Eremaea Birdlines
Interesting and unusual bird observations
Birdline Australia

The purpose of Birdline Australia is to publish records of national interest, and to provide a site to post reports for regions not otherwise covered by a birdline or similar service.

Birdline Australia is supported by Birdlife Australia and moderated by Dezmond Wells, Kurtis Lindsay, Rohan Clarke, Simon Blanchflower and Tim Dolby. Register for weekly email notifications.

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Moderators' Note

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

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

August 2014
Thu 28megamegaCitrine Wagtail (Subject to submission to BARC)
Putta Bucca Wetlands, Mudgee, New South Wales
A single Citrine Wagtail was sighted this morning walking along the shoreline in front of the reed bed near the first bird hide (near the truck). It was seen twice and then lost to view. On checking form the other side it was not to be seen. A pair of Red-kneed Dotterels had been chasing a pair of Black-fronted Dotterels in the same area. Pink-eared and Pacific Black Ducks, Grey and Chestnut Teal and Australian Shovelers were on the water. [Moderator's note (NH): Sightings of Citrine Wagtail should be submitted to BARC. So far only three Citrine Wagtails have been accepted by BARC: Botany Bay, NSW, 1962; Goolwa, SA, 1987; Christmas Island, 2009.]
Sue Chatfield 28/8 #219417
Sat 23highlightAtlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross (BARC submission in prep), White-headed Petrel
Offshore--Wollongong pelagic, New South Wales
Highlights of the Saturday pelagic were: 1 Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross (BARC submission in prep), 2 White-headed Petrels and 15-20 Pygmy Killer Whales. Attached photos by Duade Paton. A detailed trip report will be posted on the SOSSA website soon. Further information
Nikolas Haass and all on the Sandra K 24/8 #219354
Sat 16Light-mantled Sooty Albatross
Offshore--Southport pelagic, Queensland
One bird (3rd Year?) on the way in came into the boat and sat right behind us! The second Southport record and the first since June 2012. eBird checklist
Rob Morris and all on board the Southport Pelagic organised by Paul Walbridge 16/8 #219249
Sun 10megamegaDaurian Starling (Purple-backed Starling)
Cocos Keeling Islands Golf Course
This bird first seen on the 10th August at 9.00am by a golf player. Seen again on 11th at 5.00pm and 12th at 7.00am in and under a Guettarda Speciosa tree on the golf course/airstrip. The bird was feeding on the ground. eBird checklist Further information
Geof Christie and Pam Jones 13/8 #219183
Sun 3Pink Robin
Wianamatta Regional Park, New South Wales
Adult female caught in mist net in banding project. Banded and released. This is the second Pink Robin that our group has caught. An adult female was captured and banded at Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside, western Sydney 14th July 2013. Are Pink Robins flying under the radar in the Sydney region? [Moderators note: Pink Robins are rare in the Sydney Basin - generally they can disperse north to the Illawarra region but Sydney basin is rare (SB)
Darryl McKay, Jeff Hardy, John Farrell, Ken Gover, Katy Wilkins. Gareth Evans 3/8 #219013
Plum-headed Finch
Following up on Michael Ramsay's report of an adult male Plum-headed Finch, I arrive at the Bowser Station this morning just before 7am. Site was frozen, with frost and ice on the ground. After doing a lap of the area and not finding any finches, I returned to path and located the PHF feeding in the short grass and occasionally calling quietly. It was quite flighty if I ever tried to approach but at one stage flew up close to me which allowed for some photos. After watching it for a few minutes, it flew over to the pond around 20 metres away and continued to call in the reeds. In terms of the wild vs escapee debate - it was completely natural and relaxed in the environment through feeding and other behaviours. Doing some research, they have been some historic records of PHF in Victoria from areas across central/north Vic. Seeing the area, as Michael reported, rural area with paddocks, water/swamp, gums and lots of vegetation. Nearest town around 8kms away. According to the Morcombe app, PHF's range do just reach Victoria and extends right through southern New South Wales. Other positive thoughts for genuine wild bird is their tendency to travel distances and be rather nomadic. It would also align with other number of northern birds currently appearing Victoria (beach stone curlew, s drongo, t grassbird etc). PHF also seen in Canberra in March and recently in SA. I have also checked the Victorian Aviculture website and there have been no reports of missing PHF eBird checklist Further information
James Mustafa 3/8 #219006
Sat 2highlightPlum-headed Finch
While riding back to Wangaratta on the rail trail I saw a small flock of Red-browed Finches behind the Bowser Station and heard a different call I didn't recognise among them. I quickly stopped and to my astonishment a Plum-headed Finch flew out of the flock and landed in some wattles nearby. The bird was clearly observed for a number of minutes as it flew between the wattles and foraged in some short grass by the rail trail. A plum crown and throat, barring on the breast and warm brown back were all noted and it seemed slightly bulkier than the Red-browed Finches. It appeared to be an adult male. I managed some very poor images on my iPhone. As for the origin of the bird, wild vs aviary escape I can't be 100% sure either way. The bird seemed wary and hard to approach. The area the bird was in was rural with paddocks, large gums and revegetation plantings. It was happily foraging on grass seed heads. Earlier in the year in March a Plum-headed Finch was reported at Lake Ginninderra in Canberra. The closest other eBird records from here would be Corwa across to Forbes and Lake Cargelligo in NSW. There was also the Painted Finches north of Jerilderie by the Yanco Creek a few years ago as well. I am not aware of this bird being on the Victorian list, maybe there are some historical records. eBird checklist
Michael Ramsey 2/8 #218986
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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