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. We will however be more open to publishing these and other species during the period of COVID-19 restrictions.

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

January 2021
Tue 19highlightBuller's Shearwater, Streaked Shearwater, Long-tailed Jaeger
Magic Point, Maroubra
A seawatch in the afternoon produced eight species of shearwater, including a single Buller's and two Streaked Shearwaters. Notable also were a large number of Sooty Shearwaters. 7-8 of these species (uncertainty due to unidentified fluttering types) were observed following 50+ Short-beaked Common Dolphin which were actively hunting baitfish which resembled Slimy Mackerel (too distant to be sure), but only Buller's was exclusively seen during this event. A distant Long-tailed Jaeger was also observed. High shearwater diversity and good numbers, in moderate-strong S-SE winds, with active foraging of baitfish by cetaceans and seabirds felt similar to last January-Feb when Bulwer's Petrel were observed in an influx into the Tasman. It would be worth having a seawatch from the NSW coast in similar conditions over the next couple of months in case this species is again present in our waters. eBird checklist
Simon Gorta and Max Breckenridge 20/1 #259592
Mon 18Lewin's Rail
Seapeace Wetland (Private property) Ewingsdale
2 distinct territories with 2 birds calling at the mid-wetland site and one bird calling at the far eastern site.
June Harris and Gary Quirk 19/1 #259590
Sun 17highlightNew Caledonian / Coral Sea Storm-petrel, Gould’s Petrel, (possible) Buller’s Shearwater
Pelagic off Port Stephens
A New Caledonian / Coral Sea Storm-petrel was the highlight of a Port Stephens pelagic today amongst twelve species of tubenoses. The bird was with the boat for nearly two hours and allowed close-range viewing. It has a rather pale underwing for this species but the size, behaviour, broad-handed wing and white flecking on the face all point to NCSP. This is the fourth NCSP seen off the Hunter Region coastline. Also seen was a Gould’s Petrel and a bird that looks much like a Bullers Shearwater “photobombing” the background of an image with the storm-petrel in the foreground. Other birds included a few White-faced Storm-petrels, two Grey-faced Petrels, two Shy-type and one Black-browed type albatrosses and other expected shearwaters. The mammal highlight was a Gould’s Wattled Bat that remarkably flew in and latched onto one of the boat’s outriggers where it stayed for ten minutes before flying off again. eBird list by Simon Gorta and Michael Kearns. eBird checklist
Mick Roderick and others aboard the MV Contagious 17/1 #259582
highlightWhite-necked Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
Spurred on by the news from Port Stephens, had a look at Maroubra, only moderate winds, very few birds, so a lone White-necked Petrel was a unexpected bonus. 12 Pomarine Jaegers only showed themselves when they flew together from one rest spot to one another a few hundred metres away. 4 Flesh-footed Shearwaters, a few Short-tailed Shearwaters and only a few dozen Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were also noted.
David Mitford 17/1 #259579
Restless Flycatcher, Little Lorikeet
Yengo National Park--Mogo Campground and surrounds
An adult female Restless Flycatcher observed; a rare visitor to the Central Coast. 100+ Little Lorikeet (conservative count) feeding on flowering Angophora bakeri and Eucalyptus piperita. Also a few Dusky Woodswallow pairs with juveniles, a number of Painted Button-quail calling and a single Brush Bronzewing. The area is starting to show signs of recovery with recent good rainfall following extensive wildfires late 2019.
Andrew Robinson and Dean Purcell 17/1 #259578
Fri 15Sooty Oystercatcher
Nobbys rock platform, Newcastle
At least 25 birds were seen roosting, during high tide. This is an average peak count in recent years,
Jeanette stephenson 15/1 #259563
Thu 14highlightAustralian Shelduck
Boyters Lane , Jerseyville New South Wales
2 Australian Shelducks seen on small island in middle of lagoon on opposite side of road to the bird hide. 3 photos posted on ebird . Just one posted below. Apologies for quality of the photos but they were just for identification rather than for anything else. eBird checklist
Peter and Julia Hudd 16/1 #259571
Wed 13Stubble Quail
High Range
More Stubble Quails! 2 heard calling where Drevo's Lane meets Wombeyan Caves Rd. Another 2 heard approximately 3km west of there, where I've heard them before. A bumper season for SQs in the Southern Highlands. All birds heard between 2pm and 2:30pm.
Lorne Johnson 13/1 #259554
Budgerigar, Plum headed Finch
Gosling Creek Reserve< Orange
One budgerigar along fence line at south end of the reservoir. Same location as recorded and photographed on the 2nd January. Female Plum-headed Finch. Purple-brown crown with white spots on brown wings. Faint brown barring on white throat, breast and belly. Finch seen along the causeway on the western edge of the reservoir. eBird checklist
Stephen Gross 13/1 #259551
highlightRose-crowned Fruit Dove
Taverners Hill LR, Leichhardt
Bird flew past at the start of the monthly survey by the Inner West Environmental Group bird group. Another example of the value of the GreenWay as a bird dispersal route.
David Hair 13/1 #259550
Tue 12Glossy Black Cockatoo
7am heard then saw pair as they flew eastward overhead. Perfect start to the working day. Haven't seen them around much since this time last year.
Paul Schofield 12/1 #259548
Ground Cuckoo-shrike
Werris Creek Road, 10km north of Quirindi
2 adult and one immature Ground Cuckoo-shrike observed beside road. Initially perched on cross arm of power pole, one adult on adjacent powerline being harassed by a Willie Wagtail. Adults flew to nearby fenceline, perching for a while on fence posts. Immature flew toward them and adults flew off with it to northwest.
Darryl, Gary and Margaret Eggins 12/1 #259547
White-throated Needletail
Larool Creek Valley, Thornleigh
Big flock of 100+ WTNT
Lewis Benham 12/1 #259546
Stubble Quail
Woodlands (near Mittagong)
3 birds calling in paddocks 1.4km down Woodlands Rd. Never heard at this location before. I also had a SQ at the saleyards ponds at Moss Vale on the 11 of January at 2:30pm - bird was filmed as it crossed old road between paddocks.
Lorne Johnson 12/1 #259541
Mon 11Fork-tailed Swift
Excellent to see 8 birds flying highish over Church St (at Morton National Park end) late afternoon. Only my second record of FTS for Bundanoon. One WT Needtletail with them.
Lorne Johnson 12/1 #259542
Turquoise Parrot
Sutton Forest
Stunned and thrilled to see a pair of Turquoise Parrots flying west over Hume Hwy between Sallys Corner Rd and Canyonleigh Rd at 9:15am. My first record of TPs in the Southern Highlands. Carla Jackett recorded a pair on Sallys Corner Rd in 2017. Very rare birds in the Highlands.
Lorne Johnson 12/1 #259540
Superb Parrot
Between Grenfell and Young, about 20 km from Young
3 Superb Parrots flew up from middle of the road directly in front of the car so we had a good look. At least one was an adult male. The birds were directly outside a property called Ellerslie, 2104.
Mandy Graham 11/1 #259538
Sun 10Common Sandpiper
Eastern shore of Mooney Mooney Creek near Snake Island on the Hawkesbury River
A single individual seen feeding on waterside rocks on the eastern shore of Mooney Mooney Creek near Snake Island on the Hawkesbury River.
Nicole Matthews 12/1 #259549
highlightBuff-breasted & Broad-billed Sandpipers, Grey Plover, White-winged Black Tern
Lake Wollumboola
Sunday saw no less than 18 birders at the lake circa 11AM - and probably a greater total throughout the day. All the Holy Grails are still there except I don't believe anyone managed the Long-toed Stints. Seen were: 1x Buff-breasted Sandpiper, at least 3x Pectoral Sandpiper, 1x Broad-billed Sandpiper, 2x Lesser Sand-plover, 2x White-winged Black-tern, 6x Grey Plover, Red Knots, 1x Great Knot, 1x Caspian Tern and the hybrid Great x Pied Cormorant. Browsing eBird there are also Sunday reports for 2x White-fronted Chat, Fairy Tern x Little Tern hybrid (presume chicks), 2x Australian Shelduck, 1x Sanderling, 2x Common Tern. I counted 100+ Little Terns on 1 sandbar - estimate 130+ total with many chicks everywhere. Red-capped Plovers also breeding. Needless to say, near countless Sharp-tailed Sandpipers and Red-necked Stints and the 2,200+ bird flock of Teal spp. is still present. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding 11/1 #259539
megamegaKentish Plover (2nd individual)
Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar
A non-breeding Kentish Plover has been found at Farquhar Inlet by some observers whilst unsuccessfully searching for the bird found on Thursday (which has not been seen since). The second bird has the hallmark features of Kentish - stance/gait, longish bill, dark tab and darkish legs, described as marginally bigger than Red-capped, smaller than Double-banded. The photo here was taken by Daniel Thomis on Saturday, though the bird was seen and photographed yesterday. To my knowledge there has not been an instance where two Kentish Plovers have been present at a site in Australia concurrently, though there were rumours of a second individual in 2002 when there was a well-documented Kentish present at this same site. To keep us on our toes, it appears that there might be a Double-banded Plover out there with a near-complete white collar (we are still working on that bird!).
Lene Parashou, Daniel Thomis, Steph Owen (and others?) 11/1 #259537
Black-necked Stork
Between Kew and John's river, Pacific highway
Single bird seen clearly flying low over the motorway carrying large beakful of nesting material. (Moderator's Note: There is a known resident pair in this location, that nested in the second half of last year, maybe nesting is underway again, or the nest was destroyed by flooding? AKM)
Caleb Murray 10/1 #259534
Sat 9Pheasant Coucal
Gwydir Wetlands--'Old Dromana' (restricted access)
1x Pheasant Coucal adjacent to cumbungi filled drain with overland flow spreading out.
Patrick Johnston 10/1 #259530
Chestnut Teal (x2000)
Lake Wollumboola
Made a fairly accurate count of the large mixed Teal flock currently at Lake Wollumboola - circa 2,220 birds present and I estimated circa 10% Grey Teal. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding 9/1 #259529
Fri 8Australian Little Bittern
Gwydir Wetlands- Bunnor Bird Hide
Late afternoon 1x Little Bittern sighted on top of reeds in front of Bird Hide.
Patrick Johnston 9/1 #259524
highlightAleutian Tern, Great Knot, update on Kentish Plover
Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar
At least 21 birders present at Farquhar Inlet at low tide but so far as it is known, no one saw the Kentish Plover that was seen and photographed the previous day. Highlights were 13 Great Knots, 69 Pacific Golden Plovers, 2 Double-banded Plovers, 52 Red-necked Stints, up to 5 Aleutian Terns, 1 adult Little Tern feeding 2 flying young, 28 Little Terns in non-breeding plumage, 3 Sanderlings (but not seen by us), 16 Eastern Curlew 109 Bar-tailed Godwits, 20+ Red-capped Plover, Sea-Eagle and Osprey. eBird checklist
Alan & Tim Morris 9/1 #259523
highlightGould's Petrel, Buller's Shearwater, Long-tailed Jaeger
Mistral Point, Maroubra
Fantastic afternoon seawatching from Mistral Point, with my first sighting of a Gould's Petrel from the headland, and four Buller's Shearwaters. Three long-tailed jaegers were also seen. Five other shearwater species and a pair of little penguins also seen. See the eBird list for more details. eBird checklist
Simon Gorta 8/1 #259522
Buller's Shearwater
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
3 Buller's Shearwaters were seen during a sea watch off Long Reef point this afternoon.
Michael Ronan 8/1 #259519
Thu 7Pacific Baza
14 Brooman road Morton nsw 2538
Seen in tree on our property. Pretty sure its a pacific baza. (Moderators note: Appears to be an immature baza which may indicate local breeding which could make it the most southerly breeding record in NSW. MB).
Leanne Brook 15/1 #259567
Great Knot (8), Pacific Golden Plover (70+)
Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar
Not quite as exciting as the Kentish Plover found by Liam, but nice to see more than just a few Great Knot and a pretty incredible 70+ bird flock of Pacific Golden Plover that flushed from the saltmarsh. (Moderator's Note: There were 72 Pacific Golden Plover at Farquhar Inlet on 9/12/20, so those numbers have remained constant see #259367 ! AKM)
Andrew Robinson, Dean Purcell, Liam Murphy 7/1 #259514
megamegaKentish Plover
Farquhar Inlet, Old Bar
Kentish Plover in partial breeding plumage observed through early afternoon at about -31.9541345, 152.6000551. Many photos taken, back of camera shot attached and will upload actual images to eBird, Facebook later. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy, Andrew Robinson, Dean Purcell & Steve Roderick 7/1 #259513
Hooded Plover
Narrawallee Inlet
Checked the protected area at 1pm when rain eased and saw 2 adults and 2 chicks near the fenced area. Tried to photographed through the scope with a phone - my apologies for the poor quality of the pics.
Anna Kathryn Gillespie 7/1 #259512
Wed 6highlightLong-toed Stint (2)
Lake Wollumboola
Two Long-toed Stints relocated (first reported by Demetris Bertziliotis on 26 Dec 20) at the lake sighted in both north, near the tern nesting fence and south-east corner. Highly mobile and difficult to pin down on occasions with patience however allowed some close approaches. Buff-breasted Sandpiper still present in SE corner and two Pectoral Sandpipers and hundreds of other migratory shorebirds present. Also of note a hybrid Pied-Great Cormorant first ID'd by David James.
Dion Hobcroft and David James 6/1 #259508
Mon 4Superb Fruit Dove
Davidson NSW
Juvenile Photo verified from Australian Bird ID Facebook group Flew out of thick ground cover
Simone Turkovic 4/1 #259499
Australasian Figbird
Nr Whitlam Centre Liverpool NSW
One female eating berries on a curry tree
Ian Bailey 4/1 #259496
highlightCommon Sandpiper
Townsend St Reserve Jindabyne
Small brownish wader with whitish wedge at armpit. Wagged tail as it moved. Reported on the 30th December in this area. The bird when flushed flew to an old boat in the middle of the small bay.
Stephen Gross 4/1 #259495
Eastern Osprey
Gore Cove. Two Ospreys perched on the rim of an old oil tank [formerly Shell] this morning for 1/2 hour. Presumably the pair that breed on the Lane Cove River at Mowbray Park, West Chatswood. I don't have access to the plant, so the zoom photos on my little Canon would not win any prizes!
Ted Nixon 4/1 #259493
Sun 3Eastern Osprey
Bradleys Head
A pair of Eastern Ospreys was spotted repeatedly for 10 minutes around 4pm, soaring above the coastline between Bradley’s Head and Taylor’s Bay in Sydney Harbour.
Alex Cheek 5/1 #259501
Sat 2highlightMottled Petrel, Grey Ternlet
Offshore--Kiama Pelagic (SOSSA)
A slow start to the pelagic with very few birds about but around mid day more birds started coming in including a Grey Ternlet that hung around the boat for a few minutes and then a Goulds Petrel which gave a few fly bys. A distant Mottled Petrel was then seen but unfortunately it did not return for better views eBird checklist
Richard Webber 4/1 #259497
Fri 1White-winged Triller
Central Coast Wetlands (Tuggerah)
A female White-winged Triller was seen at the Wetlands on 1/1, subsequently present fir the next two days. Usually only one or two records per year for the Central Coast LGA.
Christina Port 4/1 #259494
Australasian Bittern, nesting Magpie-Geese
The Mole HSD, northenr Macquarie Marshes (private property)
One Australian Bittern seen and photographed while on a horse ride through the reedbeds on our property, when checking out the nesting Magpie Geese. The Geese nested March-April in 2020 and following good local rains, the Geese are now nesting again, at less 300-400 Geese present. Breeding Plumed Whistling Ducks were also seen.
Leeanne Hall per Alan Morris 3/1 #259492
highlightBuff-breasted Sandpiper
Lake Wollumboola
Continuing bird from December 2020. Observed well through scope about 2:00pm feeding alone close to waters edge not far from a group of roosting Red-necked Stints down SE side of lake. 4 Grey Plovers, 1 Pectoral Sandpiper, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 1 Ruddy Turnstone and Red Knots were among the many hundreds of shorebirds at the lake currently. Bumped into a few other birders at different parts of the lake.
Carla Jackett and Nerida Hudspith 2/1 #259488

December 2020
Thu 31Diamond Firetail, White-backed Swallow, Plum-headed Finch
Flaggs Road, Gungal at -32.26889, 150.46694
Five Diamond Firetail sighted on the wires along with Plum-headed Finch and Double-barred Finch near the rocky creek crossing. Approximately ten White-backed Swallow seen feeding in amongst Tree Martins over the top of the dam at the same location.
Daniel McKeon 1/1 #259479
Nombinnie Nature Reserve (East)
A massive flock of Budgerigar were present at Nombinnie nature reserve today. Counting part of one photo and then extrapolating I believe that well over 5000 birds were present. The whole flock came very close to me at one point crouching in a field. The noise was incredible. I was then lucky enough for the whole flock to fly over my head when the lot were flushed by a Brown Falcon. eBird checklist
JJ Harrison 31/12 #259478
highlightAustralian Grass Owl, Little Buttonquail, Red-chested Buttonquail, Stubble Quail, Black Falcon etc.
Cattle Lane Willow Tree
After spending the night at Cattle Lane I can report that all the target species are continuing their presence and have been joined by what I believe to be a probable Australian Grass Owl. The Owl was sighted numerous times standing on the road but always flew as soon as I got near. When it flew it’s legs hung below it and were then pulled up and extended well beyond its tail. A lone Black Falcon was seen trying to catch Galahs this morning. Numerous Stubble Quail and Little Buttonquail were heard calling all through the night from multiple points along the road. Two Banded Lapwing landed on the road just after midnight but flew off again not long after.
Daniel McKeon 31/12 #259476
Wed 30highlightBuff-breasted Sandpiper, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper
Lake Wollumboola
Report of continuing birds seen yesterday, with these observations from the north eastern corner of the lake. BB Sandpiper showed well in a mixed group of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers/Red-necked Stints on east side from about 11:30-1. Personally observed 3 each of Pectoral and 4 Broad-billed Sandpipers in with large flocks of waders (Sharp-tailed and Stints). Also on site 2xGrey Plover, 1xLesser Sand-plover, 1xGreat Knot, 13xRed Knot, 2xRuddy Turnstone, 45xBar-tailed Godwit, 3xEastern Curlew, 2xWhite-winged Black Tern, 2xCommon Tern, 1xAustralian Shelduck. No sign of the Long-toed Stint reported from any observers I spoke to. Good number of observers (20 or so) present providing good coverage. eBird checklist
Tom Wilson (and many others) 31/12 #259475
Tue 29highlightLittle Buttonquail, Australian Shelduck
Ash Island--Bellfrog Track
Little Buttonquail first seen and identified by Eric Sticklen who flagged me down, bird walking in wheel tracks about halfway along bellfrog track, occasionally ducking into grass on side of track. Excellent views within 30m, with binoculars and scope for around 10 minutes, gradually got closer as it walked towards us on track. The two shelducks still present on Wader Pond too. Photo of Little Buttonquail by Steph Owen. eBird checklist
Daniel Allen 29/12 #259460
Mon 28Emu
Brooms Head road
4 coastal emus were seen on the Brooms Head RD moving along the edges of the cane fields.
Tim Morgan 28/12 #259450
Sun 27Ground Parrot, Beach Stone-curlew
Sandon Road, Brooms Head
Both were seen on a walk around Brooms Head. On the Sandon road at about 8pm, two ground parrots were seen flying into the low scrub with another two calling in the distance. Other species of note: Beach Stone-curlew and 3x Brown quail
Tim Morgan 28/12 #259445
Sat 26White-throated Needletail
Opal Circuit, Port Macquarie
500+Birds, i would think up to 1000 birds possible. (Moderator's Note: This is one of the largest groups reported this season in NSW. AKL). See eBird list 677976127. eBird checklist
Shorty 30/12 #259474
Stubble Quail
Between Sutton Forest and Exeter
2 birds heard calling at 9:15am in a paddock where Ellsmore Rd meets Exeter Rd. Not heard in this location before. Most uncommon birds in the Southern Highlands.
Lorne Johnson 26/12 #259441
Fri 25Topknot Pigeon
Kurrajong Hills
6 in a Moreton Bay Fig are my first Kurrajong Hills record and species 163 for the home list. Rarely recorded west of the Hawkesbury. eBird checklist
Eric Finley 29/12 #259455
highlightLong-toed Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper- thousands of shorebirds
Lake Wollumboola
Great day at the lake today. Water levels have slightly dropped and bird numbers have increased in the last two weeks. The Buff-breasted was not seen today but was seen by others two days ago. Highlights was two Long-toed Stints among thousands of shorebirds. One was in the northern section of the lake, the other in the southern. Accurate counting was impossible as the birds were spread out and very flighty. 100+) Bar-tailed Godwit 2) Far Eastern Curlew 1) Whimbrel 3000+) Red-necked Stint 1000+) Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 2) Long-toed Stint 10-20) Curlew Sandpiper 2) Broad-billed Sandpiper 3+) Pectoral Sandpiper 40) Red Knot 2) Great Knot 1) Sanderling 2) Ruddy Turnstone 100+) Red-capped Plover 2) Lesser Sand Plover 200+) White-headed Stilts 2) Red-necked Avocet 8) Australian Pied Oystercatcher 1+) Fairy Tern 1) White-winged Black Tern.
Demetrios Bertzeletos 25/12 #259436
Thu 24Fork-tailed Swift
Lake Cathie,
Flock of 18, may have been more but only caught the tail end. eBird checklist
Shorty 30/12 #259473
highlightTundra Peregrine Falcon
Ash Island--Wagtail Way
Following on from previous reports the Falcon was again seen roosting on a power tower from 640am onwards. It was scoped from about 200 m away.
Dion Hobcroft 24/12 #259434
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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