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.

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

April 2021
Fri 16White-throated Nightjar
Lake Innes Nature Reserve, Port Macquarie (Restricted Acces).
On a monthly bird survey for National Parks in the Innes Ruins section of Lake Innes NR, we spotted a White-throated Nightjar perched high in the foliage, we watched it for some time before it moved on. Despite regular monthly surveys, it is the first time in several years that one has been seen in the Reserve.
Tony Morton and others 16/4 #260021
Thu 15Spectacled Monarch
Saltwater National Park picnic area
Well-known spot but a late date. Three sightings of single birds.
Ian McAllan and David James 16/4 #260020
highlightDiamond Dove
Sun Valley Reserve
Very small bird observed foraging on ground, quite unperturbed by passing dogs and people. Obligingly allowed me to take pics from close up. Sadly. the last I saw it was being chased off the reserve by a magpie, very intent on destruction.
Les Cormack 15/4 #260018
Wed 14Bell Miner
Bullawa Creek
At least 3 individuals heard calling from red gums along Bullawa Creek, ca. 20 km E of Narrabri (no photo or audio, but I am familiar enough with their calls to recognize them even from 300 m out). This location is about 2 km from Eulah Creek, where I had found a single Bell Miner in July 2013. Apart from a few individual sighting reports on ebird from Moree, Dandry Gorge in the southern Pilliga Forest and Borah TSR near Manilla, the closest area for reliably finding the species is eastward and south-eastward of Tamworth, maybe 150 km from here.
Michael Dahlem 14/4 #260012
Mon 12Wonga Pigeon
Sue observed a Wonga Pigeon wandering around our garden today. First time we have seen them in our garden, usually they are up in higher altitude timbered areas
Sue and Robert Porter 12/4 #260004
Sun 11Brolga
2 Brolga on a dairy farm next to Hat Head Road , Kinchela
Kate Buys 12/4 #260000
Sat 10highlightTahiti Petrel, Kermadec Petrel, Long-tailed Jaeger, Cook's Petrel
Offshore--Sydney Pelagic
A terrific day on the water for a Sydney pelagic despite the conditions produced a few highlights including a Tahiti Petrel, a Kermadec Petrel, numerous Grey-faced Petrels and a handful of Providence Petrels in fresh plumage. Wandering (Gibson's), Shy, Black-browed and Campbell Albatrosses also. There were many Wilson's Storm Petrels around the boat and along the slick. A single Cook's Petrel flew quickly past the boat and disappeared. Arctic and Long-tailed Jaegers made brief appearances. Voracious Flesh-footed Shearwaters dominated, along with Wedge-tailed, Short-tailed, Sooty, Hutton's and Fluttering Shearwaters. 22 species in total. (Photograph by Michael Rutkowski).
David Mitford, Greg McLachlan and all aboard Sydney pelagics 12/4 #260001
Noisy Pitta
Found in suburban street after window collision. Monitored overnight and released the next morning.
Bradley Tonkes 11/4 #259998
Great Crested Grebe
Fairy Hill, north of Casino
Four adult grebe plus one juvenile and at least two very small downy chicks. Breeding records on the north coast are rare
David Charley 10/4 #259997
Fri 9Australian Bustard
'The Glen' Bullarah (70km west of Moree) Private Property
My first Australian Bustard (1) for the year, sited in front of cattleyards gates. 515mm so far this year, Local flooding 21st March from rainfall event followed a week later with upper catchment (NW slopes) water reaching us. Plenty of feed and water around district.
Patrick Johnston 9/4 #259994
Thu 8Brolga
77+ Brolgas in three groups (60, 15 and 2) at dairy at northern Edge of Ulmarra, mostly feeding at cattle feed troughs.
Greg & Val Clancy 8/4 #259993
Tue 6Brush Cuckoo
Yarrie Lake
Heard calling twice around mid-day from casuarina woodland submerged in water. Late to depart and near the western boundary of its range. No photo; calls identified by comparison with earlier recordings.
Michael Dahlem 7/4 #259985
Superb Parrot
Wantagong, east of Holbrook
Conservative estimate of 40 Superb Parrots all feeding on the seeds of grasses in an open forest area of this private property. I am a visitor to this area, so not sure how remarkable this observation is, but on the numbers alone I thought it may be of interest. Such a wonderful sighting! (Moderator's Note: This sighting is within range but there are fewer records east of Holbrook due to lack of trees and possibly fewer birders. AKM)
Andrew Hogg 6/4 #259984
Mon 5Plumed Whistling Duck
Narrabri Lake
Five Plumed Whistling Ducks perched in weedy area on the edge of the lake.
Elisabeth and Tom Karplus 7/4 #259991
Wedge-tailed Eagle
Kingswood (Penrith)
Wedge-tailed Eagle seen flying quite low, not far from my home near Penrth. Suburban habitat. Probably not worth reporting in its own right but in the last five days I have seen Little Eagle, Square-tailed Kite and Brown Goshawk as well (all logged on ebird). I have spent the past year working from home and running outside every time the noisy miner alarms go off and this much bird of prey activity is unusual in my heavily developed suburb, especially the two eagles. eBird checklist
David Ongley 5/4 #259979
Sun 4Tawny Grassbird
Upper Bullawa Creek Road, Narrabri
Brown Quail, Peaceful Doves, Turquoise Parrots, Restless Flycatchers, Diamond Firetails, Plum-headed Finch, Double-barred Finch were seen by members of Birding NSW feeding beside the road before the entering the national park. Tawny Grassbirds were heard calling but couldn’t be seen. Their presence was confirmed the following afternoon when Elisabeth and Tom Karplus were able to see them. (Moderator's Note: Of interest there have been Tawny Grassbirds reported from other unusual locations in the past week or so, e.g. near Coonabarabran and even out at Chat Alley, north of Lake Cargelligo. Transient birds? MR)
Allan Richards 12/4 #260003
Sat 3highlightNew Caledonian Storm-Petrel, White-necked Petrel, Gould's Petrel, Common Noddy
Offshore--South West Rocks Pelagic
Another successful SWR pelagic yesterday with the big highlight a New Caledonian Storm-Petrel that joined the 35+ Wilson's Storm-Petrels feeding in the slick about half way through our drift. We're still looking at photos but it is possible there may have been multiple individuals. We were treated to some great views as the bird/s made a few close passes of the rear of the boat. Other highlights were a well-showing White-necked Petrel and a not so well-showing Gould's Petrel that disappeared almost as soon as it was seen. A distant Common Noddy at shelf also a nice late addition to the list. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy and 11 others aboard the Lauren Maree 4/4 #259976
Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, Purple-backed Fairywren
Found a male Chestnut-rumped Heathwren after a conversation with Dteve Debus who had heard one around the area a number of years previously. The species is scarce to rare in this part of the Northern Tablelands, with most reports from the NW Slopes or the far northern tablelands in the granite belt. Before finding the CRHW I found a large group of Purple-backed Fairywrens deep amongst the Kunzea, this species is also extremely rare on the NTs, following a similar distribution to CRHW. Most reports of PBFW from the tablelands are mis-identified Variegated FWs which are common throughout the eastern half. eBird checklist
Heath Milne 3/4 #259975

March 2021
Wed 31Turquoise Parrot
Goulburn Wetlands
James Cornwell spotted and photographed a Turquoise Parrot in vegetation along Mulwaree River on the edge of the Goulburn Wetlands. To my knowledge, this is the first record for the Goulburn area, although there may be some doubt about the provenance of this bird. Subsequent searching yesterday and today (2 April) failed to re-find the bird.
Frank Antram on behalf of James Cornwell 2/4 #259973
Glossy Black Cockatoo
Pottsville Environmental Park
A male and female Glossy Black seen quietly eating seeds from casuarina nuts along a very wet track in the park. Also a single Channel Bill Cuckoo flew over... late migrating end of March?
June Harris and members of Richmond/Brunswick Birders 2/4 #259971
Tue 30Bassian Thrush
Lovers Jump Creek Reserve, North Turramurra
Single bird singing approx 8:50 am from creekside vegetation just before creek crossing if entering from Mcrae Place. This is the 1st e-bird record for this species at this site (but I have seen them in the Cowan Creek valley, which is the next catchment eastwards). eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 30/3 #259963
Sun 28highlightNew Caledonian/Coral Sea Storm-petrel, Streaked Shearwater, Brown Noddy
Offshore--Port Stephens pelagic
Highlight of a great day at sea off Port Stephens yesterday was the second New Caledonian/Coral Sea Storm-petrel for 2021 after having one in January. Similar to that individual, this bird has some prominent white markings around the face and has a rather pale underwing compared to images of other birds, mostly on the Qld seamounts. It was only visible for a short time, though was easily lost in the ~180 Wilson's Storm-petrels on our slick - another highlight of the day. We also had a Streaked Shearwater very briefly just before a rain squall hit, as well as a Brown Noddy; only the second time for us seeing this species at the shelf. A Solander's Petrel seen inside the first minute of the drift was unfortunately the only Pterodroma for the whole day. We were treated to a spectacle of Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins under the boat, performing acrobatic displays (and two Pantropical Spotted Dolphins were picked up on my GoPro footage - not seen on the surface). Photo by Allan Richardson.
Mick Roderick and 10 others on the MV Contagious 29/3 #259957
Brown Quail, Lewin's Rail
Sydney Park
Excellent to see 6 birds (2 adults and 4 immature) in low grass between dog fence and metal boardwalk, on western side of large bottom pond, circa 5:45pm. Rare birds here. 3rd record for Park according to eBird. A Lewin's Rail also heard in well-vegetated area of ferns near where BQs were seen (as one was yesterday).
Lorne Johnson 29/3 #259956
Sat 27Providence Petrel, Grey-faced Petrel, Buller's Albatross, Campbell Albatross etc.
Offshore--Kiama Pelagic (SOSSA)
Our monthly pelagic trip off Kiama. Shelf waters were very murky, and only after passing a current line at the shelf edge, the water became more transparent. On the way out we got a few distant jaegers and 2 Wilson's Storm Petrels 13 km from the shore. Beyond the shelf we gathered a mixed flock of Flesh-footed and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and Grey-faced Petrels, with throughout the day Grey-faced Petrel becoming the most numerous species in the flock. Highlights where the first Wilson Storm Petrels of the season, the first few Providence Petrels in smart fresh plumage, a number of Shy- and Black-browed-type albatrosses (including definite adult Black-browed and Campbell's) and 2 Buller's Albatrosses. Over 60 birds where caught and banded, Grey-faced Petrel being the most commonly caught bird next to Flesh-footed and Wedge-tailed Shearwater. This included a retrap of a Grey-faced Petrel banded last month off Kiama. Also three Albatrosses were caught and banded, the first of the season.
Vincent Mourik and all aboard MV Kato 30/3 #259961
White-cheeked Honeyeater, Musk Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, Scarlet Honeyeater
Ulladulla (Boree St car park)
Pink flowering gum in the car park opposite Coles is in full bloom and has attracted many birds. There was one White-cheeked Honeyeater amongst the New Holland Honeyeaters, a few Musk and Little Lorikeets and 20+ Scarlet Honeyeaters. A very pleasant site in the middle of town! (I noted the cream gum in flower too, but not as popular).
Claire & Ziggy Wolinski and Phil & Barbara Richardson 28/3 #259953
Musk Duck
Narrabri Lake
A single Musk Duck was found around 12:30. Narrabri Lake is full; deep enough for diving ducks at present.
Michael Dahlem 28/3 #259952
megamegaRed-backed Buttonquail
Conjola National Park
Buttonquail call heard just before evening from waterlogged sedges. Although I felt the call better matched RBBQ than the local Painted BQ, I was aware this was considerably further south than expected. Returned that night and managed to record audio which I then shared with the Quails, Buttonquails & Quail-thrushes of Australia group where three people agreed with RBBQ. Photo shows habitat only. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding 28/3 #259950
Eastern Barn Owl
Seven Hills
Went to rescue an apparently injured white owl, which was of course a Barn Owl. It was on the ground being harassed by ravens and magpies. If I get an all clear from the avian vet this afternoon, the owl will be released back at the industrial estate this evening. eBird checklist
Ákos Lumnitzer and Netra Chetty 27/3 #259943
Fri 26Painted Button-quail
12:30 am, heard cats outside making suspicious noises and came to find what looks to be a Painted Button-quail sitting very stunned while the cats didn't attack it but seemed very alarmed/curious by its presence. Not sure where it would have originated from, I suspect the local reserve but still very unusual to see quail in this particular suburb of the lower Sydney region. Waiting for morning to take to the nearest wildlife facility.
D'artagnan Martin 26/3 #259937
Thu 25Glossy Black Cockatoo
Cabarita Beach, carpark. Far North Coast
4 went overhead, stopped in casuarina at busy carpark for a few seconds and continued 530pm
Duncan fowler 26/3 #259941
Wed 24Red-chested Buttonquail, Little Buttonquail
Csiro Rd, Narrabri
While birding in grassy roadside woodland near the southern end of Csiro Rd I flushed a Little Buttonquail, and then a male Red-chested Buttonquail about 10 minutes later further along the road. Both were seen well in flight, with the RCBq flying into a wire fence before making it to cover. There is moderate flooding currently in the region, with almost all paddocks flooded, probably forcing buttonquail to find dry ground elsewhere. eBird checklist
Max Breckenridge 25/3 #259931
Tue 23Brown Booby
Middle beach Lord Howe Island
Single bird observed with ragged feathers feeding just off the beach. Uniform brown coloring top of the bird, uniform brown from base of bill to upper breast.
Greg and Janice McKay 25/3 #259929
Common Tern
Mill Stream Lookout (Botany)
A small group of about 9 x Common Terns were roosting in the rain on the sandbank. I haven't seen them over this side of Botany Bay for 2 years. The sandbank area has now been fenced off by Sydney water because of sewers overflowing into the canal here, this might be giving the birds a little protection to stay around here.
Richard Murray 23/3 #259921
Mon 22Common Tern
Mistral Point, Maroubra
9 Common Terns (1 breeding plamage), 3 Arctic Jaegers, 1 Pomarine Jaeger, 50 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, 2 Kelp Gulls (fresh juveniles) seen today after the rain finally relented. Common Terns are few and far between at Maroubra and mainly on passage.
David Mitford 24/3 #259923
highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Surfside NSW
Many 100ds of Needletails heading north. Estimated 6000 moving through over a two hour session of observation from my home balcony. Possibly many more. It's been a few years since I've seen so many.
Demetrios Bertzeletos 22/3 #259917
Sun 21Common Noddy
Camden Head (Laurieton)
A single bird flying out to sea from Gogley's Lagoon. Considerable numbers of Crested and Common Terns regularly roost on oyster racks in the lagoon.
Peter West & Susan Proust 27/3 #259945
highlightPossible Bridled Tern, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Common Noddy
Mistral Point, Maroubra
Highlights of this afternoon's seawatch included: a juvenile Common Noddy (seen by Robert and David); a Wilson's Storm-Petrel which is a very rare species inshore on Australia's east coast although relatively common in pelagic waters at the right times of year; and a possible Bridled Tern which was observed for around 25 minutes, feeding off Magic Point among Silver Gulls. David attempted to get closer to this bird by going around to Magic Point while Robert and I tracked it from Mistral, but it moved south and we could not refind it once David had made it to the bunker on Magic. Detailed descriptions can be found in the eBird checklist. eBird checklist
Simon Gorta, Robert Griffin, and David Mitford 21/3 #259908
Sooty Tern, Sanderling
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
Managed a gap in the rain for approx 90 mins between 2:30 and 4pm for a sea/coast watch. Winds from NE and strong, with big seas running and high tide pushing well over the reef flat. Sooty Tern seen just of reef fishing with a large group of Crested Terns - clearly black above/white below and a bit smaller than the Cresteds, and jizz a bit more slender/pointy with long wings. Fishing group being harassed by 2 Arctic Jaegers and several kleptoparasitic events observed. Sanderling seen on sandspit with a group of Red-necked Stints - clearly much larger than stints and while overall paler was showing some reddening of dorsal feathers. Also, was behaving in typical Sanderling fashion running in and out of wave zone. Also 27 Ruddy Turnstones (high count for site?), & 34 Red-necked Stints (some coming into breeding colour). eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 21/3 #259907
Sat 20Musk Duck
Beardy Waters at Shannon Vale Rd Bridge (Glen Innes)
Adult male Musk Duck in water near bridge and adult female a few hundred metres away swimming away from bridge area followed by small juvenile.
Greg & Val Clancy 20/3 #259905
highlightCommon Noddy
Red Point, Port Kembla
Observed and photoed this juvenile bird foraging in the wash along the southern rocks. Obs made from the car park due to rainy conditions. Joined later by Graham Barwell and Penny & Martin Potter who also got to obs the bird. eBird checklist
Paul Lynch 20/3 #259901
Fri 19highlightRadjah Shelduck
Woodburn-Evans Head Rd, Woodburn
I followed up a report on eBird of a Radjah Shelduck seen on Tue 16th Mar, along Woodburn-Evans Head Rd, a few km east of Woodburn . I found it at the same location, grazing on the large lawn of a rural property, directly opposite Golf Links Rd. Note, it was on private property & there's very little roadside verge for safe stopping along Woodburn-Evans Head Rd near the property. Safest to park off road at intersection of Golf Links Rd & look from there. I drove by again on 22nd Mar & found most of the lawn was now flooded over & I didn't find the Shelduck eBird checklist
Steven McBride 26/3 #259939
Wed 17Black-backed (Little) Bittern
Camira State Forest, near Whiporie
Late night survey with ecologist Russell Jago at dam by Old Tenterfield Road in Camira State Forest. Black-backed Bittern responded to call playback. Returned to site next morning (18 Mar) with Gary Eggins to attempt locating the bird (unsuccessful). A single Great Crested Grebe observed and Australian Crake heard. 18 Mar eBird checklist S83596476 eBird checklist
Darryl Eggins, Russell Jago, Gary Eggins 19/3 #259892
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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