Eremaea Birdlines
Interesting and unusual bird observations
Birdline Tasmania

Birdline Tasmania 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 Tasmania is supported by Birdlife Australia and moderated by James Melville, John Tongue and Paul Brooks. Register for weekly email notifications.

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Moderators' Note

The Fairy Tern Monitoring Group has asked that if anyone is aware of nesting Fairy Terns (i.e. a colony hidden away on a sandbank somewhere) to contact Chris Chandler, email

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

March 2015
Thu 26highlightWhite-throated Needletail
South Hobart
Alerted to their presence by high-pitched twittering, and saw 2-3 needletails circling very high up above my home at the Cohousing Co-operative, above the brewery. First time I've seen them here. Humid cloudy weather with a storm brewing. eBird checklist
Mona Loofs-Samorzewski 26/3 #222730
Sat 21highlightWhistling Kite
Lake Dulverton Conservation Area (Oatlands)
Through scope saw it initially on the edge of eastern part of lake eating prey. Took off with prey with slow wing beats giving a good look at its characteristic underwing pattern.
Rob Hamilton 21/3 #222657
Thu 19highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Sandy Bay
Many birds throughout the afternoon: c. 40 in a loose flock at 2.45 pm, flying north-east, followed by a tighter flock of c. 50 going in the same direction; c. 110 in a tight flock flying north-east at 3.40 pm; c. 60 circling back south at 6.15 pm. The odd bird or 3 was encountered in between all of the larger flocks - the larger flocks came through between showers on a warm, humid day.
Paul Brooks 20/3 #222652
highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Margate, near the tip
50 birds seen while passing Margate tip at about 3.30pm. Stopped car to observe, several birds passing very close to the ground. They moved on in a northerly direction quite rapidly.
Rob Hamilton 19/3 #222631
Wed 18highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Sandy Bay
Around 25 birds, including a small flock of around 15, flying north over my house between 1725 and 1735 hrs. Possibly part of the flock seen by Mona earlier in the afternoon. Very warm and humid.
Paul Brooks 18/3 #222617
highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Sandy Bay
Large flock of 100+ sighted very high up at around 15:35, halfway along Churchill Ave. Sighted while driving and pulled over to confirm, then drove a bit further to get a better view but couldn't relocate them. eBird checklist
Mona Loofs-Samorzewski 18/3 #222614
Mon 16highlightWhite-throated Needletail
1km north of Arthur River on the coast
Flock of approx 20 birds hawking with a small flock of swallows.
Frank & Lennice Wilson 16/3 #222581
Sun 15highlightLewin's Rail
Sea Elephant, Lavinia State Reserve, King Island
Single bird flushed from grassy area close to estuary. Flew towards waterline and disappeared in shrubby glasswort at the water's edge.
Paul Brooks 16/3 #222589
highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Flock of 100+ over Franklin. The flock has been seen over Franklin each day since Thursday 12 March. Individual birds peeling away from the swarm to swoop low over paddock and dam next to our property.
Allan & Loris Patman 15/3 #222561
Fri 13megamegaBrown Thornbill (Acanthiza pusilla archibaldi)
Pegarah State Forest, King Island
Single bird observed foraging on trunks and branches of eucalypts twice over a period of 10 minutes or so. The almost comically long bill and rusty flanks and undertail coverts clearly separated the bird from the more common Tasmanian Thornbills also seen in the area (and everywhere else on the island). First sighting of this rare subspecies since 2002; last sighting prior to that 1971.
Margaret Bennett and Paul Brooks 16/3 #222590
highlightBlue-billed Duck
Rostrevor Lagoon
1 male (eclipse) and 1 female amongst an enormous flock of coot. eBird checklist
Mona Loofs-Samorzewski and Els Wakefield 14/3 #222554
highlightBanded Lapwing
Flock of 16 Banded Lapwing flying then settling on a paddock on the northern end of town. eBird checklist
Mona Loofs-Samorzewski and Els Wakefield 14/3 #222548
Thu 12highlightOrange-bellied Parrot (2+)
Sea Elephant Rd, King Island
Whilst driving north on Sea Elephant Rd, one bird flushed from roadside to disappear in heathland. Male and female located on roadside back down the road from where initial bird flushed from. Contact call of another bird heard from surrounding heath while observing roadside birds; possibly the first bird that flushed.
Paul Brooks 16/3 #222587
Wed 11highlightLewin's Rail
Oyster Cove (Putalina)
One adult seenflying from northern bank and feeding along edge of creek just before high tide at 13:00.
Els Wakefield and Ruth Brozek 11/3 #222522
highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Oyster Cove (Putalina)
Seven birds counted flying high over Oyster Cove at 13:00.
Els Wakefield and Ruth Brozek 11/3 #222521
Tue 10highlightPink-eared Duck (7), Blue-billed Duck (24)
Tatham's Lagoon, King Island
Pink-eared Ducks initially roosting at edge of lagoon; took to the water after the appearance of a Swamp Harrier. Blue-billed Ducks distributed across the lagoon; 11 males in breeding plumage, 2 in eclipse, 11 females.
Paul Brooks 16/3 #222586
Mon 9highlightFreckled Duck, Latham's Snipe
Goulds Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary
6 Freckled Duck scattered around the lagoon, 1 at least still showing bright red bill base. 1 Snipe at southern end, near Hestercombe Rd. eBird checklist
Mona Loofs-Samorzewski 9/3 #222492
highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Huon Highway--Sandfly intersection
10 birds seen wheeling and hawking for insects low over the treeline, around 11.30 am. Sunny and humid. Fantastic to see them! eBird checklist
Mona Loofs-Samorzewski 9/3 #222490
Sat 7highlightGrey Goshawk (white morph)
Big Roaring Beach (Surveyors Bay)
Beautiful white plumage of Grey Goshawk noticed as it perched in large Banksia marginata on coastal strip.
Dave and Cath de Little 8/3 #222462
highlightWhite-throated Needletail
At least 60, flying south over central Orford at 6pm.
Dan Eyles 7/3 #222456
highlightGrey Goshawk
West Launceston
Beautiful all-white goshawk seen at 6.30 pm around Granville St. West Launceston.
Helen Cunningham 7/3 #222455
highlightWhite-throated Needletail
West Launceston
80+ White-throated Needletails flying north over the suburb of West Launceston. Observed over a period of around 45 mins this evening.
Helen Cunningham 7/3 #222454
Fri 6highlightSwift Parrot
Little Roaring Beach and Big Roaring Beach
20 Swift Parrots observed flying through coastal strip then feeding noisily in flowering Eucalyptus obliqua.
Jane Cusick and Cath de little 8/3 #222461
Thu 5highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Myrtle Park, Targa
c. 30+ hawking from just above tree-tops to much higher up… First observed at 1520 through until 1915. Fine, mixed cloud cover (no rain/fronts). Wind 15-25 knots SW.
Rodger Willows 6/3 #222436
Wed 4highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Adventure Bay
At least 30 birds; low, just above the tree line. Just north of Adventure Bay near the berry farm.
Dan Eyles 4/3 #222420
Mon 2Kelp Gull
Elizabeth Island, Macquarie Harbour
Seven birds on rocks off this island probably taking advantage, as with Pacifics and Silvers, of nearby fish farms. No gulls of any species seen at all in southern half of harbour which has no fish farms. See also my comments re Kelp Gulls on 12 Jul 2014. A pair have re-established on Sisters Isl, Sisters Beach.
Richard Ashby 6/3 #222442
highlightAustralian Owlet-nightjar
Double Cove, Macquarie Harbour
Bird(s) calling repeatedly at 2030 in rainforest. Tawny Frogmouth calling later.
Richard Ashby 6/3 #222441
highlightAzure Kingfisher
Double Cove, Macquarie Harbour
Single bird flew across shallow bay into rainforest.
Richard Ashby 6/3 #222440
Sun 1highlightOrange-bellied Parrot
Pieman River Mouth
One male in low vegetation close to the shacks. It landed about 15m away and as it was facing me I could clearly see the orange through my binoculars. Unfortunately I couldn't see its legs to see if it had rings. It flew further away and I was unable to get another sighting.
Barry Davies 9/3 #222500

February 2015
Sat 28highlightWhite-throated Needletail
200+ seen over Swanwick Recreation Reserve and golf course from 5.30 pm until 6.30 pm. Actively feeding at low and higher levels on prolific insects. Weather warm, part-cloud, humid. Flock moved to much higher levels and moved away to the east.
Graeme Bullock 1/3 #222391
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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