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.

February 2024
Tue 27Australian Brush-turkey
Deriah Aboriginal Area
After a recent report by M. Wheeler of 3 birds crossing Upper Bullawa Creek Road, on the western boundary of Mt. Kaputar NP (16 Feb 2024; eBird checklist S161627311), 40 km east of Narrabri, I found 2 crossing Carinya Road, ca. 500 m before reaching the picnic/BBQ area. This was at 18:35, maybe 10 km south of Upper Bullawa Creek, higher up in the slopes. It is my first sighting of the species on the western slopes since August 2015. One of the birds that I saw had little or no yellow/red wattled skin on its neck, so likely a juvenile. This suggests that the local western population, which is considered endangered, has not only survived the severe drought of 2017-2019, but is also continuing to breed on the western slopes. The attached excerpt from the eBird distribution map shows how they are isolated from other populations of Aust. Brush-turkeys. (Moderator's Note: Birdata records also show this population as very isolated, though show no records since the drought and fires that culminated in 2019. Great to see they have survived and are likely breeding! MR) eBird checklist
Michael Dahlem 28/2 #270284
Streaked Shearwater
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve.
I had 4 Streaked Shearwaters travelling south off Long Reef this afternoon not much else though 1 Black-browed Albatross and about 30 White-throated Needletails circling around the headland.
Michael Ronan 27/2 #270283
Mon 26highlightBlack-faced Cormorant
Port Hacking NSW
This bird came into WIRES care from Port Hacking near Caringbah where it was found in a weak condition because it had a fish hook caught in its beak. The bird has been cared for by seabird carer Toni Burnham. The bird has since been rehabilitated and it will be released back into the wild at Eden where there is a known population of Black-faced Cormorants. The most northerly record for a Black-faced Cormorant in NSW is for Montague Island in 1967, all other reports are for south of Merimbula, especially for Eden Harbour where they are resident. The actual origins of this bird in Port Hacking are unknown. Reports of birds outside of the Far South Coast of NSW require a submission to NSW ORAC for verification.
Toni Burnham and Alan Morris 26/2 #270281
Sun 25Black-necked Stork, Plumed Whistling Ducks
McPherson’s Rd Swamp
Ongoing observation. Adult male BNS with two juveniles, youngsters seen occasionally leaping into the air. Delightful to watch. Also still there, the PWD. Bonus two Tawny Grassbirds and a black snake for the unwary.
Gina McFarlane 26/2 #270279
Black-necked Stork
McPherson Road Swamp
Both adult birds were at the swamp with 2 of this seasons juvenile birds this appears to be the first foray with the juveniles.
David Schuemaker 25/2 #270278
Black Falcon, Spotted Harrier
My wife and I saw the above raptors (among many other common ones to the area) over a 1 hour drive around some areas. Black Falcon was near RAAF base, unable to get out and photograph due to restrictions on signage. Harrier was in a different area.
Ákos Lumnitzer and Netra Chetty 25/2 #270276
highlightDiamond Dove
Kings Tableland, Blue Mountains
This sighting was a big surprise but even more so later when we discovered that no previous ebird sightings at all in the Blue Mountains. Also very infrequently noted in the eastern half of NSW. This bird was wandering along the edge of a sandy trail that joins up with Chester Trail. Appeared to be foraging and zig-zagging between open spots and grasses. Caught on video as well as one okay photo. (Moderator's Note: More than an 'ok' photo! Although it might at times be tempting to treat a report like this as a possible escapee, I think I am sensing via eBird a hint of a push of Diamond Doves [and Budgerigars] eastwards at the moment - let's hope so, for the sake of us city-bound birders! There is nothing about the bird otherwise to suggest it might be an escapee either. MR) eBird checklist
Darren Broughton 25/2 #270275
Brahminy Kite
Photographed from the train at Hawkesbury River Station around 0800. (Moderator's Note: Brahminy Kites are becoming more common on the Central Coast and in the Hawkesbury Estuary. AKM))
Mike Kilburn 25/2 #270273
Sat 24Australian Shelduck
Millthorpe-Vittoria Rd dam
A quick stop at large dam (the left when driving towards Millthorpe from Bathurst) at approx 5pm revealed 8 Australian Shelduck, incl 2 younger birds with much plainer plumage. Also at the site Red-kneed (2) and Black-fronted (4) Dotterels, 30 Australasian Shoveler, 24 Pied Stilt (unusual number for site per eBird) eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 25/2 #270274
Streaked Shearwater.
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve.
Highlight of a seawatch from Long Reef this afternoon were 2 Streaked Shearwaters travelling south we also saw 1 Shy Albatross and 1 Black-browed Albatross.
Michael Ronan,Mike Kilburn. 24/2 #270272
Wed 21highlightCommon Greenshank
Burren Junction Bore Baths
Last reported on eBird for the Narrabri region on 6 September 1973 (by a certain Alan Morris), and not exactly a commoner elsewhere in inland NSW, this single Common Greenshank was found at ca. 11:00 this morning. First it was in the dam with the bird refuge island (eastern side of the bath), then it moved over to the overflow pond on the western side, hanging out with a small mob of Pied Stilts. It was heard calling and audio was recorded (not processed yet). There will also be an eBird checklist at some point. (Moderator's Note: Worth noting there are four Birdata records of greenshanks - and Marshies incidentally - from a wetland south east of Wee Waa between Jan and March 2007. All records are of a single bird. MR).
Michael Dahlem 21/2 #270267
Tue 20highlightOriental Cuckoo
Southgate Flood Reserve/TSR (17km north of Grafton)
Adult Oriental Cuckoo observed feeding quietly in understory among Acacias. Good views of bird perched front on with distinctive black and white barred lower breast. Plain grey throat & ‘bib’. Plain darker slate grey upper body and wings. Yellow legs, feet and eye ring. Good list of bush birds including: Eastern Shrike-tit, Black-faced Monarch, Varied Sitella, Brown Treecreeper. eBird checklist
Darryl Eggins 20/2 #270265
Mon 19Siberian, Double-banded and Greater Sandplover
Harrington Breakwall
At about 3 hours after high tide at Harrington, at 0830 hrs, a Double-banded Plover was seen amongst just a few Red-capped Plovers near the Harrington Breakwall but few other waders were present. 40 minutes later we returned and there were many more waders there, including a single Greater Sand Plover and a Siberian Sand Plover, 22 Red-capped Plovers, 37 Pacific Golden Plovers, 28 Pied Oystercartchers,29 Far Eastern Curlews and 23 Bar-tailed Godwits. We could not re-find the Double-banded Plover, or any Sanderlings or Red-necked Stints, which are normally present but there was one Sooty Oystercatcher and 11 Australian Terns.. eBird checklist
Alan Morris & John Harding 19/2 #270264
Sun 18White-backed Swallow
Deriah Aboriginal Area
Unusual count and behaviour (I did not know that White-backed Swallows do flock): 29 found perched in the top of a dead tree. 27 in the attached photo, 2 outside the field-of-view. Not just a rookery, but a mix of adults and juveniles, found at the end of Carinya Road, at the gate to the private property there, at ca. 15:45.
Michael Dahlem 18/2 #270263
Pacific Swift
One lone bird seen foraging high above Terrigal Lagoon area, flew west. Not with WTNT.
Paul Shelley 18/2 #270262
Sat 17White-winged Chough
Morisset Bus depot
Arrived at work around 7:30 this morning and saw 4 or 5 Choughs being harassed by the local magpie pair. Chased them off one by one and I think there was maybe one left in a local Pine tree. Had to start work then so didn't see what happened after. But I haven't seen Choughs within at least 50 k.s of the area before.
Paul Schofield 17/2 #270260
Plumed Whistling Duck
McPherson Road Swamp, Tuggerah
A flock of seven Plumed Whistling Ducks were near the corner of Mcpherson Road and Gavenlock Road. It was great to see so many White-breasted Woodswallows at the wetland as well. Further information
Maki Okamoto & Gina McFarlane 17/2 #270259
Thu 15highlightLittle Buttonquail
The Gully Katoomba
Observed the bird feeding at the edges of a path for over 11/2 hrs mid afternoon. Occasionally retreated to thick undergrowth. Also took a video of it being chased by an Antechinus. (Moderator's Note: Rare bird for Blue Mountains LGA. AKM)
Denise Maddox 26/2 #270280
highlightRed-footed Booby, Kermadec Petrel, Gould’s Petrel, Black Petrel
Terrigal Pelagic
The excellent run of Terrigal Pelagics continued today with the highlight being 2 rather vocal and apparently hungry Red-footed Booby (1st at sea record for Central Coast, NSW) that hung around the boat for several minutes, even squabbling with Shearwater sp for pilchards. A dark morph Kermadec Petrel was a good record, while it was also nice to see Gould’s Petrel, albeit at a frustrating distance and an obliging Black Petrel. Other notables were a few each of Pomarine Jaeger, Grey-faced Petrel and Shy Albatross.
Andrew Robinson, Steve Edwards and 13 others on board 15/2 #270255
Mon 12Black Bittern
Awaba St Morisset near PCYC
Was about to cross the creek this morning that cuts through Awaba St. when I flushed a Black Bittern with my mountain bike. It flew into the Swamp Mahogany grove and I lost sight of it before I could get off my bike. Stopped for a while looking for it but couldn't find it again. But there was a flock of Sitellas there mixed with Grey Fantails and Striated Thornbills and all three species were spending quite a bit of time foraging on the trunks and major branches of the Mahoganys - Sitellas of course do that all the time but the other two species seemed to be imitating them. Watched this for at least five minutes before they all moved further into the swamp.
Paul Schofield 12/2 #270249
Sat 10highlightRed-tailed Tropicbird & White-necked Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
A fairly quiet sea watch was turned on its head after we both saw a Red-tailed Tropicbird flying, then landing and preening, it took off again high and quickly attempted a dive, then flew off high to the south east. We had hardly got our breath back before we picked up a White-necked Petrel motoring south. Amazingly another one 5 minutes later. Incredibly we had a 3rd bird, closer in this time. Also seen 2 Long-tailed Jaeger, 2 Pomarine Jeagers and 5 Flesh-footed Shearwaters.
David Mitford and Robert Griffin 10/2 #270243
highlightRed-tailed Tropicbird,White-necked Petrel.
Sydney Harbour National Park,North Head
Highlights of a seawatch today from North Head was a White-necked Petrel and a very close in Red-tailed Tropicbird which gave excellent views as it flew south level with the top of the cliffs.
Michael Ronan 10/2 #270242
Fri 9Musk Lorikeet
Mount Nobby State Forest, 40 km Nth of Condobolin
A group of around 20 Muskies flew past me this afternoon in Mount Nobby SF. Theres quite a bit of flowering Mallee there at the moment and its very green and lush after recent heavy rain. Never seen these birds out there before
warren Chad 9/2 #270238
Powerful Owl
Trumper Park, Paddington, Sydney
A Powerful Owl on the path by the Quarry Pond at the top of Trumper Park with what looks like a half-eaten Ringtail Possum in its claws.(Moderator's Note: Normally we do not publish Powerful Owl reports in Sydney as they are neither rare or out of range in Greater Sydney, however, there are no eBird reports for Trumper Park, so I think that this record deserves and reflects this Owl's ability to reside in densely populated , and upmarket areas! AKM).
Christopher Gregory 9/2 #270236
Thu 8highlightWhite-necked Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
Two White-necked Petrels within 30 minutes of each other were the highlights of a low diversity sea watch today. Only 1 Pomarine Jager and 1 Flesh-footed Shearwater seen in 3 hours. 300 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters in a constant movement south was fairly standard. 30 Fluttering and 8 Short-tailed Shearwaters also noted.
David Mitford 9/2 #270234
Tue 6Possible Chestnut-breasted Mannikin
Belfield, NSW
Heard flock calls in a planted Callistemon int he back garden of a residential property.(Moderator's Note: without seeing a bird, we are reluctant to agree a confirmed report has been made, but there have been previous records at nearby Wooli Creek Reserve in the past, and this post might encourage birders in the area to watch out and report any birds. This species of finch seems to declining and or disappearing from former haunts. AKM)
Nicholas Henson 6/2 #270229
Mon 5Black-necked stork
Stockyard Ponds, Pinegrove Rd, Saumarez
One bird only at about 2.30 pm. Not there the following day, though another person has posted an undated sighting at the nearby Saumarez Ponds lagoon on the Australian Birds Identification site on Facebook.
Dianne Beatty 7/2 #270230
Sat 3highlightWhite-throated Needletail
Single bird in the same flight space as Tree Martins and White-backed Swallow. Very familiar with species. Had awesome views as it flew very close to tree tops. White throat and tail coverts obvious. eBird checklist
Theo Kemp 3/2 #270228
Fri 2highlightBush Stone Curlew
Got a call from a friend late yesterday about a strange bird in her backyard near the Lachlan River in Condo. Went around and found it was a Bush Stone Curlew, just hanging out under a Grevillea bush. Bird was very quiet and allowed me to get quite close. My first record in town and only my second ever for this whole district. Went back next morning and it was gone
Warren Chad 3/2 #270227
megamegaHerald Petrel, White-tailed Tropicbird, Tahiti Petrel
Terrigal Pelagic
An incredible day that included a Herald Petrel at shelf waters which provided excellent, prolonged views for all 16 on board. Also of note were White-tailed Tropicbird (2), Tahiti Petrel (1), Long-tailed Jaeger (1), Sooty Tern (2), Shy Albatross (2) and Grey-faced Petrel (4). (Moderator's Note: Thoroughly great stuff! Truly remarkable contrast to the Port Stephens trip just two days earlier. The Herald Petrel will be subject to a BARC assessment, which judging by the photographs will be a formality. Congrats Andy and all on board. MR).
Andrew Robinson, Dean Purcell, Archie Brennan and 13 others on board. 2/2 #270224
Thu 1Buff-banded Rail . Gallirallus Philippensis
Oak Flats.Lake Illawarra, NSW.
Foraging in the mud/sand flats on the edge of the lake. eBird checklist
Peter J Coleman 2/2 #270225
Blue-faced Honeyeater
6 adult birds were present on and around the cricket field in the town centre. I use the town frequently and haven't seen the species here before - only across the river. 6 is also a large number for the Hawkesbury, where the species appears to be increasing. Appalling phone pics on eBird. eBird checklist
Eric Finley 2/2 #270222
Streaked Shearwater
Hastings Point Headland
Quick sea watch delivered good views of a Streaked Shearwater about 50m off the reef. Clear views through scope of thick black primaries and trailing edges. There was great size comparison as it flew amongst Wedge-tailed Shearwaters.
Jed Knight 1/2 #270221

January 2024
Wed 31Streaked Shearwater, Red-tailed Tropicbird, Gould's Petrel
Offshore--Port Stephens pelagic
On face value you might think from the highlight species from today's Port Stephens pelagic represented a great day at the shelf. It couldn't have been more different. The entire trip out was birdless.We then had two drifts at the shelf, both of close to an hour each and the total sum of that much drifting at the shelf produced just 18 individual birds, comprised of 17x Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and one lone Fleshy. Then at about 6 miles east of Broughton Island (on a very northerly run home) we encountered shearwaters gathered what looked like a carcass of a big fish. Here we also picked up a very obliging Streaked Shearwater and amazingly a Gould's Petrel that was flying around as just another bird in the throng. We do sometimes see Cookilarias between the heads and the shelf but this was a bird foraging. Between here and the run home into the port we flushed a Red-tailed Tropicbird then saw two more Streaked Shears. An incredible 'comeback' day when we needn't (i.e shouldn't) have gone to the shelf!
Mick Roderick and all aboard 'Imagine' 31/1 #270219
Tue 30Double-banded Plover
Bithry Inlet
An early return for a Double-banded Plover at Bithry Inlet.
Leo Berzins 30/1 #270218
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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