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, 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.

March 2019
Sun 17Mulga Parrot
A lone male Mulga Parrot was observed perched on a powerline near the centre of Coonabarabran. It flew off a short time later to feed on a nearby lawn. The time of observation was 6:37pm EDST. It is the first time I have seen one of these parrots in Coonabarabran and it is quite a distance further east than where they would normally be found. (Moderator's Note: I think that this could be an aviary escapee, over my 40 years association with Coonabarabran, the nearest that I ever saw Mulga Parrots to Coonabarabran is Hermidale (west of Nyngan) and in the Macquarie Marshes between Quambone and Willi!, 256 and 110 km respectively..AKM)
Matthew Piper 17/3 #238031
Sat 16Aleutian Tern
Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar
4x Aleutian Terns photographed at the inlet. Ongoing birds expected to leave soon. (Moderator's Note: This is the first report this autumn. It was the 23/03/2018 when birds were first noticed attaining breeding plumage and this front bird appears to be transitioning. All Aleutian Terns were all gone by mid-April last year so we will hopefully see breeding-plumaged birds again in the coming weeks. MR). eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg 18/3 #238041
Pied Honeyeater (5) Magpie Goose (3)
Campbell Swamp Griffith
Pieds seen late afternoon just near the carpark - 2 males and 3 females. Also seen were Magpie Geese and Freckled Duck (10+) plus the usual duck species.
Max O'Sullivan 16/3 #238027
highlightCommon Noddy
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
One observed for about 5 minutes flying back and forth close to the rocks at the far end of the reef.
Allan Richards and members of Birding NSW 16/3 #238026
Perigrine Falcon
18 Thomas st - 37th floor - 2067 chatswood
Was sitting on my window sill
Jari 16/3 #238021
Fri 15highlightRose-crowned Fruit Dove
Brett Davis 15/3 #238019
Thu 14Barking Owl
Barking Owl heard calling at 11:30pm near Nyngan police station (Moderator's Note: There are previous reports from near the Pump Station, slightly upstream from the town. AKM)
Mick Crosland 14/3 #238013
Satin Flycatcher (male)
One Track For All - ULLADULLA NSW
Just had a Satin Flycatcher male ( possible juvenile) - first time I have come across one so close to the coast in this region.
Charles Dove 14/3 #238005
Black-necked Stork
Jilliby Swamp, Jilliby
One Black-necked Stork at the small wetland/swamp along Jilliby Rd near Watagan Forest Dr. (Moderator's Note Presumably the same bird seen flying over Wyoming on 17/2 and at the Dairy Swamp, Central Coast Wetlands, Tuggerah yesterday! AKM).
Rebecca Citroni 14/3 #238003
Tue 12Wood Sandpiper, Black-necked Stork, Freckled Duck
West Byron Wetlands (Restricted access - Council key required)
Two Wood Sandpipers present near a small group of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Adult stork nearby and the 10 Freckled Duck still present.
David Charley 12/3 #237995
Rose-crowned Fruit-dove
20 Morans rd Missabotti 2449 nsw
Heard 2 calling but only sighted one.
Peta Overton 12/3 #237991
Sun 10Wandering Whistling Duck, Freckled Duck, Glossy Ibis
Pitt Town Lagoon
In addition to the Freckled and Wandering Whistling-ducks (which were easily located from the hide), a single Glossy Ibis was seen in the north-eastern corner of the Lagoon.
John Cresswell 11/3 #237988
Pacific (Fork-tailed) Swift (370+)
Eulah Creek
Starting at 8:00 this morning a flock of 50-80 Pacific Swifts was found hawking for insects near the T-junction of Eulah Creek Road and Box Gully Road, 20 km E of Narrabri. They were still present when I drove to town at 9:45. On the drive in to town and through town I could see more Pacific Swifts spread out along the way, from singles to groups of 20-30. By the time I left town to the North at 10:45 my total count had run up to 370. Not a single White-throated Needletail was found in the flock. Returning along the same route (15:30-16:00), no swifts were found. eBird checklist
Michael Dahlem 10/3 #237981
Sat 9Powerful Owl
Albion Street, Pennant Hills
A Powerful Owl heard calling three mornings running (between midnight and dawn) in Albion St, Pennant Hills. Sat 9 / Sun 10 / Mon 11 / 2019. I hear this species only rarely here. But Pennant Hills Park contains P Owls and is nearby. Tomorrow too?
Nick Hodges 12/3 #237994
Common Noddy, Sooty Shearwater
Offshore--Sydney Pelagic
Highlights from today's pelagic in very challenging conditions were Common Noddy (1), Wedge-tailed Shearwater (300), Flesh-footed Shearwater (40), Sooty Shearwater (1), Short-tailed Shearwater (6), Fluttering Shearwater (1), Grey-faced Petrel (10) and Pomarine Jaeger (8). eBird checklist
Greg McLachlan, David Mitford and all observers on the Avalon IV 10/3 #237980
highlightWandering Whistling-Duck
Pitt Town Lagoon Nature Reserve
Fourteen Wandering Whistling-Ducks seen at Pitt Town this afternoon - eight ducklings, two parents and four other adults loafing on the fallen timber. Like the Blue-billed Ducklings the other day, this is Sydney's first breeding record for this species. Also 31 Freckled Ducks seen.
Andrew Patrick 9/3 #237974
Fri 8highlightPied Honeyeater
Durridgere Road, Turill
I first saw a pair of Pied Honeyeaters in a tree on the side of the road near a sharp bend to the north, about 11km along Durridgere Road from Ulan Road. I then observed at least 6 birds from a distance fly from a tree with Box Mistletoe in the middle of a paddock to the east of the bend in the road.
Dean Purcell 8/3 #236966
Plumed Whistling Duck 100++ Australasian Shoveler
Junee Sewage Treatment Plant
At least 100 Plumed Whistling Ducks and 12 Shovelers were observed in and around the 3 sedimentation ponds at the entrance to the Junee STP. I only had 25 min available - more of both species may have been present on the larger, back, pond eBird checklist
Steven Cooper 8/3 #236965
Black Falcon
Centennial Park (Sydney)
Raptor seen flying north between Duck and Randwick Ponds at 10:18 and was unsure of the silhouette's species until post-processing revealed the short legs of a Black Falcon. To the best of my knowledge this species doesn't appear in either Erne Hoskins or the latest Centennial Park list.
Biggles Csolander 8/3 #236963
Barking Owl
Single bird heard calling at 3:50 - 4am from the woodlands around Mater Maria High School. I often hear Powerful Owls and Southern Boobooks through the night around here, this is the first time I've heard a Barking Owl here.
Jon Spicer-Bell 8/3 #236962
Thu 7Rainbow Bee-eater
Cattai National Park--Mitchell Park
6 birds were observed in a flock.
Agata Mitchell 9/3 #237971
Brahminy Kite
West Head Lookout, Kuringai National Park
Initially sighted the imm. Brahminy Kite between Lion Island and West Head, then closer but fleeting views between the trees below as it flew into the southerly along the eastern face of West Head.
Biggles Csolander 7/3 #236960
Freckled Duck
Centennial Park (Sydney)
Two Freckled Ducks (male and frmale) remain at Centennial Park. Reliably seen on the Model Yacht Pond since Monday. Male was first spotted feeding on the south side of the Duck Pond early on Wednesday 27th February, flying off around 9:00am, presumably returning to the female at the more protected pond.
Anne Brophy 7/3 #236958
Wandering Whistling Duck, Freckled Duck
Pitt Town Lagoon
A pair of Wandering Whistling Ducks observed with 7 or 8 ducklings in tow. Swam from one island towards the hide and then along the edge of the lagoon to the west. At least 38 Freckled Ducks observed, most loafing on logs, islands. No sign of any Blue-billed Ducks after an hour of scanning. Big numbers of Little Lorikeets (+200) and associated honeyeaters making the most of a flowering event in Scheyville NP and the surrounding area.
Max Breckenridge 7/3 #236955
Wed 6highlightGrey Wagtail
Re the Grey Wagtail- the attached photograph was taken today in the same location as was observed yesterday. It is credited as a Byron Bird Buddies file photograph.
Jan Olley 7/3 #236961
Striped Honeyeater
Lake Wallace--Foreshore on western side
Single Striped Honeyeater observed in camping area. Was observed for a short time in the lower branches of a tree upon which it was hassled by a Willie Wagtail and flew off in a northerly direction. Also seen two male Blue-billed Ducks in the furthest parking area to the right of the entrance, and a single Freckled amongst submerged trees near camping area.
Paul McLelland and Alec Gillespie 7/3 #236957
Pacific Swift
Terrey Hills
A flock of at least 35 Pacific Swift with a few (<5) White-throated Needletails flew low over Terrey Hills ahead of the sandstorm that engulfed the region. Yes the Swifts outnumbered the Needletails. All birds were heading south-west. My first sighting of this species at this location and the largest aggregation I have seen in NSW. eBird checklist
Kurtis Lindsay 7/3 #236954
megamegaGrey Wagtail
We are reporting a Grey Wagtail, observed in a small creek at the back of Mullumbimby NSW. Three of us were travelling in a car and while crossing a small culvert, with running water and small waterfall two of us identified a wagtail in the creek. It was sitting on the pebbled edges of the small running creek flicking its tail up and down and moved onto rocks and logs in the creek then flew off as we drove past. It was behaving as a typical Motacilla wagtail. We parked and walked back and caught a quick glimpse of it again, as it flew off down the creek. We waited but it did not return and it was not there half an hour later. So the sighting was quick and unfocused but definetly a wagtail, it had a grey appearance, long tail, yellow rump and front with white edges to the tail in flight. Basically a grey, yellow and white appearance. From the habitat, behaviour and general gizz we decided it was a Grey Wagtail. One passenger knew the Grey Wagtail from many sightings in Norway. We prefer not to give the exact location as the roads in the area are narrow, potholed and basically dangerous. There is nowhere to safely park to observe the bird so lots of people driving along the narrow road would only increase the dangers and would not be appreciated by the local residents. My phone no is available from one of the moderators if you wish to contact me. (Moderator's Note: UPDATE 2:15pm, the moderators have now seen a photo of the bird and can confirm it is a Grey Wagtail. There are no previously accepted records of Grey Wagtails in NSW, though there is an unconfirmed report of a bird at Brunswick Heads Saltmarsh from 20/01/2013. The report will be assessed by the NSW ORAC. MR).
Jeanette Olley 7/3 #236952
White-throated Needletail
Scattergood Reserve NSW
Several Birds circling over the reserve (Moderator's Note: publishing because there are surprisingly few records in that area in Birdata and eBird) eBird checklist
Paul Heath 6/3 #236947
Mon 4highlightPied and Black Honeyeaters
Durridgere/Curryall (Upper Hunter Valley)
I was able to find one male Pied Honeyeater along Cliffdale Road, which runs west of Ulan Road and forms the southern boundary of Curryall State Forest (location = -32.1239120 149.7971444). As with the other Pieds I'd found I was literally playing calls hoping a bird would show. This one did, but remained hidden in dense foliage for a while before perching above my head, then disappearing (see photo). Habitat here was woodland, quite different to the scattered trees habitat where other Pieds had been found previously. It is a fascinating situation and one wonders just how many birds are out there. Three Black Honeyeaters found along Durridgere Road plus another possible (male) Pied that kept flying. All three Blacks were 'brown' birds. One had obvious chestnut edges to the wing coverts and a yellow gape, suggesting it is a juvenile. Post-breeding dispersal? Related to the Pied movement? Surely they can't only be in the Upper Hunter (it would be worth playing calls in places like the Capertee, Goonoo, Pilliga etc I reckon).
Mick Roderick 5/3 #236935
Sun 3highlightBuller's Albatross, Grey-faced Petrel
Broadwater Beach
An adult Buller's Albatross & a Grey-faced Petrel, both found dead beach-washed on Broadwater Beach, about 20km south of Ballina.
Steve McBride 6/3 #236943
highlightKermadec and Tahiti Petrels, White Tern
Pelagic out of Crowdy Head
A fairly successful pelagic run by Michael Kearns out of Crowdy Head on Sunday. There was a low diversity balanced by a brace of nice birds which included two Tahiti Petrels, a dark-phase Kermadec Petrel and a White Tern. The water temperature at the shelf was 24.75 degrees and we were surprised by the lack of Sooty Terns, especially given the numbers of these seen on a number of outings here earlier in the year.
Allan Richardson et al 5/3 #236936
Sat 2Barking Owl
Irrawong Reserve, North Narrabeen
On arriving I first heard then saw the Barking Owl within the first 50 metres or so from Irrawong Rd entrance along the trail to the waterfall (north side of the trail and directly opposite the stand of palm trees). It was vocal the whole hour or so I was there. At the adjacent Warriewood Wetlands also had good views of the resident Black Bittern.
Edwin Vella 6/3 #236950
highlightBlue-billed Duck, Freckled Duck
Pitt Town Lagoon Nature Reserve
One female Blue-billed Duck with six ducklings following her very closely. I believe this is the first Sydney breeding record. Also at least 22 Freckled Ducks, many of them males with the red base to their bills.
Andrew Patrick 6/3 #236949

February 2019
Tue 26Plumed Whistling Duck
Macquarie University, North Ryde Campus
Single bird at the Dam at 1.30pm My first record in the Lane Cove Valley. Ernie Hoskin told me he had found the head of Plumed Whistling Duck near Kent Road back in the 1950s, so not the first for the Lane cove Valley, but at least the first live one! Got a friend to take a phone photo.
Ian McAllan 26/2 #236927
Sun 24highlightPied Oystercatcher, possible Sanderling, Streaked Shearwater
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
3 Pied Oystercatchers on reef - unusual for site. 1 possibly a young bird (dark plumage looked browner, bill less orange). 2 Streaked Shearwater seen offshore (1 close in, 1 distant) but nothing else of note (Aust Gannets & Wedge-tailed shearwaters). On reef flat 1 possible Sanderling (near but not with the R/N Stints) - looked bigger and whiter but lost it when some walkers flushed the waders. Also a couple of the 17 Pacific Golden Plovers are starting to colour up. 50 (+) Red-necked Stint, 3 Grey-tailed tattler, 28 Ruddy Turnstone and 22 Sooty Oystercatchers present. eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 24/2 #236919
highlightWhite-necked Petrel, Streaked Shearwater
Mistral Point, Maroubra
Good sea watch from 08:25-09:40. White-necked Petrel south close in at 08:40; Streaked Shearwater south at 08:45. Also 2 Long-tailed Jaeger; 1 Pomerine Jaeger; 12 Flesh-footed Shearwater; 150 Short-tailed Shearwater; 250 Wedge-tailed Shearwater; 6 Hutton's Shearwater; 1 Fluttering Shearwater
Stephen Hey 24/2 #236917
Rainbow Bee-eaters
Sydney Street, Riverstone
We had somewhere between 6 and 8 Bee-eaters foraging amongst the eucalypts beside the dirt road section of Sydney Street in Riverstone. I generally don't see them away from the Hawkesbury area but have had them on only 3 previous occasions in Riverstone (Blacktown LGA) before. They appeared to have taken off as a group as we were leaving.
Edwin Vella and Mark Fuller 24/2 #236915
Sat 23Pied Currawong
During a brief stop in Pilliga I saw a single Pied Currawong flying over the school building in a northerly direction, at the T-junction with the road to Coonamble. This is right on the western edge of the species' range; there is only one report from this location on ebird, dating back to November 2010. eBird checklist
Michael Dahlem 24/2 #236910
highlightLittle Shearwater, Streaked Shearwater, Long-tailed Jaeger, Caspian Tern, Common Noddy
Mistral Point, Maroubra
An excellent sea watch from Mistral Point today with one of the highlights being the large numbers of Long-tailed Jaegers present. Within the first 10 minutes I had a Streaked Shearwater and the first 4 Long-tailed Jaegers pass by. Later I was joined by Simon and we ended up with well over 80 Long-tailed Jaegers by about mid-day including at one time about 40 individuals on the water not too far out from shore (I attach a record shot of a few of them). We also had good views of a Little Shearwater (my third one off Maroubra) as well as a Common Noddy (seen by Simon as well as a Hutton's, Sooty, Short-tailed, Flesh-footed Shearwaters amongst the thousands of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, a summer plumaged Caspian Tern and finally 4 Arctic and about 12 Pomarine Jaegers. I had to leave not long after mid-day but Simon advised me later in the afternoon that the numbers of Long-tailed Jaegers had exceeded well over 100 birds for the day. Looking back at my own past records I have had from Maroubra about 100 Long-tailed Jaegers back in February 2008 and 64 in February 2005 so this large gathering has certainly happened before and at the same month of the year. (Moderator's Note: Another seawatch from Maroubra with exceptional results. Note that Little Shearwater is on the NSW ORAC review list. MR).
Edwin Vella, Simon Gorta et al 23/2 #236909
highlightRegent Honeyeater
Redbank Creek, North Richmond
This bird was flying over our suburban backyard adjacent to Redbank Creek. It moved up and down through the bushland along the creek. It had an undulating slow flight. It encountered a Little Wattlebird in one of the trees (These usually chase other birds away). The wattlebird did not chase it away, which I thought was unusual. (Moderator's Note: Only the second wild bird reported within their range since the post-breeding dispersal out of the Hunter Economic Zone, which was the only known breeding location in NSW this past season. The other bird was one photographed in a backyard in Picton 24/01. MR).
Jenelle Gavin 23/2 #236907
Thu 21Freckled Duck
Louth Park Road, Maitland
110 birds with several males showing breeding plumage.
Grant Brosie and Nick Livanos 22/2 #236903
Black Honeyeater
Durridgerie Road, Turill (Upper Hunter)
Seen in 3 different locations along the road, 6 birds in total.
Grant Brosie, Nick Livanos and David Stuart 22/2 #236902
Pied oystercatcher
Deeban Spit Port Hacking
Further to report on 10 February re 96 pied oystercatchers at Taren Point I had forgotten to report on 13 January we successfully fledged a new oystercatcher chick on Deeban Spit, Port Hacking. No mean feat for a busy beach in Australia's largest capital city. Just shows people can share their beaches with beach nesting birds. This was the 4th year of oystercatchers trying to nest here.
Julie Keating 21/2 #236894
Tue 19Sooty Owl
Boorganna Nature Reserve, 1 hour west of Port MacQuarie
Stopped off at this reserve (among others) on a trip from northern NSW back to Sydney and accidentally flushed a Sooty Owl at midday just a few hundred metres along the Rawson Falls track. This reserve of remnant rainforest was generally very lively with other good birds including several pairs of Logrunners, at least 3 Pale-yellow robins, and a Spectacled Monarch.
Paul Johnstone 21/2 #236895
Long-tailed Jaeger & Flesh-footed Shearwater
Mistral Point, Maroubra
An extremely high count of 112 Flesh-footed Shearwaters was maybe a sign of the upcoming weather system and how birds instinctively know what to do. 14 Pomarine Jaegers, 3 Long-tailed Jaegers, 350 Wedgies, 28 Short-tailed Shearwaters, 4 Fluttering Shearwaters and 1 Hutton’s Shearwater were also noted. Virtually all birds flying South. (Moderator's Note: Exceptional count of Fleshies from shore. The next few days could produce some very interesting seabird observations from shore as well. Apologies but try as I might, I cannot manage to get the photograph to sit up straight! MR).
David Mitford 20/2 #236889
Pacific Swift
Pelican Lake Macquarie
Scattered flock of around 50 pacific swifts hawking over our house and surrounding bushland today. 8am. Pelican Lake Macquarie.
Bill Boyd 19/2 #236855
Mon 18Striated Pardalote
Coolangatta Road, Far Meadow
Two Striated Pardalotes were heard calling from trees on private property. Calls recorded. Uncommon this close to the coast in the Shoalhaven/Illawarra region. No previous coastal ebird records for these locations.
Carla Jackett 18/2 #236842
Sun 17Wedge-tailed Eagle
At 6.20 pm, 2 wedge-tailed eagles observed cruising high to the northwest of my house and in an easterly direction and at 6.40 pm one observed much lower, gliding over the top of my house. This is the first time I have seen Wedge-tails in Sydney.
Anna Gillespie 17/2 #236833
Red capped robin
Wianamatta Nature Reserve
Following up on recent report I entered the reserve from Cranebrook Road. Approx. 300m along Receiving Station Trail sighted 2 Red capped robin, 1 being a male with faint colouratons. A second sighting of another at the junction of Static Trail and Antannae Trail.
Peter Lockhart 17/2 #236830
Pacific Swift
City of Estella, Wagga Wagga NSW
Approximately 20 birds flying over residential area and cleared grazing area in Estella. (Over 100 birds were seen at the same location on 6/1/2019)
Camilla Donnelly 17/2 #236828
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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