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

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. Likewise we will not be publishing every Square-tailed Kite sighting posted to Birdline because of a significant increase in reports in recent years, particularly in coastal areas (with the exception of the far north coast).

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

August 2019
Sat 24Crimson Chat (pr), White-winged Triller (12 males), Mulga Parrot (4)
Anderson Lane Erigolia near Taleeban Mining Reserve
On a dam beside the Taleeban Mining Reserve just east of Rankins Springs the 10 members of the Murrumbidgee Field Nats observed the above birds plus Hooded Robin, 3 species of Woodswallows (the first sightings for this Spring and others (see eBird list). On the return home to Leeton on the Weethalle/Barellan Road there were at least 4 pairs of Crimson Chat beside the road plus more White-browed Woodswallows and a male Hooded Robin. eBird checklist
Max O'Sullivan and members of the MFN 25/8 #241014
highlightArctic Tern, Wandering, Antipodean (Gibson's) and Bullers Albatrosses
Offshore--Kiama Pelagic (SOSSA)
Conditions had eased from Thursdays big southerly, with little to no wind on the day, which reduced bird activity. Many birds did not stop, just giving a single flyby. There were really no 'winter' birds seen and the water temperature was still 18-19 degrees. Highlights were a single Arctic Tern, 3 Antipodean (Gibson's) and 2 Wandering Albatrosses. We also sighted Bullers, Shy, Black-browed, Campbell and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, as well as several Brown Skuas, a Northern Giant Petrel, a number of White-faced Storm-petrels and 5-7 Solander's Petrels. A small number of early returning Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were around too.
Brook Whylie and all aboard the MV Kato 25/8 #241010
Banded Lapwing
Freemans Reach turf farms
Saw 6 Banded Lapwings on the turf farm at the corner of Freemans Reach Rd and Gorricks Lane and opposite the Greener Lawns office. Same place as they were last year where they had bred. At nearby Bushells Lagoon was a confiding and photogenic Glossy Ibis beside the causeway.
Edwin Vella 24/8 #241006
Fri 23highlightSuperb Parrot
Twelve Mile Rd, Twelve Mile.
Twelve Mile is south of Goolma and while no expert I’d think this would be the edge of these birds range. 3 birds sighted 300 meters south of the first house after the Yarrabin Road turnoff. DMS grid 149 16 17E 32 29 6S . After 10 minutes they flew to the west into trees on private property.(Moderator's Note: This location is well east of their usual winter range and presumably is a reflection of the severity of the drought in Central NSW.AKM)
Mark Leary 23/8 #241005
Channel-billed Cuckoo
West Pymble
Flying over being harassed by Noisy Miners
Chris Murray per Phil Murray 23/8 #241003
Thu 22King parrot
Cooks River, Earlwood
One female king parrot flying above the Cooks River pathway and adjacent yards in Earlwood between Sutton Reserve and the Foord Avenue footbridge at ~4.45pm. Bird was calling and being harassed by noisy miners.
Fiona Campbell 22/8 #241001
Tue 20Pied Butcherbird, Pied Oystercatcher & Australian Shelduck Update
Cromer Park, Cromer
Adult pair of Pied Butcherbirds, one of which was collecting nesting material. First noted nesting here in 2014. Also, yesterday a pair of Pied Oystercatchers at mouth of Dee Why Lagoon. Re the recently reported female Australian Shelduck at Dee Why Lagoon: it was at Dee Why Lagoon on 1 March 1965 that the first report of this species, a male, for the County of Cumberland occurred. Arnold McGill spotted one the day before at Bushell's Lagoon, just outside the county border.
David Sawyer 20/8 #240991
Sun 18Swift Parrot
Scheyville National Park
Single bird , silent along the Trail at A2 gate Old Pitt Town Rd at midday .
Gabrielle Rees 20/8 #240994
Sat 17White-faced Storm-Petrel, Campbell Albatross, Wedge-tailed Shearwater
Offshore--Sydney Pelagic
Four species of Albatross were seen: Shy (6), Indian Yellow-nosed (3), Black-browed (30) and Campbell (4 - at the shelf only). Providence Petrel (6) also only at the shelf. While drifting two White-faced Storm-Petrel worked their way along the slick giving very brief views. The majority of the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (40) seen were closer to shore with Hutton's Shearwaters (10) seen throughout the trip. Brown Skuas (5) were a constant presence throughout. After last week's cancelled trip due to adverse sea conditions it was a relief to get back on the water despite the challenging conditions. eBird checklist
Greg McLachlan, David Mitford and all observers on the Sea Eagle 18/8 #240985
Australian Shoveler
Springs Lake, Spring Farm
A pair of Australian Shovelers observed moving about the lake from 9:30am to 11:00am when to much human activity in surrounding parkland scared them off. According to EBird this is the first time they have been observed at this location.
Brett Mezen 18/8 #240981
Buff Banded Rail
Springs Lake, Spring Farm
One Buff Banded Rail spotted in reeds at southern end of the lake. According to EBird there is only one previous recorded sighting at this location.
Brett Mezen 18/8 #240980
Fri 16Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Brown Skua, Wedge-tailed Shearwater etc.
Kiama, offshore
An extra pelagic trip was run off Kiama for the Illawarra Birders on Friday 16 August. This trip was characterised by easy conditions (1 southerly swell, 15 knots north-westerly windd), low species diversity, but good numbers of Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, about 50 were observed during the day, with at some point 28 birds counted feeding behind the boat. Other species of note observed were ~10 Black-browed Albatrosses, 4 Buller's Albatrosses, ~10 Shy Albatrosses (at least one adult and three juveniles of the Tasmanian ssp. cauta), 2 Brown Skuas, several flocks of Fluttering type shearwaters, the largest sizing at least 50 but likely more birds, 4 White-fronted Terns, 1 Providence Petrel and 1 Giant-Petrel sp. It was nice to see the first Wedge-tailed Shearwaters of the season, about 10 were observed over the day, with at most 4 at one given time feeding behind the boat. We caught and banded several birds, including 2 Buller's Albatrosses, 1 Brown Skua, 1 Indian Yellow-Nosed Albatross banded under the French banding scheme and 1 Black-browed Albatross with its beak tangled in fishing line which could easily be removed, a very pleasing outcome.
SOSSA & Illawarra Birders, all aboard MV Kato 18/8 #240984
Swift Parrot
Lake Innes Charles Sturt Uni carpark
Single Swift Parrot flew overhead heading east from toward Lake Innes area. Scaly and Rainbow lorikeets feeding in Flowering red gum also present Galah, Noisy Miners and a single Australian Hobby that caused a ruckus as it flew from its perch.
Chris Slade 16/8 #240974
Thu 15Eastern Curlew
Burrill Lake
One Eastern Curlew has shown up along with one Bar-tailed Godwit this pair showed up in 2017 year around the same time and stayed around for a couple of months before moving on. We very rarely see them at Burrill lake and interesting to see the combination again this year.
Charles Dove - Bob Rusk 15/8 #240973
Lewin's Rail, Spotless Crake
Jabiru wetlands, near Casino Golf course
Single rail observed and three Spotless Crake heard in reeds.
David Charley 15/8 #240972
Black Falcon
Frame Road, 6km NW of Coraki
Single bird observed hunting (successfully) quail in recently mown crop.
David Charley 15/8 #240971
Latham's Snipe
McMahon's Road Lagoon, Tatham
Five snipe in reeds and other wet vegetation on margins of lagoon. My first for the 2019 season.
David Charley 15/8 #240970
White-winged Triller
Wollongong Botanic Gardens
One male bird observed being chased by Noisy Miners, not a common bird east of the escarpment and the first record for the season in the Illawarra.
Terrill Nordstrom 15/8 #240969
Wed 14Eastern Osprey
Cooks River at Princes Hwy Tempe
Driving over the bridge at Tempe at 1.45pm, saw the Osprey being chased off its perch atop one of the bridge lamps
Bruce Roubin 14/8 #240964
megamegaRose-coloured Starling
Gwandalan, Central Coast
a Rose-coloured Starling was photographed by Sharon Boyter, at the corner of Pinnaroo and Bay Vista streets on the grass footpath at Gwandalan, on the Central Coast and was reported on the Australian Bird Identification Facebook Page. More details to follow
Sharon Boyter per Alan Morris, Moderator 14/8 #240962
Tue 13Black Kite
Armidale Road, South Grafton
3 Kites circling low over the road apparently attracted to an Australian Wood Duck and Australian Magpie road-kills. First records for some months in this area.
Greg Clancy 13/8 #240960
Glossy Ibis
Lenaghans Wetland
15 Glossy Ibis feeding in the wetland area adjacent to Lenaghans Drive.
Ashley Mullahey 13/8 #240958
Mon 12Brown Songlark
Horderns Beach, Bundeena
In beachside gardens and lawns around 1pm eBird checklist
Bruce Roubin 14/8 #240963
Brown Songlark
Richardson Park (playing fields), Sawtell
Initially, a single bird flushed from overgrown grassy bank overlooking playing fields, flying out onto the oval (at 17:25); it was then joined by a second bird. Both appeared to be adult males, with one in almost full breeding plumage (conspicuous black chin and underbody), the other a little less dark below. After watching them for a while (with bins), both flew together to base of bank and worked their way back up the bank into overgrown vegetation, where they eventually seemed to settle to roost (it was getting dark by this stage). Probably refugees from drought or maybe snow, or bushfires (but, hey, nothing to see here climate change conspiracy theorists). Rufous Songlark recorded here in the past in spring-summer when dry inland, but these are our first records for Brown. (Moderator's Note: Literally just a comment, but the big 'coastal push' of songlarks, Pallid, Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoos etc in spring 2017 started with a Brown Songlark at Wattamolla, Royal National Park 17th August. MR).
Peter Higgins, Jill Smith & Michael Cheers 12/8 #240954
highlightBlack-breasted Buzzard
Darling River near Ellerslie, 30 km N of Wentworth
2 birds circling over the Darling River seen at the same location over 3 consecutive days10-12 August. Well south of the usual range of far NW NSW.
Paul Rossington 12/8 #240951
Marsh and Curlew Sandpiper
Wilford Lane wetlands Milton NSW
Not very common is the Marsh Sandpiper in this area have seen once at this site last year, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Latham Snipe and 1 Shoveler were some of the other interesting early birds. Large numbers of Grey Teal and White-headed Stilt with a few Swans and Chestnut Teal.
Charles Dove 12/8 #240950
Sat 10White-eared Monarch
Iluka Nature Reserve
One bird heard calling in canopy of rainforest.
Greg Clancy & Heath Milne 13/8 #240961
Fluttering (type) Shearwaters (5000+)
Fort Drive, Newcastle
Just reporting the first of the annual (early spring) large flocks of Fluttering-type Shearwaters for the season off Newcastle. In a 43 minute seawatch I watched way more than 100 birds passing to the north each minute in a continuous stream about 1.5km offshore (no birds seen heading south at all). No other tubenoses seen.
Mick Roderick 10/8 #240941
Powerful Owl
Royal Botanical Garden Sydney
One owl still present in macadamia tree down hill from the Palm House though this time with a dead flying fox in its talons.
Thane and Martin Snowball 10/8 #240939
Australian Shelduck
Dee Why Lagoon
Continuing bird, clear views at southwest of lagoon, swimming alone close to reeds, sometimes ducking in to reeds.
Chris Rehberg 10/8 #240936
Thu 8Powerful owl (pair)
Royal Botanic Gardens (Sydney)
Following on from report on the weekend, I have seen them each day this week. Seems to be a pair together at the moment. Seen in the macadamia down the hill from the Palm Centre today. One had a small ringtail possum. Yesterday both were in a nearby cabbage tree palm (see picture). eBird checklist
David Ongley 8/8 #240934
Little Friarbird
Continuing sightings of the influx of Little Friar birds to coastal areas due to the inland drought. Nice to have them in my garden in Ballina (where they are regarded as uncommon to rare.)
June Harris 8/8 #240930
Wed 7Australian Shelduck
Dee Why Lagoon
Australian Shelduck first reported yesterday, still present at around 4pm this afternoon.
Jayden Walsh and Mike Barrow 7/8 #240927
Tue 6Australian Shelduck
Dee Why Lagoon
Lone female Australian Shelduck this afternoon. A uncommon bird for the northern beaches
Mike barrow 6/8 #240921
Northern Shoveler
Fivebough Wetlands, Leeton
The Northern Shoveler seems to have flown off as it hasn't been seen since last Saturday. I'll keep checking until the weekend and report it if it shows up again.
Max O'Sullivan 6/8 #240920
Pacific Gulls
La Perouse, Botany Bay
4 x Immature Pacific Gulls were sun-baking together on the rocks. Also present were 2 x Adult Kelp Gulls and 3 x Immature Kelp Gulls keeping an eye on the fishermen. A total of 9 Larus Gulls is the most number I have seen here. eBird checklist
Richard Murray 6/8 #240919
Sun 4Wedge-tailed Eagle
Sturt NP , Tibooburra
8 birds circling in a thermal above 11 birds feeding on kangaroo roadkill. (Moderator's Note: 19 Wedge-tails at the one site is a good number. AKM)!
Colin And Lynne Cannard 6/8 #240916
Hutton's Shearwater
Hotel balcony, Watson's Bay
A shearwater came into WIRES (per Gillian Dar). It turned out the bird was for two days stuck on the balcony of a hotel, it probably got disorientated by the city lights and landed there, but couldn't take off any longer. Bird was alert and in good shape, and upon close examination, it was a Hutton's Shearwater. I've driven the bird down to the Wollongong area where it is in care with the same person that has the Southern Giant Petrel. Both birds are expected to make a full and rapid recovery and will be released off Wollongong in the coming days.
Gillian Dar (rescuer and photo), Vincent Mourik 5/8 #240910
Banded Lapwing
Kilcoy Rd, Wollomombi
2 Banded Lapwings on the northern end of Kilcoy Rd at -30.432373, 152.025169. eBird checklist
Heath Milne 4/8 #240904
Sat 3highlightNorthern Shoveler
Fivebough Wetlands Settling Ponds
Bird seen well during the morning from 8.30 to 11.00 am. Good work by Max and Keith for spotting this one. eBird checklist
Carol and Peter Abbott with Peter Madvig 5/8 #240913
Swift Parrot
Douglas Farm Rd, Kurrajong Hills
A single bird present late in flowering ironbark bordering garden and dry rainforest, flew off to the northeast. Sounded like there was a second bird present, but not confirmed. 3rd local record in 20 years. All indications are there is a major spring flowering event likely, with large numbers of nectar feeders already in the area much like same time last year - large numbers of Musk and some Little Lorikeets, an increase in honeyeaters and early return of Scarlet Honeyeaters. eBird checklist
Eric Finley 5/8 #240909
Southern Giant Petrel (white morph)
Gordons Bay, Coogee
A white morph Southern Giant Petrel, came ashore at Gordons Bay and was found by Janine Leake and Greg White. They took the bird to a Veterinary surgeon for initial care, who passed it onto WIRES who have cared for it since. It is feeding well. It is planned that it will be released by SSOSA when appropriate. It is a while since a white morph Southern Giant Petrel has been seen off Sydney.
Janine Leake and Greg White 4/8 #240900
Powerful Owl
Royal Botanic Gardens (Sydney)
A Powerful Owl was spotted in the Royal Botanic Gardens this afternoon. It was roosting in a Macadamia tree. Just down from the Palm house by the first farm vegie patch.Map coordinates -33.865375, 151.217385. The owl is hard to spot put there are dropping on the ground vegetation which act as a guide.
Chris Gregory 3/8 #240897
Fri 2Barking Owl
Putta Bucca Wetlands, Mudgee
first reported record of this species at the wetlands
Mark Leary 3/8 #240896
Thu 1Swift Parrot
Werakata State Conservation Area (Pelton)
At least 20 Swift Parrots found along the old railway line and further along Pelton Road in Werakata SCA yesterday. A further 4 birds on adjacent properties soon after. Birds were mostly flying from to tree to tree, preening and gnawing at branchlets. This follows 6 Swift Parrots seen in HEZ 25/07 and another flock of 25+ birds near Millfield in the past few days (other observers). Late arriving flocks in the Lower Hunter this year.
Mick Roderick 2/8 #240890
Plumed Whistling-duck
Crossmaglen Rd, Bonville
40+ Plumed Whistling-ducks resting near dam 200m East of Crossmaglen Public School. First sighting in the valley.
Michael Cheers and Anthony Moore 1/8 #240885
megamegaNorthern Shoveler (male in breeding plumage)
Fivebough Wetlands settling ponds
Bird first seen by me and then confirmed by Keith Hutton on 30 July. Was seen again yesterday amongst hundreds of mixed ducks - mostly Grey Teal on the long settling pond closest to the Water Treatment Plant on Fivebough Rd - entrance via the channel crossing near the Quodling Rd intersection. David Parker, Phil and Kath Tenison saw it this morning and took distant photos but the ducks were very unsettled and were put up easily - a Sea-Eagle hanging about didn't help! Also present were Blue-billed, Chestnut Teal, Australasian Shovelers, Pink-eared Duck and Hardhead. (Photo from David Parker)
Max O'Sullivan and Keith Hutton 1/8 #240884
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater
Shoplands Road, Annangrove
Four Yellow-tufted Honeyeaters seen this morning in the gully at the bottom of my block. Highest number recorded since the colony of 2-300 was obliterated during a prescribed burn in 2010. First sighting since then was in Jan 2018. Extra good sighting today as one of the birds was carrying nesting material in its bill. eBird checklist
Darryl Smedley 1/8 #240883

July 2019
Tue 30Blue-faced Honeyeater
St Martins Village, East Blacktown
A pair of adult Blue-faced Honeyeater were seen among Eucalypts in a housing complex at a busy intersection opposite a shopping centre. Possibly connected to the small 'satelite' population/breeding pair are known at nearby Nurragingy Reserve, interesting to see them move through the suburban landscape.
Mark Fuller 30/7 #240877
Blue-faced Honeyeater
Terrey Hills
One adult Blue-faced Honeyeater foraging in planted paperbark trees along the side of Myoora Road. In front of the bus stop (47-45 Myoora). Good views (but bad phone photo, not published). Was joined by Noisy Miners which did not bother the BFHE. Was silent the whole time. eBird checklist
Kurtis Lindsay 30/7 #240874
Mon 29Fuscous Honeyeater
Georges River National Park--Yeramba Lagoon
Seven seen/photographed and likely many more, based on comparable calls coming from throughout the bushland north of the Lagoon. Notable high number for the local area. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg 30/7 #240876
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park--West Head
Found nesting in one of the buildings of the WW2 gun emplacement complex and observed calling on rocks.
Isabel Burcher and Paul Burcher 30/7 #240873
Southern Boobook
My parents Chris and Carol Ann Hunter heard and then saw an Australian Boobook. Lots of bush around Mosman however this was about 100 metres away from busy Military Road. Pleasant suburban sighting (and sound). Poor photo attached. Charles Hunter sending in the report on their behalf.
Chris Hunter 29/7 #240872
Sun 28Sooty Owl
Hidden Valley, Palmgrove
Single bird heard calling and located in a tree over looking a Horse showing jumping paddock.
Daniel McKeon and Darren Earnshaw 30/7 #240880
White-winged Triller
Wianamatta Nature Reserve
White-winged Triller was by it's self. I have also reported to eBird. First time posting on both sites. (Moderator's note: an early individual from inland. MB).
Vikki Pentecost 28/7 #240868
Dunheved Golfcourse (western Sydney)
One seen beside the creek on the edge of the golf course. Great to still see one in Sydney! (Moderator's Note: Possibly an escapee from the former ADI site at Ropes Crossing. AKM)
Edwin Vella and Mark Fuiller 28/7 #240862
Double-barred Finch
Barton Park, Banksia
2 Double-barred Finches, 6 Nutmeg Mannikins, 60 Red-browed Finches and 3 Golden-headed Cisticolas, a Brown Honeyeater and a Fairy Martin the highlights of 2 hrs at Barton Park early this morning. 40 species recorded in total.
Lorne Johnson 28/7 #240860
highlightSwift Parrot
Bulls Quarry, Woy Woy
At least one Swift Parrot sighted and another heard so possibly two Swift Parrots in the area. Probably attracted to flowering Scribbly Gums E.heamastoma. A great surprise to see!
Darren and Fiona Earnshaw 28/7 #240859
Sat 27Little Eagle
Thornleigh Great North Walk
A Little Eagle seen above The Jungo bush clearing in Thornleigh.
Nick Hodges 5/8 #240911
Oystercatcher sp.
Birubi Beach - Port Stephens
One oystercatcher observed notably shorter than the others. Via sharing photos to the Australian Bird Identification group on Facebook, discussion there notes that the following features are suggestive of South Island Pied Oystercatcher influence: upper wing pattern; under wing pattern; shorter legs; smaller head. However the bill appears more reminiscent of Australian Pied Oystercatcher, being not as fine or long as expected for SIPO. Although hybrid (SIPO x APO) and north-west Australian PO are possibilities it seems the available photographs are insufficient to firmly ID this bird. Bird first photographed a week earlier by Dave Sin. Sharing here in case others have the opportunity to make further observations. (Moderator's Note: There have been other 'interesting' Pied Oystercatchers photographed and discussed in the past from this site, one that was decided to be most likely a bird from northern Australia. MR). eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg 30/7 #240879
Freckled Duck, Satin Bowerbird (behaviour)
Nepean Weir, Penrith
9 Freckled Ducks seen among a flock of Hardhead on the lagoon on the western side of the river. Also interesting along the Great River Walk was an active Satin Bowerbird bower with several males taking turns to display including at least one of the 2 adult males present and at one time a young male in female like plumage.
Edwin Vella 28/7 #240863
highlightArctic Tern, Providence Petrel, Albatross sp. Fairy Prion
Offshore - Kiama
The SOSSA pelagic was characterised by good conditions, good numbers of Albatrosses, but low species diversity. On the way out we came across a large flock of migrating Fluttering Shearwaters. We picked up Black-browed (50+), Indian Yellow-nosed (20+), Campbell (3+) and Shy Albatross (3+) on the way out and during the day. Also good numbers of Fairy Prion during the day. A single Northern Giant and a single Providence were the only Petrels observed. Undoubtedly the highlight came around midday while out at the shelf edge, when a small tern initially taught to be White-fronted turned out to be ARCTIC. To all our delight we managed to catch and band it, take morphometric measures and close up photographs after which it got safely released. The bird was in fully fresh non-breeding plumage with remnants of a dark carpal bar. Likely the bird is a first (northern) summer overwintering here.
SOSSA pelagic - Lindsay Smith and all aboard MV Kato 27/7 #240857
Fri 26highlightSpiny-cheeked Honeyeater
Donohoes Avenue, Mulgoa
Single bird singing in eucalypts within 30m of house. (Moderator's note: A very unusual record for the Sydney region. MB).
Sandra Harvey 26/7 #240853
Regent Honeyeater, Little Friarbird
Blue Haven wetland crn Nelmes Rd and Marsden Rd
Continuing Regent Honeyeaters, actively calling from Casuarinas on North side of pond. This time joined by a lone Little Friarbird.
Ashley Mullahey 26/7 #240852
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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