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.

August 2021
Tue 3Australasian Figbird (2)
Eulah Creek
By now quite well-established in Tamworth, but this morning I found my first Australasian Figbirds in almost 4 years in the garden, 20 km E of Narrabri. They were being pursued by the local mob of Noisy Miners and disappeared within minutes of their arrival. No photo, but audio available at ebird. eBird checklist
Michael Dahlem 3/8 #260527
Mon 2Southern Giant Petrel, Black-browed Albatross, Australasian Gannet
Rodney Reserve, Dover Heights
Took the scope out to Rodney Reserve around 4-5:30 this afternoon. A large offshore feeding event was observed with 20+ Gannets, 2 Black-browed Albatross, a Southern Giant Petrel,( Distinct white hood observed) and 2 whales seen
Darcy Carnahan 2/8 #260524
Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos
Dirawong Reserve--Chinamens Beach area
Saw a huge flock of these birds, at the military bombing range end of the beach. They just kept coming towards me. Well and truly over 100 birds could of been nearer the 170 too 200 mark. Totally amazing experience. Just blew me away as how talkative they where.
Angela Suzanne Powell 2/8 #260523
Sun 1White-breasted Woodswallow
Boyters Lane, Jerseyville & Seale Rd, Crescent Head
Early returns. 2 birds at Boyters Lane this morning and 6 birds overhead Belmore Swamp on Seale Rd, this afternoon.
Clive Meadows 1/8 #260519
highlightSwift Parrot (update)
Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside
In the first hour I saw or heard no Swift Parrots at any of the sites I had them last Wednesday and thought they had all gone. However after returning about an hour later the Swifties had come back to forage on either the flowering Mugga Ironbarks opposite the Boronia picnic area or lerping in the Forest Red Gums near Lorikeet Marsh and Rosella picnic areas and ended up with about 50 Swifties. At the Rosella picnic area two of the Swifties also came down to drink at a puddle before being driven off by Noisy Miners.
Edwin Vella 1/8 #260518
Pacific Koel
Lennox Place, Barden Ridge
Heard the unmistakable "koel" call twice from inside and twice more when I went outside to investigate. This location is only about 12 km from Friday's Beverley Hills report. eBird checklist
Roger Giller 1/8 #260514

July 2021
Sat 31White-breasted Woodswallows
Sawtell Beach
At least 2 WBWS heard and seen overhead (fairly high) moving south. Another 3 seen Sun 1 Aug, also heading southwards. They do not winter here in Sawtell and these are first returns. As with the Boyters Lane birds reported 1 Aug, fairly early.
Peter Higgins 2/8 #260522
Eastern Barn Owl
Murray St Orange
This Barn Owl was photographed last night around 2200 hrs by Graham Greenfield in his garden. Graham has lived in Orange for the past eight years and is a average birdwatcher but this is the first Barn Owl that he has seen in and around the City of Orange. It is relevant in the light of other Barn Owls being widely reported in good numbers due to the mouse plague. (Moderator's Note: Rosemary Stapleton reported a dead Barn Owl at the traffic lights of the Northern Distributor in Orange in June. AKM)
Graham Greenfield per Alan Morris 1/8 #260516
Eastern Barn Owl
Botany NSW 2019
Adding to the ongoing unusual Barn Owl reports, this bird was seen in Pemberton Street, Botany in broad daylight. Photo courtesy of Thien Kim.
Thien Kim per David Mitford 1/8 #260515
Fri 30Black Kite
Oatley Memorial Park, Oatley
It's been a rather monotonous couple months with lockdown, but a Black Kite decided to cruise north over Oatley station at sunset today... Other first (eBird) records for the tiny Kogarah region in July include Grey Goshawk, White-necked Heron, Noisy Friarbird and Rose Robin. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding 30/7 #260508
highlightBush Stone-curlew
Sutherland Shire
Not my own sighting, but posted on Everything Sutherland Shire Facebook Group. I have obscured the poster's ID in the photo, but the post will be viewable on Facebook if more information is required. Exact location in Sutherland Shire is not known, but I believe worthy of a report as this is an uncommon sighting. (Moderator's Note: This bird may need to go into care in order that it can be released into a more appropriate location. AKM)
Joel Anderson 30/7 #260505
Australian Koel
Bevely Hills
calling in our garden from first light today. (Moderator's Note: Oh no, so early! Koels have only been away 4 months, I hope they don't all come back so soon, ofcourse maybe this bird never went? AKM)
Philip Michael Hansbro 30/7 #260502
Wed 28highlightSwift Parrots (update)
Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside (Blacktown LGA)
There are now 'at least' 60 Swift Parrots scattered within Nurragingy Reserve with most either foraging in the Mugga Ironbarks opposite the 'Boronia' picnic area or lerping in the Forest Red Gums in the 'Rosella' picnic area. At the later picnic area they were really showing well with groups chattering while perched in a dead tree, and many also feeding quite low in the eucalypts. I even had a group of them land beside a puddle to drink metres in front of me as per attached photo. Though I have been fortunate to have many sightings of Swift Parrots over the years this was definitely one of my best ever Swift Parrot experiences!!
Edwin Vella 28/7 #260499
Superb Parrot
Burren Junction
At about 10:30 a single male was seen helping Galahs and Cockatiels clean up a grain spill near the receival, just south of the rail crossing on the road to Pilliga, about an hour west of Narrabri.
Michael Dahlem 28/7 #260498
Jacky Winter
Barton Park South--Landing Lights Wetland
Jacky Winter very actively feeding on the lower sports fields. First spotted here by Greg McLachlan on Monday. Probably a vagrant bird blown in by very strong westerly winds last weekend, uncommon around these parts of Sydney.
Richard Murray 28/7 #260497
Powerful Owl
Centennial Park (Sydney)
The Powerful Owl pair who bred last year are roosting in the Casuarinas in and around the roped off area adjacent to their nest hollow. Hopefully this year, in a month or so, we will see more young branching out.
Chris Gregory 28/7 #260496
Tue 27highlightSwift Parrots
Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside (Blacktown LGA)
Wonderful to see "at least" 20 Swift Parrots this morning foraging (often low) in the flowering Mugga Ironbarks next to the Eucalypt picnic area at the western side of the reserve. Later in the morning the same flock had relocated at the Rosella Picnic area and lerping in the Forest Red Gums. I have found Nurragingy to be a semi regular spot for this endangered Parrot. Also at Nurragimngy this morning were 2 Pacific Bazas, Azure Kingfisher, Blue-faced Honeyeater and an unusual hybrid Teal which I have seen over the past few years on the main lake opposite the Colebee centre. This is now my 3rd location of seeing Swift Parrots in western Sydney within a week (the other places are as reported on Birdline at Wianamatta Regional Park and at Rouse Hill).
Edwin Vella 27/7 #260491
Mon 26Eastern Barn Owl
Rescued from a family's front doorstep. Possibly concussed. A note of interest, it is the third Eastern Barn Owl from my local area and 7th in the last six weeks that are in trouble. 1) In Bessemer Street, caught inside warehouse. 2) In Glendenning, caught inside warehouse - we coaxed it out at nightfall. 3) In Collebee hit a wall, concussed, self released, as it flew off before I arrived. 4) Parklea 26/07 on doorstep of family. Captured and rehabbed, I aim to release tomorrow evening. 5) Bella Vista 30/07 caught inside warehouse. I captured it and should be OK for release tomorrow. 6) Marsden Park 30/07 on balcony, dazed and unable to fly. It flew off before I got there and the person could put a washing basket over it to contain until my arrival. 7) Glenwood - 31/07 one of our community Facebook page members posted a photo of one sitting in front of her window this morning. It has since flown off. Most likely fleeing a mob of birds. In addition, I had one early April that I rescued then released from Seven Hills. Another of our local WIRES members had two that she released. One from Seven Hills and one juvenile from Penrith. And as I've just finished typing this, a rescue call came in for yet another Eastern Barn Owl from Doonside, in a park, unable to fly. This appears to indicate a higher than normal number of Eastern Barn Owls being rescued and cared for or observed by even the general public. My rehab photo of the Parklea owl attached. (Moderator's Note: There have also been several Barn Owls reported in suburban Newcastle in the past fortnight, including one I saw being mobbed by ~20 birds in Shortland in the middle of the day recently. This is all probably a response to post-breeding dispersal associated with the mice plague [I would have thought] MR).
Ákos Lumnitzer 31/7 #260510
Speckled Warblers. Jacky Winter
Wianamatta Regional Park. Jordans Springs
At least 2 Speckled Warblers seen and a Jacky Winter.
Edwin Vella 26/7 #260487
highlightSwift Parrots
Wianamatta Regional Park (Western Sydney)
Two Swift Parrots seen and others heard along South Creek this morning (from 9 am) within Wianamatta Regional Park next to Ropes Crossing. The Swift Parrots were not calling that much and appeared to be resting so took me quite a while to actually seen one.
Edwin Vella 26/7 #260486
Sat 24highlightMagpie-Goose
Putta Bucca Wetlands, Mudgee
Seen in a group of 4-5 on a dead tree in the middle of the lake.(Moderator's Note: Rare sighting for the wetlands!. AKM)
Joanne Chambers 25/7 #260484
Fri 23Rufous Fantail
Mulloway Beach South
Group outing viewed Rufous Fantail - early arrival for this species.
Anne Evans 1/8 #260517
Banded Lapwing
Sydney Airport
4 Banded Lapwings located near the Qantas Domestic terminal early morning. They're an uncommon visitor to Sydney Airport and all 4 had moved on by mid morning.
Nigel Coghlan 29/7 #260501
Thu 22highlightSwift Parrot
Mile End Rd Reserve
Ongoing (estimated 35+) birds feeding on Lerps high in the eucalyptus trees and constantly calling, in same area as reported by Darryl Smedley on the 22 July and found by Edwin Vella before the big rain events a couple of months ago, have been absent after the rains but seem to have returned. Remained there for the entire period I was observing (exercising). eBird checklist
Micharel Rutkowski 22/7 #260475
Curlew Sandpiper
Clarence River estuary, Yamba
2 Curlew Sandpiper observed in 2 separate shorebird survey locations (possibly same bird). First observed feeding with flock of Bar-tailed Godwits on mudflat near Rabbit Island. Second observed a short distance away (approx 1 hour later) feeding with flock of 11 Double-banded Plover on sandflat near Dart Island. Rare species for Clarence, especially over wintering birds. 2 eBird checklists submitted S92107523 and S92111657. Birdlife Shorebird Survey report to be submitted. eBird checklist
Darryl, Gary and Margaret Eggins 22/7 #260474
Wed 21Yellow-nosed Albatross (2), Black-browed Albatross (14)
Sydney Harbour National Park--Chowder Head
Early this morning there was 16 Albatrosses following a fishing boat off Chowder Head Mosman heading towards the bridge. 2 were Yellow-nosed and 14 were Black-browed. Largest number of Albatrosses that I have seen actually inside Sydney harbour.
Simon Blanchflower 21/7 #260472
Tue 20highlightSwift Parrot
Caddies Creek Reserve, Rouse Hill
Small numbers observed feeding in the upper canopy of eucalypts along Caddies Creek near the confluence with Second Ponds Creek and where the vintage Vauxhall vehicles are parked. After about 20 mins. of observation (up to 10:30am) they all suddenly departed to the north-west. Estimated 20 birds.
Darryl Smedley 20/7 #260470
Mon 19Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
Bonds Lookout/Jack Vanny Reserve, Maroubra Beach
Surprised to observe a juvenile Horsefield's Bronze-Cuckoo in coastal vegetation at Maroubra (north-end) 11:00AM 19/07/21. Species identified by olive-brown above with bronze/green sheen on back and upper tail. Prominent dark-brown eyestripe with white eyebrow stripe above, extending to neck. Underbody white/cream. Faint/lack of barring, duller appearance and behaviour (on-ground, sheltering) indicated the individual was juvenile. Undertail appeared rufous when spread, with black/white barred edges. Observed briefly foraging on the ground, then sheltering in coastal shrub (-33.945036, 151.260535). Hasty picture captured on mobile. No calls given, and call play-back did not elicit a response or further observation. eBird checklist
Jessica Rooke 19/7 #260464
Sun 18Pacific Gull
Flat Rock (Ballina)
Single immature spotted on beach at base of rock platform, one was previously reported on Birdline for the period 7-20th June 2021, around Flat Rock Ballina, presumably the same bird?
Justin Mallee (via Peter Higgins) 24/7 #260481
Speckled Warbler
Shanes Park Air services site (Blacktown LGA, western Sydney)
A male Speckled Warbler was seen well amongst the Buff-rumped Thornbills. I have not seen them here since April 2018 so a very welcome sighting for this rare species in Sydney. Also 2 Australian Owlet-nightjars calling during the morning at 2 different sites here, a White-eared Honeyeater (rarely recorded here) as well as several Spotless Crakes in the large reed bed.
Edwin Vella 18/7 #260463
Double-barred Finch
Barton Park - Rockdale
Very pleased to see 4 Double-barred Finches on western edge of sport field on edge of regeneration area. Red-browed finches are regularly sighted but nice to see a flock of approx. 50 behind stadium on airport side.
Ivan Cindric 18/7 #260462
Fri 16Wandering Whistle Ducks
Lily Pond, Koala St. Port Macquarie
12 WWD on the pond, feeding this morning. There have been 9 for the last week but 12 is the most I've seen here at once. eBird checklist
Ian Kerr 18/7 #260461
highlightSwift Parrot
Rouse Hill/North Kellyville.
About 35 Swift Parrots heard and observed in bushland north and east of the confluence of Caddies Creek and Second Ponds Creek. There was a lot of other bird activity in the area. The Swift Parrots were heard and observed for about an hour over a large area of bushland. The total number was difficult to estimate until they flocked and flew north along Caddies Creek. I have previously observed Swift Parrots here several times during winter in 2018.
David Chorobski 16/7 #260453
Wed 14Channel-billed Cuckoos
Heard what sounded like a Channel-billed Cuckoo behind the house but because having breakfast didn't bother to get up to investigate but instead dismissed the call as coming from say a currarong or a white-faced heron. Then saw, without binos., 4 Channel-billed Cuckoo shaped-and-sized birds flying over tops of trees, going due southwards. Book states they arrive from August onwards so guessed maybe these could be four who had left early for their holidays so as to beat the rush.
Andy Wood 17/7 #260456
Tue 13Swift Parrot
Erina Heights
A lone Swift Parrot seen at the corner of Matcham Rd and Central Coast Hwy, Erina Heights, flew out of a near by tree then flew at height overhead and headed in a roughly south easterly direction. Unmistakably a Swiftie! Great to see!
Darren Earnshaw 13/7 #260448
Rajah Shelduck
Ballengarra/Telegraph Point
Duck has has moved to the nearby dairy and only showing for the last two days. Here again this morning.
Phillip Shelley 13/7 #260447
Mon 12Restless Flycatcher, Grey Goshawk
Eastlakes golf course
Sighting of an unusual trio of, Restless Flycatcher, Grey Goshawk and White-bellied Sea-eagle dominated an hour of birding at the southern end of this productive golf course. The former 2 have been present for at least a week and I have even seen the (presumably the same individual) Grey Goshawk on the southern perimeter of Kingsford-Smith Airport.
David Mitford 14/7 #260452
Sun 11Spotless Crake
Deaves Road, Mandalong
Was driving home this afternoon around 3:30 when a Spotless Crake walked out of some clumps of roadside vegetation, saw my (rapidly braking) car, froze briefly then disappeared back into the vegetation it had come from. There's a fair bit of swampy country around where I saw it. A very pleasant Sunday afternoon surprise.
Paul Schofield 11/7 #260445
highlightRadjah Shelduck
Bellangarra, Wilson River Bridge
A pair of Radjah Shelduck on the river. I would think quite unusual this far south. (Moderator's Note: Yes, unusual for NSW but consistent with previous reports. AKM)
Phillip Shelley 11/7 #260443
Sat 10White-bellied Cuckoo Shrike
Gum Bend Lake Condobolin
A pair seen along the river right beside the lake. Very unusual to see these birds here
Warren Chad 11/7 #260442
Grey-faced Petrel
Fort Drive, Newcastle
Just under a hundred Grey-faced Petrels seen off Fort Drive late this afternoon before the rain squalls arrived. In actual fact there was likely many more, because there were birds out wide, but I was focussing on the inshore areas in the vain hope that the Black-fronted Tern might have shown again! Many of the petrels were arcing very high in the air - as they do - wonderful spectacle - but some were circling back and seemingly feeding with gannets and Fluttering-type Shearwaters. Also of note was at least two pairs doing synchronised flight displays. At the same time Liam Murphy was watching the same thing off Maroubra. There would have been many hundreds of Grey-faceds just off the NSW coast today.
Mick Roderick and Jeff Jones 10/7 #260438
Pacific Baza
Glenmore Park (Apple Gum Reserve)
2 birds seen flying around, being harassed by noisy miners and grey butcherbird. Each one seen perched separately, with chest barring and crest clearly visible. Seen near basketball court in Apple Gum Reserve. eBird checklist
Martin Snowball 10/7 #260435
Thu 8Wedge-tailed Eagle
Shoplands Road, Annangrove
Pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles circling low over my house early afternoon. Neighbour told me that they made an unsuccessful attack on his little Pomeranian dog last week.
Darryl Smedley 8/7 #260433
Square-tailed Kite
Adult flew low over the road near Farrer School providing excellent views. I noticed very few ebird records of STQ in this area, but note that there was a recent observation near this location from May. eBird checklist
Tim Henderson 8/7 #260432
Large-billed Scrubwren; Powerful Owl
Lovers Jump Creek Reserve, North Turramurra
2 scrubwrens seen stripping treebark and feeding id dead foliage in a large blue gum along the west side of the creek near Burns Rd. About 6m up but regularly came lower, and able to get good views of very plain plumage, pinkish legs, upturned bill and dark eye. New species in this reserve for me; and e-bird records indicate might be a recent arrival. Single Powerful Owl was seen roosting in deep creekside vegetation in the same area. eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 8/7 #260429
Wed 7Wedg-tailed Eagle
Abercrombie Karst Conservation Reserve
So i was having a look at a Dove until I heard Magpie-larks and Noisy Miners going off at something that came out of the tree tops, which circled around me, and I discovered that it was a Wedge-tailed Eagle. eBird checklist
matai.ngaha 13/7 #260449
Ground Cuckoo-shrike, Banded Lapwing, Brown Songlark
10 km W of Narrabri (private property, no public access)
On the same property as the Eastern Barn Owls reported earlier, along Culgoora Road between Narrabri and Wee Waa, a family clan of 8 Ground Cuckoo-shrikes was found foraging in a submerged paddock. In the same paddock at least 2 Banded Lapwings were present. On the other side of the driveway, opposite were the above were seen, a male Brown Songlark was marking its territory, singing in display flight above tall rank grass on a chilly day after morning frost in the middle of winter (distant photos of the latter obtained, but not shown here). Both photos displayed here taken by Vanessa Collins.
Michael Dahlem & Vanessa Collins 8/7 #260431
Eastern Barn Owl
10 km W of Narrabri (private property, no public access)
Following up on a report in local media, found at least 5 Eastern Barn Owls of a total of at least 10 at their nest. Details are not 100% clear, but this is a pair that has had at least 2 consecutive clutches, possibly 3, in response to the on-going mouse plague. The 10 birds seen about 2 weeks ago probably do not include the 3 fledglings shown here. The nest tree is right outside an array of chook pens, which appears to be typical behaviour for Eastern Barn Owls. This is on private land and the tree is not visible from Culgoora Road (between Narrabri and Wee Waa).
Michael Dahlem & Vanessa Collins 8/7 #260430
highlightAustralian Bustard
Yellow Rock Road, Raleigh
Update on Raleigh Bustard. Adult male seen today about 1000 hrs where it was seen on 5/7/2021. As previously stated , the bird is on private land but can be readily seen from the road. At the time that we were there, 4 other birders came to see this Bustard, there was no sign of the other bird.
Alan Morris & Clive Meadows 7/7 #260426
Excellent to see 2 Ospreys heading north between Hollis Park and Carriageworks. The birds were low and unmolested by other birds, surprisingly. Local Noisy Miners hysterical, naturally. My first record for Newtown and the 10th raptor on my home list.
Lorne Johnson 7/7 #260420
Tue 6Blue-faced Honeyeater
Just an update on the Blue-faced Honeyeaters. There are two and have been hanging around for several weeks now. Moving throughout the neighbourhood. Seen feeding in flowering Gymea lilies and bathing and drinking from several neighbours backyard pools. Got some nice pics too. eBird checklist
Joel Poyitt 6/7 #260416
Blue-billed Duck [58], Pink-eared Duck [44], Black Kite [24]
Campbell's Swamp Griffith
I was doing a quarterly survey today and was surprised to find the large count for the above species. Whilst they are very common in the swamp, I have never found such large numbers of each before and felt it was worth reporting here. eBird checklist
Max O'Sullivan 6/7 #260414
Square-tailed Kite
Excellent to have a Square-tailed Kite gliding south between Hollis Park and Carriageworks at midday. Noisy Miners, Pied Currawongs and Australian Ravens all rattled by its presence. A terrific inner-west/inner-Sydney record. The first one on eBird.
Lorne Johnson 6/7 #260412
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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