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.

Recent Sightings

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Reports published in the past 30 hours.

July 2017
Fri 21Cattle Egret
Smeaton Grange (near Narellan)
5 Cattle Egrets on the back oval of Magdalene Catholic High School early morning. The first time I've seen Cattle Egrets there in 8 years of working at the School.
Lorne Johnson 21/7 #231394
Thu 20Brahminy Kite
Snapper Point, Munmorah SRA
This Brahminy Kite was photographed at Snapper Point. One had been photographed by another observer at Wybung Head a couple of weeks earlier. There were several White-bellied Sea Eagles flying in the same area.
Maurice Ashton 22/7 #231395
Superb Parrot
Boss Lane, 18 km North east of Warren
During a four day visit to Nyngan/Macquarie Marshes/Warren 16-20 July the only Superb Parrots that I saw were 3 flying over the Oxley Highway at Boss Lane near Warren. This compares with 34 birds at 6 sites for a comparable period and location 16-20 September 2010.
Alan Morris 21/7 #231392
Gilbert's Whistler
Old Wheat Paddock, Nombinnie Nature Reserve, Lake Cargelligo
Male bird seen and heard around 12pm
Mick Crosland 20/7 #231391
Brush Turkey
Sloane Street, Summer Hill (follow-up to previous post)
In reference to the Brush Turkey in Summer Hill, a Brush Turkey took up residence here about 6 to 8 weeks ago. Mainly based behind the houses 14 to 28 Sloane St. Also regular over at 17 in the evenings as they feed it there.
Steve Edwards 20/7 #231388
Tue 18Brolga
Canonba rd, 5 km N.E of Nyngan
A group of four Brolgas were close to the road with several Emus being present in an adjoining paddock. There have been no Birdlife Australia Atlas records in the Nygan area since 2010.
Alan Morris 19/7 #231387
Australian Brush Turkey
Cadigal Reserve, Summer Hill
On bike path between Parramatta Road and Grosvenor Crescent Summer Hill. About 8 ks from Sydney CBD. (Moderator's Note: I grew up in Summer Hill and lived there 1942-1970, I could never envisage then that one day Brush Turkeys could be found in this suburb. I wonder if they occurred there at the time of first white settlement? AKM).
Michael Manuell 19/7 #231385
Mon 17Emerald Dove
Ourimbah Ck Rd Ourimbah
On the Central Coast there are only occasional observations of Emerald Doves (now known as Brown-capped Emerald Dove) and then only one bird is seen at a time. On 16 July 2017 Rosanna Jones who lives along Ourimbah Ck Rd Ourimbah saw 3 Emerald Doves together with a Brown Cuckoo-Dove, on her front verandah. The house is located within some rainforest habitat. The birds returned the following day and she was then able to take this photo. None could be found today 22/7/17 and the reason the Doves were on her verandah is not understood as she does not feed the birds!
Rosanna Jones per Alan Morris 22/7 #231398
Sun 16Barn Owl.
Wardell Road, Alstonville.
While driving home from Alstonville early this morning a Barn Owl flew off the road.
michael ronan. 16/7 #231367
Sat 15Turquoise Parrot, Painted Button-quail, Speckled Warbler
Cocoparra National Park, Yenda
9 Turquoise Parrots flew into a tree above the small dam on wattle drive. They arrived at approximately 4:50pm, 30 minutes before sunset. Also seen in the National park were a pair of painted button quails and a speckled warbler at a carpark off Barry's Scenic Drive.
Mick Crosland 17/7 #231373
Grey Goshawk
Warriewood Wetlands
A grey goshawk flew low over the wetlands at around 2:30 in the afternoon. It landed in a tree, but was harrassed by kookaburras, and flew away to the East. (Moderator's Note: in future we will not publish random sightings of Grey Goshawks because it is probably the 5th most common raptor in coastal/sub-coastal NSW, and therefore we will only publish sightings in the western edge of the range or sightings of unusual behaviour or with unusual prey items or white morphs in unusual locations. AKM).
Jacob Starling 16/7 #231362
Pink-eared Ducks, Forest Kingfisher
West Ballina STW's
Estimated 200 Pink-ears on the ponds this morning including 4 sub-adults. Also a lovely Forest Kingfisher. Not seen at this locality before.
June Harris 15/7 #231361
Bush Stone Curlew
North Bourke Caravan Park
Very dissapointed to see a Curlew dead on the road this morning as I drove past the van park. I enquired at the office and was told the bird had been at the park for about two months and was well known by the residents. A sad end to a great trip to Western Qld where no Rosellas, noisy miners or sparrows worried the tally sheet
Warren Chad 15/7 #231359
Fri 14Flame Robin
Edwards Road, Richmond Lowlands
It was great to see 2 Female Flame Robins at Edwards road in the early afternoon. Jayden initially found 1 on the driveway at -33.568049, 150.769173 that was then joined by the 2nd as it flew into the line of planted trees . Over the course of the 1/2 hour we were present they stayed in the one paddock slowly heading south. Photo credit: Paul Johnstone
Jayden Walsh, Paul Johnstone, Ignatius Wilson and Sean Nolan 15/7 #231360
Turquoise Parrot & Superb Parrot.
Back Yamma State Forest
At least 25 Turquoise Parrots noted with 14 in the largest group.Twelve Superb Parrots at the main eastern entrance to the forest and another 8 near the western exit.
Darryl Smedley 14/7 #231355
Thu 13Australian Magpie
160 Australian Magpies - adults and young - were seen in a paddock on the corner of Highland Way and Warrima Drive late afternoon. I have never seen this many magpies together in the one place in thirty years of birding. HANZAB says a grouping of 100 is rare, and that it occurs sometimes in periods of drought.
Lorne Johnson 16/7 #231369
Gilbert's Whistler
Round Hill Nature Reserve
Known location but of interest is an adult female that approached to within one metre of the observer. White-fronted Honeyeaters were noted wherever there was Mallee flowering. One Crested Bellbird foraging on the verge of the tarmac road as dusk approached.
Darryl Smedley 14/7 #231354
Square-tailed Kite
Hyland Park, near Valla Beach NSW
One bird seen. (Moderator's Note: There are few reports of this species from the Nambucca Area. AKM) Further information
Peter Mackey 14/7 #231351
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Lisa rd. Wilton
One bird observed feeding on dam edge. Also seen in the area was a group of 12 White-winged Choughs.
Terrill Nordstrom 13/7 #231348
Wed 12White-fronted Honeyeater
Lake Mungo NP
Relatively common around the Mallee Walk wherever the Mallee was flowering. Twelve Major Mitchell's Cockatoo at the camp ground and a pair of White-backed Swallows at the Walls of China were also of interest.
Darryl Smedley 14/7 #231353
Brown Skua, Black-browed Albatross
Off Sydney Heads
A single Brown Skua this afternoon was my first for the year from 15 whale-watch trips since late May. 20 Black-browed Albatross was my highest count by far this winter. Still no prions, no other albatross except a few Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses. It's the slowest seabird season I've seen in years. More Humpback Whales than ever, though.
David James 12/7 #231343
Tue 11Rose Robin (male)
Royal National Park
Also 3 Azure Kingfishers and a hundred plus Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo flock on an otherwise quiet winter walk. Further information
Lorand Szucs 12/7 #231340
Peregrine Falcon
O'Connell St, Sydney
Sitting on a ledge in the CBD approx. 10am.
Sophie Golding 11/7 #231337
Mon 10Bassian Thrush
Mona Vale Rd, St Ives - old vegetation tip
Seen along firetrail adjacent Garigal National Park opposite Council Nursery.
Edward Kary per Andrew Robinson 11/7 #231335
Peregrine falcon
Sydney Harbour National Park--North Head Sanctuary
A pair of Peregrine falcons riding the updraft low over the North Head lookout this afternoon. (Moderator's Note. Both headlands of Port Jackson are known sites for Peregrines. AKM)
Chris and Jane Gregory 11/7 #231334
Sun 9Beach Stone-curlew
Spencer Park, Merimbula
One Beach Stone-curlew observed at Spencer Park, Merimbula. Probably the same bird observed two days earlier near the boat launching ramp.
Leo Berzins 12/7 #231342
Australasian Shoveler
Bawley Point
One Shoveler among a group of 18 Hardheads, on an artificial lake on private property at Bawley Point. Not a species seen often around here.
Margaret Hamon 9/7 #231322
House Sparrow
White Cliffs
Flock of 25 in the township. NSW's most isolated population?
Darryl Smedley 9/7 #231320
Sat 8Brown Goshawk, Accipiter fasciatus
Sydney Harbour National Park--North Head Sanctuary
Brown Goshawk photographed near the stone wall on the Eastern side near the hanging swamp.
Simon Van der veen 9/7 #231319
Fri 7highlightNorthern Giant Petrel, Antarctic Prion, Campbell Albatross
Swansea Pelagic
Thank goodness for digital photography. It turned a very ordinary pelagic trip into a very interesting day with 3 controversial birds being sighted and identities only positively determined from photographs. Conditions were not ideal. However, in the end, the day at sea was very pleasant but with a paucity of birds. In total (excluding gulls, terns and gannets) we only saw between 30 and 35 individual birds, being about 8-10 Black-browed and 20+ Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross who stayed constantly with the boat. Among these albatross was one adult “Black Browed” with an unusual coloured eye. This bird was hungry and stayed close to the boat so lots of photos were taken. At sea, we thought it was a Campbell and subsequent discussion on the Seabirds and Pelagic group on Facebook determined that was the case albeit with some hybrid characteristics. The next bird of interest was a Giant Petrel. First thoughts were Southern because it had tinges of green in the upper bill but unfortunately it also had tinges of red in the lower bill which subsequent discussion determined that it was an immature Northern. We set the slick up 54 km east of Budgewoi, but we attracted nothing except another Northern Giant Petrel and a prion that never came closer than 100 m The assumption was that it was the commoner Fairy Prion. However, when the experts looked at the shots in was in fact, an Antarctic. This was a much better result as it was new Central Coast tick for me. The only other bird of interest was a 3rd or 4th year White-bellied Sea–eagle, 10.5 kilometres off Swansea. What it was doing out there is anybody’s guess.
Allan Benson + 20 CC & HBOC members 12/7 #231339
Thu 6Southern Giant Petrel
2.5 nautical miles E of Manly Beach
Occasional sightings of juv. NGPs off Sydney over the last month have fallen off and been replaced by sightings of juv. SGPs. They, along with Black-browed Albatross, have been seen feeding on cuttlefish carcasses.
Biggles Csolander 9/7 #231325
Tawny Grassbird
Eastlakes golf course
The highlight of a brief bit of birding at Eastlakes Golf Course this afternoon was a Tawny Grassbird seen in a small swampy area across a fairway from Donaldson St.
Steve Edwards and Lorne Johnson 7/7 #231300
Satin Bowerbird
Centennial Park (Sydney)
Satin Bowerbird landed briefly at Duck Pond and flew off to the north west. Female or immature? We think this may be the first record of a Satin Bowerbird in Centennial Park. It is not listed in Ern Hoskins list of records for the park. Photo from Anne Brophy
Graeme Robinson 6/7 #231297
Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Centennial Park (Sydney)
Seen at about 9am on the Willow Pond during a Birding NSW survey of the pond. Roosting away from White Ibis in trees on an island, but being crowded by a Great Cormorant feeding an immature. It appears to have an injury to the bill so probably the same as at Barton Park. Photo from Geoff Ball.
Graeme Robinson 6/7 #231296
Wed 5Yellow-billed Spoonbill
Barton Park South--Landing Lights Wetland
A single Yellow-billed Spoonbill followed a Royal Spoonbill in to land at the wetland late this afternoon. The Spoonbill fed for a while before flying off to the NE. The bird had what appeared to be an injury to the upper bill. First record for the site. The Avocet reported at the end of May are still present and have been joined by a third bird. eBird checklist
Greg McLachlan 5/7 #231291
Black Falcon
Warren Wetlands and Wastewater Treatment Plant
Single Black Falcon made two relatively clummsy attacks on a flock of Domestic Pigeon. Possibly an immature as it was a bit lighter in plumage than adults I have seen. Three Australian Reed Warblers were calling as well. Late migrants or over-winterers
Darryl Smedley 5/7 #231287
Rufous Whistler
Private property near Morven, near Culcairn NSW
A lone male, passing through a restoration planting. Species is usually absent from this region between April and mid-August - so either a very early arrival or an overwintering bird.(Moderator's Note: A few Rufous Whistlers usually overwinter! AKM)
Donna Belder 5/7 #231285
Tue 4Rainbow Lorikeet
Nyngan Rotary Park and Riverside Caravan Park
Five Rainbow Lorikeets passed overhead. Must be close to the specie's western range in NSW? (Moderator's Note: They were first reported there about 2009 although I have not heard of any recent records. AKM)
Darryl Smedley 5/7 #231288
Mon 3Southern Giant Petrel
Ulladulla Harbour Ulladulla -35.356230, 150.476722
After seeing the Petrel on a number of occasions at Wardens Headland Ulladulla from a distance and even after photographing it a was never 100% that it was the Southern Giant Petrel and not the Northern of which we had seen on this location as well. I heard from a friend that it was seen near the Harbour at Ulladulla but found it difficult to find. over the next few days I visited the Harbour with no success until today when I noticed it swimming into the Harbour, finally close enough to confirm its ID.. Not a species that you would usually see in this region much, especially not in the Harbour itself.
Charles Dove 3/7 #231274
Sun 2Spangled Drongo
Central Coast Highway, Norahville
Small numbers are autumn & winter visitors to the Central Coast but it is rare to get large groups of Drongos together. On 30/6/17 Grace Bryant reported a flock of 9 Spangled Drongos in Weriepe St Budgewoi, known locally as the Lakes Beach Bike-track, Budgewoi. On 2/7/17 I saw a group of 8 Drongos fly across the road at the northern end of the Norahville, which is close to the Bike -track. This is the largest group of Drongos that I have seen together since I moved to the Central Coast in 1988.
Alan Morris 3/7 #231275
highlightGilbert's Whistler
Burrendong Botanic Garden and Arboretum
A single adult male responded to a recording of the species call. It alighted stop a nearby wattle and gave out two ringing notes. Good views of the chestnutty throat and black bill were seen. It then choofed off and wasn't located again. This is not the first time I have seen Gilbert's Whistler in the Arboretum. I operated the bird banding station there from 1983 to 1997 and I saw an adult male there on 22 June 1990. Perhaps they are a winter visitor? Anyway, this was my first visit back to Burrendong since 1997 so it was great to see this rare species is still there.
Darryl Smedley 3/7 #231272
Beautiful Firetail
Wianamatta Nature Reserve
Bird banding at Wianamatta Nature reserve, north-east corner of reserve. After a frosty start it warmed up nicely during a sunny morning. At the end of the banding session, a single Beautiful Firetail was trapped in a mist net, then banded and released. It is the second time this species has been banded at Wianamatta (the first on 21/12/2011), out of only a handful of sightings in Western Sydney in total. See ebird checklist for other species banded/observed. eBird checklist
Vincent Mourik 2/7 #231268
Sat 1Eastern Osprey
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
While driving by, I saw two individuals alight on the tall stadium lights on the eastern side of the stadium. One briefly visited the western set of lights to inspect the existing large stick nest. (Moderator's Note: This is a known nest site for this species and has been mentioned on Birdline before. The first nesting attempt in 2016 was unsuccessful, here is hoping that this year will be successful Other CC nesting pairs are at Erina Council Works Depot, Kincumber STW and near The Entrance Bridge. AKM)
Brenton Takach 3/7 #231273
Little Eagle
A single light morph Little Eagle flew south-east over Powderworks Rd Ingleside this afternoon
Kurtis Lindsay 1/7 #231261

June 2017
Thu 29White-fronted Tern
Soldiers Point Reef, Norah Head
A White-fronted Tern was seen and photographed off Soldiers Point, Norah Head where it was seen foraging in the white water around the rocks, the following day there were two birds present. These are the first White-fronted Terns for the Central Coast this winter (Moderator's Note: a photo was provided for this posting but there are still problems with the system allowing photos to be attached. AKM)
Luke Ullrich per Alan Morris 2/7 #231263
Wed 28Swift Parrot
HEZ, Kurri Kurri
Flocks of 6 and 4 flying over HEZ woodlands, more birds heard nearby, unable to locate (Moderator's Note: This is the 3rd site where Swift Parrots have been found in HEZ this season. For everyone's info the Pelton birds appear to have moved on or have dwindled to very low numbers [last confirmed report 11/06]. MR).
Steve Roderick 28/6 #231247
Crested Shrike-tit
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
Was surprised and happy to hear a Crested Shrike-tit calling today, unfortunately could not locate the bird however will look again in the coming days. Only 4 other Northern Beaches records that I am aware of.
Jayden Walsh 28/6 #231246
Tue 27Gang-gang Cockatoo
Gospers Ridge Firetrail, Upper Colo
Two male and three females in a Red Bloodwood. Unusually very loudly vocal while feeding as they rained branchlets and blossom onto the track below. The three females appeared to have a brief all in brawl. A little further on a lone Glossy Black was feeding in a Casuarina.
Glenn Vickery 27/6 #231243
Mon 26highlightPowerful Owl, Hooded Robin
Warrumbungles National Park
One, probably two, Powerful Owls calling almost continuously between 8 PM and 4 AM in the vicinity of Balor Hut and upper Spirey Creek, below The Breadknife. Distinctive deep, double-hooting. Closest record from Birdata is Coolah Tops, roughly 80 km south-east. A pair of Hooded Robins, and a likely female Crimson Chat in a mixed feeding flock beside John Renshaw Pkwy also of note. At least 7 Spotted Quail-thrush heard and observed along the Grand High Tops circuit. (Moderator's Note: This is a great record, having myself been the manager of the Warrumbungles NP 1975-1983, and made many return visits ever since, I never heard Powerful Owls or heard reports of them during that time. I know of one bird that was shot at a chicken coup by a farmer at Berida, 14 km west of Gilgandra in 1935 and the report was published and I met the man who did it!, which would be about 80 km WSW of your site! AKM). eBird checklist
Max Breckenridge 27/6 #231242
highlightYellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (400+)
Royal National Park--Mt Bass
A flock of over 400 Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoos seen flying over Mt Bass firetrail near Bundeena Dve in the Royal National Park between 4.15 - 4.45pm, heading north, but some also going the other way. This frame shows 265 birds, but it was taken after a large number had already flown past my vantage point at Bundeena Dve. (Moderator's Note: Due to some technical issues that Birdline is experiencing at the moment, the photo could not be loaded. AKM)
Bruce Roubin 26/6 #231237
Great Crested Grebe
Bushman's Dam, Parkes
A single young Great Crested Grebe at Bushman's Dam in the centre of Parkes today.
Robert Shore 26/6 #231234
Eastern Osprey
Freeman Avenue Reserve (Oatley)
Two (2) Ospreys were seen nest building on the Georges River. The nest site is located on private property on Lugarno overlooking the old oyster-lease. (Moderator's Note: Lets hope that these birds will be allowed to nest in peace this time round! AKM) eBird checklist
Jesse Gibson 26/6 #231230
Sun 25Black-tailed Godwit
Boyters Lane, Jerseyville
Greatly surprised to find a Black-tailed Godwit in full breeding plumage, roosting on the muddy edge of a flooded paddock. Most unusual for this time of year and location. Took an hour to identify as bird was on one leg with its back to us and head under wing. Finally moved sideways and raised its head so we could view buffy/rufous head and neck, very straight bill plus the barring along its flanks. It then obligingly raised both wings so we coud see the white underneath with black trailing edges.
Clive Meadows & Louise Earnshaw 26/6 #231233
Buller's Albatross, White-fronted Tern
Port Stephens pelagic
As for Sydney and the Kiama pelagic trips on the weekend, the Port Stephens pelagic was pretty light-on for birds generally (and all 3 trips had just one Wilson's SP - same bird? ha ha). We did have 5+ each of Solander's/Grey-faced Petrels but we did not see a single prion of any sort and nor any Shy-type Albatrosses (and just the one immature Black-browed type that flew past and kept on going). We had good numbers of Indian Yellow-nosed (30+) but most were not interested in the boat. There were just 2 individuals that followed us from deep water til the 8 mile mark, where a Buller's Albatross and a White-fronted Tern joined us. Not much further in a Caspian Tern came in (unusual ~7nm out), as did a second White-fronted Tern (this is just the 2nd record of WfTern on Port Stephens pelagics). Close encounters with humpbacks made the return journey the best part of the day.
Mick Roderick and all aboard the M.V.Argonaut 26/6 #231232
Scarlet Honeyeater
Weabonga, east of Tamworth, northern NSW
One bird seen feeding on flowering Yellow Box
Lori Warren 25/6 #231219
Sat 24Australian Figbird, White-headed Pigeon, Square-tailed Kite
Kurrajong Hills
Third consecutive year in which figbirds have wintered in this lower Blue Mountains valley, 8 + present today in association with 6+ Olive-backed Orioles. Several White-headed Pigeons around, observed nest-building in Kurrajong village where resident Square-tailed Kites observed 23 and 24 June. Also at village were a hind and fawn Rusa Deer - this species (prev thought these were Sambar) seems to be increasing locally with 4 fawns observed this winter eBird checklist
Eric Finley 26/6 #231229
Southern Giant Petrel, Campbell Albatross
Offshore--Sydney Pelagic
On a private charter off Sydney we again encountered lower numbers and diversity of winter seabirds than we would usually expect in June. There were good numbers of Humpbacks just off the Heads and these were accompanied by the biggest aggregation of Australasian Gannets that we have seen for a long time - over 250 birds counted. Offshore, we encountered Southern Giant Petrel (1), Campbell Albatross (1), Black-browed Albatross (5), Shy Albatross (2), Yellow-nosed Albatross (6), Providence Petrel (14), Fairy Prion (4) and a single Wilson's Storm Petrel.
Roger McGovern 26/6 #231228
Tawny-crowned Honeyeater
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park
At least 3 Tawny-Crowned Honeyeaters seen well at 4:30pm. An increasingly rare bird for the Northern Beaches and over 5 years since the last Northern Beaches record.
Jayden Walsh 25/6 #231224
Large-billed Scrubwren
Warriewood Wetlands
A single bird at the southern end of the Settlement Ponds in low trees fringing the water at 10.30 am.
Carl Weber 25/6 #231216
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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