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. We may also consider publishing unusually-plumaged birds (e.g. albinistic/leucistic/melanistic) if they are considered interesting or are uncommonly seen.

Birdline New South Wales is supported by Birding NSW, Birdlife Southern NSW and Cumberland Bird Observers Club and moderated by Alan Morris, Liam Murphy, 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 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.

June 2024
Fri 21highlightRed-footed Booby
Terrigal Pelagic
The highlight from yesterday’s trip was a Red-footed Booby on the return trip, approx. 8 miles from shore and heading north. Also seen were Brown Skua (3), along with Campbell, Black-Browed, Shy, Buller’s and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, and small numbers of Fairy Prion, Providence Petrel and Fluttering Shearwater. The Red-footed Booby was the third (second at sea) record for Central Coast, NSW and follows a similar sighting on Wednesday’s Port Stephens trip.
Central Coast Pelagics (16 on board). 22/6 #270570
White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike
Box Hill NSW 2765
A bird which I believe is a White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike was unusually sighted in a suburban estate in Box Hill NSW.
Jasmine Norrish 21/6 #270567
Wed 19highlightArctic, Common and White-fronted Terns, Red-footed Booby
Offshore--Port Stephens pelagic
A very unusual pelagic was had off Port Stephens on this day. We had not so much "high hopes" of fulmars and other scarce cold water birds for NSW that had been seen on the Sydney pelagic just a few days earlier, but we did at least expect something akin. Instead we had very few Fairy Prions and Indian YN Albatross (both ~5 individuals) and the only real 'winter' bird was a Northern Giant-petrel. As we froze in the southerly winds you can imagine our surprise when a Red-footed Booby flew past! But by far and away the highlight of today's trip happened in the dying minutes when the sun was setting. Firstly, an Arctic Tern was confirmed flying behind the boat, then when a second 'commic' tern was seen we assumed it must have been another Arctic or a White-fronted (the expected commic at this time of year) but it was in fact a Common. All we needed was White-fronted to round out a very rare trifecta and that happened almost immediately as four WFTEs flew past the boat on their way to roost. To have two species of commic terns at the same time is unusual (and we have photos with both Arctic and Common in the same frame) but to have all three must be unprec...unlikely to have been recorded before. In the end we had two Common Terns At the time of writing we are investigating another bird which could be a second Arctic. Photo composite shows clockwise from top right, Common Tern, White-fronted Tern, Arctic Tern (Allan Richardson) and Red-footed Booby (James Bennett).
Mick Roderick and all aboard 'Imagine' 21/6 #270569
Tue 18highlightSouthern Fulmar
Sydney Harbour National Park,North Head Manly.
Another great seawatch from North Head this afternoon had a Southern Fulmar heading south only several hundred metres of the headland surely there are more than 1 Fulmar off Sydney at the moment,also large numbers of Albatross of North Head at the moment including Black-browed,Shy, Buller's &Yellow-nosed Albatross probably more than I have seen off Sydney for about 3 years. (Moderator's Note: There are clearly several Southern Fulmars off Sydney at present, with another seawatched late this afternoon off Maroubra. See also note on the Sydney pelagic list. MR).
Michael Ronan 18/6 #270561
Mon 17Powerful Owl
Newington Nature Reserve
A Powerful Owl swooped the pair of nesting Sea Eagles at 8:15pm as captured on the live cam feed for the eagles. Not previously reported on Ebird in the reserve but have occasionally been seen on the cameras. The swoop can be see here at video timestamp (not scroll bar) 20:15 and about 30 seconds.
Sea Eagle Live Cam 19/6 #270565
highlightSouthern Fulmar
Mistral Point, Maroubra
A Southern Fulmar was the standout bird of a pretty solid sea watch today. 40 Black-browed Albatross, 4 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, 7 Shy Albatross, 3 Campbell Albatross, 3 Giant Petrel (sp), 1 Brown Skua, 10 Grey-faced Petrel, 2 Fairy Prions also noted. We also saw more Prions (about 40) further out which were presumed Fairy.
David Mitford and Simon Gorta 17/6 #270560
Sun 16highlightArctic tern and Black-bellied Storm-petrel
Offshore Pelagic — Tweed Canyons
A pelagic trip to the shelf at Tweed Heads produced some good birds with the highlights being an Arctic tern and two black-bellied storm-petrels. There were also many providence petrel, with our conservative count at 100. For a full list see eBird checklist
Ruben Brinsmead and Jed Knight 17/6 #270559
megamegaSouthern Fulmar, Buller's Albatross.
Sydney Harbour National Park,North Head Manly.
Highlights from a seawatch this afternoon was a Southern Fulmar flying south into the south wind and 4 Buller's Albatross,large numbers of Black Browed,Shy and a few Yellow Nosed Albatross. (Moderator's Note: A Southern Fulmar [or two?] was seen on the Sydney pelagic yesterday [15/06] and we're expecting a post about that trip here soon. MR).
Michael Ronan 16/6 #270557
Sat 15megamegaSouthern Fulmar, Antarctic Prion, probable Great-winged Petrel, White-headed Petrel
Offshore--Sydney Pelagic
An exceptional pelagic was had by all in very challenging conditions. The boat pulled up shy of the shelf in 150m and spent the remainder of the trip drifting to the south. The highlights began closer to shore with a distant White-headed Petrel being spotted by Richard Webber. At the shelf a Southern Fulmar gave long and extended views as it fed around the boat and slick. Two Antarctic Prions were also encountered. As assumed onboard, one of the pterodromas, subsequently much discussed on FB, is a good candidate for Great-winged Petrel. Other highlights were many Fairy Prion, Grey-faced Petrel as well as a lone Cape Petrel. The latter being the first since 2018 (numbers have been noticeably trending downwards off Sydney since records began). The usual Winter mix of Albatross were also seen. NSW ORAC reports will be made for the Fulmar and Petrel. Photographs Mesyam Makvandi and Jodi Webber. (Moderator's Note: Said by some long-term seabirders on board to be the best winter Sydney pelagic they have been on! Both Great-winged Petrel and Southern Fulmar are on the NSW ORAC review list, though the multiple fulmars being seen could be wrapped up into one submission. To date, ORAC has not received a single claim of Great-winged Petrels in NSW so this is a significant claim/observation. MR) eBird checklist
Sydney pelagics and all onboard 18/6 #270562
Fri 14Pale-vented Bush-hen
Pillar Valley, private property
calling only occasionally, last month & now. Seems they become quieter after raising their young & during the short days
Clive Heywood Barker 14/6 #270556
Thu 13Masked Owl
Pillar Valley, private property
I awoke in the wee hours; heard Yellow-bellied Glider, then a Masked Owl called twice. Great to hear both somewhat together.checked near trees to see them, but to no avail.
Clive Heywood Barker 14/6 #270555
Wed 12highlightRegent Honeyeater
Went up to Kitchener on the 12th to check out the Regent Honeyeaters and there is still about 10 to 12 birds present. I started at the Sawpit Road and walked north towards Kitchener for about 4 to 500 meters and there were numbers of Regent Honeyeaters up to where I walked to, it is a bit difficult to tell if it is the same birds flying backwards and forwards from Sawpit Road or not. I didn't notice any leg bands on any of the birds I saw and I did see one immature bird,I didn't notice any Swift Parrots when I was there but I think one was seen and I think they are still seen Pelton (Moderator's Note: This is the first time that double figures of birds have been reported, presence of young birds young birds and birds to the north of Sawpit Rd. There have been Swift Parrots found at Pelton, but also along Sawpit Rd and nearby Kearsley South Fire Trail. MR).
Michael Ronan 13/6 #270553
Mon 10Wedge-tailed Eagle
Newington Nature Reserve
Prior to the report of the powerful owl hitting the male White bellied Sea eagle, via the White bellied Sea-eagle webcam at Homebush, a juvenile wedge tailed eagle landed onto the nest when the sea eagles were away. It spent some time there and was back again the following day. 10 & 11 june.
Bel & Tony Peri 20/6 #270566
Spotted Harrier
Beecroft Weapons Range, Jervis Bay
A single bird seen in flight along The Boat Harbour Track by members of Birding NSW
Allan Richards and members of Birding NSW 14/6 #270554
Sun 9Square-tailed Kite
Single bird gliding low along Coolamon Scenic Drive near intersection with Possum Shoot Road. (Moderator's note: A quick check of eBird shows few records for STK at Corabel, the last was in 2022. AKM).
Ian Colvin 10/6 #270547
Sat 8Bush turkey (x5)
Annandale, corner of Chester and Nelson Streets
5 birds, seemingly full sized, no tags visible, walked up Chester St and crossed onto Nelson St.
David Cross 16/6 #270558
Black Kite
George Street, Dover Heights
Gillian of WIRES has reported that a Black Kite was found exhausted in the yard of a house in George Street, Dover Heights and WIRES took it into care. The bird is now in the care of an experienced raptor carer and is on its way to being restored to health and release. A photo provided at the time shows a Black Kite.
Alan Morris & Gillian of WIRES 13/6 #270552
highlightSwift Parrot
Lily Pond, Koala St. Port Macquarie.
2 Swift Parrots seen & heard in a flowering Lemon Scented Gum at the Lily Pond this morning. They both flew to the east, then one flew back over heading west a few minutes later. eBird checklist
Ian Kerr 8/6 #270543
Fri 7highlightRegent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots
Pelton, Kitchener and other sites in the Cessnock area
A very productive Spotted Gum blossom event is unfolding in the Lower Hunter at the moment; probably the best since 2012. Swift Parrots have been present since the 18th May and have actually been feeding predominantly on the blossom (bucking the trend of recent years in NSW where birds have mostly been recorded feeding on lerp). We can account for ~60 Swift Parrots across several sites, with the highest count being of 30 birds in Werakata SCA at Pelton 27th May. Regents were first detected at Werakata Pelton on the 26th May when 2 birds were found there (max count has been 4 birds). Since then, they have been found at two other sites, with 9 birds found in Werakata SCA near Kitchener and at least a dozen birds on a private property south of Ellalong. At the Kitchener site, all 9 birds have been observed feeding in the same Spotted Gum, chasing any small honeyeater that dares land in there away. On the private property at least 3 of the ~12 birds are captive-released birds from the 2022 release in Tomalpin. One zoo bird appears to be paired with a wild bird and all three are in mixed flocks with wild birds. The photo shows a wild REHO from Kitchener top left, UWKM (2022 release male) bottom left and 2 Swift Parrots from Pelton on the right. Sample eBird list attached. eBird checklist
Mick Roderick, Max Breckenridge, Steph Owen, Kerrie Bradley, James Bennett, Guy Dutson and others 7/6 #270542
White-fronted Tern
Lake Cathie Estuary
A smaller, short legged tern was initially spotted by one member (Mick Anderton) of the Hastings Birdwatchers Group. It was seen on a small emerging sand bank in the lagoon to the east of the Lake Cathie bridge as the group was having a lunch break. Photos were taken (attached) & discussion commenced. With help from other members the bird was identified as a White-fronted Tern. (Moderator's Note: an early Port Macquarie/Hastings record! AKM) eBird checklist
Julia Hudd & members of the Hastings Birdwatchers 7/6 #270541
Tue 4White-fronted Tern
La Perouse
White-fronted Tern foraging close to the shore at La Perouse in Botany Bay. White-fronted Terns are not reported inside Botany Bay every year, and this bird on 4th June looks like the first arrival in Sydney this winter.
Richard Murray 4/6 #270539
Sun 2highlightWilson's Storm-petrel,Grey-faced Petrel.
Sydney Harbour National Park,North Head Manly.
Highlights of a seawatch from North Head today was a Wilson's Storm-petrel,at least three to four hundred Grey-faced Petrels, 5 Giant Petrels and 3 Brown Skuas.
Michael Ronan. 2/6 #270537
highlightGrey-faced Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
612 Grey-faced Petrels seen in a 2 hour sea watch, all heading north with the wind. Some very close and several courtship displaying pairs. Also today 16 Black-browed Albatross, 2 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, a Shy type and 2 Giant Petrel (sp) were noted.
David Mitford 2/6 #270536
Glossy Black Cockatoo
Crawford Rd., Cooranbong
Was about to get into my car late this afternoon when I heard a Glossy over the road somewhere. Went to look and saw a lone bird fly off over the ANL depot - possibly the lone male who's been around over the past 2 years but I haven't seen it for over a year now. Too dark and too far away to sex with the naked eye.
Paul Schofield 2/6 #270535

May 2024
Fri 31Masked Owl
Barry's Bridge Road, Pillar Valley (pvt property)
Masked Owl called from edge of small clearing in forested landscape. (Moderator's Note: there are only a few eBird records in the Clarence/Pillar Valleys, so this is a good record. AKM).
Clive Heywood Barker 1/6 #270533
Glossy Black Cockatoo
Bowen Mountain
Unsure if it's worth publishing, but spotted 3 Glossy Black Cockatoos today feeding in an Allocasuarina sp. in Bowen Mountain. Photo taken on the phone through binoculars. (Moderator's Note: a check with eBird shows that there are some records of Glossies at Bowen Mountain but there have been no reports for the pat 3 years. AKM)
James Bergamin 31/5 #270532
Wed 29Spotted Harrier
Junction Hill NSW
Sighted hunting over farmland between Grafton and Junction Hill
Elaine Ware 29/5 #270529
Spotted Harrier
Intersection of Freemans Drive and Beauty Point Rd. Was swinging around bumping treetops and checking backyards, probably for domestic fowls. Per my son, was around for several minutes at least being harassed by plovers and Magpies. Have seen one here several years ago. Attached poor photo from phone
Paul Schofield 29/5 #270528
Mon 27Paradise Riflebird
Dorrigo National Park
While visiting the Dorrigo Rainforest Centre we went for a walk in the National Park and up near the Glade Picnic area I found this bird. I did not what it was, so put it up on A.B.I.D. where it was identified. When I entered on Birdata, I was told it was out of area, so I thought I should list the sighting. (Moderator's Note: A check of eBird finds that Paradise Riflebirds are regularly report from near the visitor's centre and walking tracks at Dorrigo NP so I am not sure about the Birdata comments. AKM).
Andrew Melville 31/5 #270530
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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