. At this point the adult was resting with two juveniles on the rock platform. After reviewing more photos I realised that I had photographed the same bird on multiple occasions. There is also a high possibility that the juveniles are Little/Fairy Tern hybrids as quite a few Little Terns were also around and a Fairy Tern had been reported twice in the summer 2020 in the Kurnell area. eBird checklist
Levi Brown 16/2 #259724
Pale-vented Bush-hen
Howards Road Tuckombil.
A Pale-vented Bush-hen was seen this morning in the vegetation beside the creek that runs along Howards road.
Michael Ronan 15/2 #259720
Sun 14Rainbow Bee-eater; Common Cicadabird
Wollemi National Park, Kurrajong
A group of at least 24 birds were hawking insects in flowering Red Bloodwoods on a ridgetop on the Ladder Trail in Wollemi NP. A great number for the Hawkesbury. Also present many Scarlet Honeyeaters and 2 Cicadabirds. eBird checklist
Eric Finley 15/2 #259719
highlightPeregrine Falcon (Siberian ?)
Hexham Swamp Nature Reserve--Old Pipeline Track
This weekend it was just to the south of the Old Pipeline Track perched on an old fence post past the last cattle grid when heading east. Other raptors sighted included 4 Swamp Harriers, 3+ WBSEs, at least 1 Hobby, 1 NKK, a couple of Whistling Kites and 2, maybe 3, Brown Falcons at the western end of the Swamp.
Biggles CSolander 14/2 #259716
Plumed Whistling-duck, Little Eagle (dark morph)
Yarramundi Lagoon, Agnes Banks
Saw on the lagoon this morning 8 Plumed Whistling-ducks along with a dark morph Little Eagle circling overhead.
Edwin Vella 14/2 #259710
Blue-billed Ducks (Sydney breeding record)
On the large quarry lake at the corner of Castlereagh Rd and Smith Rd I had 9 Blue-billed Ducks consisting of 2 adults pairs each with 2 young (one with very small ducklings and the other with much larger young) plus another adult male, 2 Musk Ducks and 20 Great Crested Grebes.
Edwin Vella 14/2 #259709
Sat 13highlightOriental Cuckoo.
Gibbergunyah Range Road,Nightcap National Park.
Oriental Cuckoo flew out of the rainforest across Gibbergunyah road and landed in a eucalyptus tree for a few minutes but was eventually chased off by another bird.
Michael Ronan. 13/2 #259704
Fri 12Grey-crowned Babbler
Golding Ave Belmont North
Single bird perched on powerlines. (Moderator's Note: A remarkable report. There are mo records of Grey-crowned Babblers anywhere around Lake Macquarie in Birdata or eBird, let alone on the eastern side of the lake. MR.)
Dennis Neader 12/2 #259701
Channel-billed Cuckoo, Pied Currawong
Roseville, McLeod Avenue/Chelmsford Avenue
A Pied Currawong is feeding two Channel-billed Cuckoos. This is the second time I have seen them here. I had not realised before that a host bird could raise two chicks but perhaps this is well known. The chicks (of course quite large now) are very noisy and needless to say the Noisy Miners are trying to move them on. (Moderator's Note: As a matter of interest there is nothing unusual about this sighting as there are many records of Pied Currawongs rearing two chicks, and I know of two occasions where Currawongs raised three chicks from the one nest! AKM)
Geoffrey Berry 12/2 #259698
Black Bittern X 2, Eastern Osprey
Wangi Point, Lake Macquarie
Seen from tinnie
David Potter 12/2 #259697
Thu 11Spangled Drongo and Striated Heron
Poulton Park, Hurstville Grove
Juvenile Spangled Drongo - first record for Kogarah eBird region. An immature Spangled Drongo has been seen regularly over the past week or two at Lime Kiln Wetland further up the Georges River also. Interesting behaviour from two Striated Herons at Poulton Park - perching in trees to fly down and pluck fish from the water whilst on the wing, as opposed to their normal method of stalking along on foot. (Moderator's Note: Perhaps a little bit anecdotal, but there has been what I think an inordinate number of drongo reports south of the Manning this season. MR). eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding 12/2 #259695
White-winged Chough
Flock of 8 birds flying tree to tree this morning. Rare bird for the Blue Mountains.
Graham Turner 11/2 #259692
Tue 9Musk Duck, Spangled Drongo
Western Sydney Parklands, Glendenning
We were very surprised to see a female Musk Duck on the dam & happy to spot a Spangled Drongo in the Casuarinas along the main track nearby. eBird checklist
Jenny & Rod Stiles 9/2 #259682
Mon 8White Winged Choughs
Warwiba Peppermint Reserve, Old Bar
A colony of approx 7 individuals are in my back yard this morning (adjoining the reserve) busy redistributing the mulch from around one of my trees. Haven't seen them in over twelve months. eBird checklist
Ron McDermott 8/2 #259675
Sun 7highlightLesser Frigatebird
East Corrimal
Single femal, circling over east corrimal ~ 800 m from beach, moving northwards and further from the coast. White breast and armpits visble and distinct forked tail confirm i.d. eBird checklist
Tom Le Breton 16/2 #259723
highlightEastern Yellow Wagtail, (Siberian) Peregrine Falcon
Hexham Swamp Nature Reserve--Old Pipeline Track
One non-breeding plumaged Eastern Yellow Wagtail was found by Lene Parashou just past the end of the fence line at “Smithys “ (ie car tyre dump area) yesterday evening. This morning several people failed to find a bird at that location but Steph Owen located two individuals in mangroves a few hundred metres to the north. The birds flushed as another vehicle approached and flew in a south-west direction (not seen since to my knowledge). In an effort to find the wagtails this evening, Michael Kearns found the Siberian race Peregrine Falcon perched on a large tussock near -32.845179,151.683333. Wagtail photo by Steph Owen.
Lene Parashou, Steph Owen and Michael Kearns per Mick Roderick 7/2 #259671
Wandering Whistling Duck, Blue-billed Duck
Scheyville National Park--Longneck Lagoon
Wandering Whistling Duck (prev reports 4) now up to 7 birds. 1 female Blue-billed on site. Also a Peregrine seen. Observed from Cattai/Wisemans Ferry Rd
Tom Wilson 7/2 #259666
Sat 6Pink-eared Duck
Powells Lane, Richmond Lowlands
A pair of Pink-eared Ducks with 2 ducklings; a rare breeding record for Sydney. eBird checklist
Jenny & Rod Stiles 8/2 #259680
Lewin's Rail (2)
Western Sydney Parklands, Glendenning
Last time I had a Lewin's Rail here was in 2018 where one had stayed over several months so it was good have 2 birds there this morning on the edge of the reed bed. Also present were the usual Spotless Crakes, 3 Latham's Snipe, Chestnut-breasted Manikin and Brown Quail.
Edwin Vella 6/2 #259665
Fri 5Magpie-Goose
Pump Station, Partridge Ck, Fernbank
While Magpie-Geese occur in good numbers in the lower Hunter and the Clarence Valley, there are few sites where you can see them in between. On 1/2/2021 James Oates found three Magpie-Geese early one morning at the flooded Partridge Creek wetlands at Fernbank. They have since come and gone, but the three flew in early on 5/2/2021 and commence to feed on grass heads of the flooded pastures, to the extent that they soon disappeared in the long grass. Another Magpie-Goose has been present on several days at the nearby King Creek Rd Swamp. These are the first sightings for at least 6 months in the Hastings Valley wetlands.
Alan Morris 12/2 #259696
Thu 4Lewin's Rail
Sydney Park
Unbelievably, I saw 4 Lewin's Rails at Sydney park between 7 and 8pm this evening. 1 adult was to west of large bottom pond, under metal boardwalk. The other 3 were at northern end of island pond. These 3 were chasing each other about in undergrowth, emerging and flying a bit. 2 of the birds were immatures. Awesome to know that this bird has bred again in the Park. None of the birds made the typical kek-kek-kek-kek calls, more a weird purring and squeaking.
Lorne Johnson 4/2 #259664
Eastern Osprey
Centennial Park (Sydney)
Only my 2nd sighting of an Osprey in Centennial Park, the first one in 2018 being in flight, whilst toady's was perched on an islet in Duck Pond being occasionally harassed by Lapwings. I'd guess its a juvenile as binos revealed a slightly orange hue to the beast and neck feathers. An adult and a juvenile Peregrine were also sighted above the Pond.
Biggles Csolander 4/2 #259662
Tue 2Sooty Oystercatcher (31)
Toowoon Bay reefs
A pretty impressive 31 x Sooty Oystercatcher present on the Toowoon Bay reefs this morning. (Moderator's Note: Since records have been kept from 1995, this is the largest concentration of Sooty Oystercatchers recorded at any site of the Central Coast, and this location is usually where the highest numbers have been reported max 18. AKM)
Andrew Robinson 2/2 #259652
Mon 1highlightCommon Noddy, Sooty Tern
Blue Bay
Single Common Noddy sighted at Blue Bay at high tide (midday) today. Later in the day a juvenile Sooty Tern was seen and photographed at the same location by Luke Ullrich. (Moderator's Note: the Common Noddy is the 4th Central Coast record, last report at same site 2/3/2017, Sooty Terns are uncommon late summer/autumn visitors to the Central Coast. AKM)
Laurie Smith and Robyn Price 1/2 #259648

January 2021
Sun 31Stubble Quail, Horsfields Bushlark
Richmond Lowlands
Stubble Quail heard calling at 2 locations (overgrown paddocks of Cornwells Lane and Onus Lane). 2 Horsfields Bushlarks seen at first site - sitting on signs in the paddock, with more calling but not showing and. A single Rufous Songlark and Skylark also here. Full checklist for the trawl around the lanes has been submitted. eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 31/1 #259643
Sat 30highlightRed-chested Buttonquail
Rose Bay Marina
This bird was found floating in the harbour at Rose Bay where it was fished out by two young boys. Spoke to Alan Morris and he advised that it’s quite a rare sighting to see one of these quails in Sydney! (Moderator's Notre: Yet another Red-chested Button-quail in coastal areas following their irruption into south-eastern Australia. AKM)
Eliana Leopold 30/1 #259641
Wood Sandpiper, Pectoral sandpiper
Central Coast Wetlands (Tuggerah)
Singles of each present at 3pm. Wood Sandpiper has been on site for some time and showed well. The Pectoral tucked away in the grass and not easy to see. Also 7 Sharp-taileds on site; 12 Lathams Snipe seen at various times during the day and a Swamp Harrier seen (the latter flying over with a prey item - looked ike a rat of some sort) eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 30/1 #259640
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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