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. Likewise we will not be publishing every Square-tailed Kite sighting posted to Birdline because of a significant increase in reports in recent years, particularly in coastal areas (with the exception of the far north coast).

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

January 2019
Sat 19Fork tailed Swift, Brown Honeyeater
41 Molong Street Condobolin
4 FTS flying over my house early this morning, very uncommon here. The Brown Honeyeaters have fledged two chicks and were feeding in a bottlebrush in my yard all day.Up until last Spring I had only ever seen about 4 birds in 30 years but now there are pairs all over town. Nicest day of the year today, only 38 degrees. Birds have been suffering badly.
Warren Chad 20/1 #236626
Yellow-tailed black cockatoo
Marrickville (Ewart Street)
One yellow-tailed black cockatoo calling and flying south over Ewart Street towards the golf course and Cooks River
Fiona Campbell 19/1 #236619
Diamond Dove
Driveway of ‘The Dip’ homestead. The Dip Rd, Breeza.
A solitairy male Diamond Dove was observed perched in a stand of well established native tree planting’s along the driveway. A rare sighting in this part of the world. Part of the current eastward irruption of this species given dry conditions out west.
George Madani 19/1 #236618
Wed 16Common Sandpiper
Taren Point Foreshore Pathway
Continuing bird at Taren Point. Observed bobbing on a mangroves beach south side of the boat ramp, close to where it was reported by David Sinnott on Monday this week. eBird checklist
Richard Murray 16/1 #236604
Fork-tailed Swift & White-throated Needletail
Between Erina, Terrigal, Forresters Beach, Bateau Bay and Shelley Beach
This morning between Shelley Beach, Bateau Bay, Forresters Beach, Terrigal and Erina, in the period 745 am to 830 am, four different observers recorded mixed flocks of Fork-tailed Swifts and White-throated Needletails over a distance of 13 kms. The sum total of the birds recorded at the different sites was 510 WTN and 100+ FTS, however, it is obvious the birds were spread over the whole length of that bit of Central Coast coastline as the birds were being seen at the same time. Therefore the sum total of the number of birds must have been many more!
Alan Morris, Daniel McKeon, Robin Walker and Nick Carson 16/1 #236602
Tue 15Freckled Duck
Moss Vale saleyards dam
I was thrilled to see 2 Freckled Ducks on the dam late morning. Only my second Southern Highlands record of this rare species. Also present on dam: 6 Blue-billed Duck, 3 Pink-eared Duck and several Hoary-headed Grebe. Also stoked to see a Bar-shouldered Dove behind sale yards in paddock - only my second BSD record for Southern Highlands.
Lorne Johnson 15/1 #236600
Stubble Quail
High Range, Wombeyan Caves
3 birds heard about 5km west of High Range, in paddocks each side of Wombeyan Caves Rd. Also present: Brown and Rufous Songlarks and Richards Pipits. SQ and both species of songlarks are rarely recorded in the Southern Highlands.
Lorne Johnson 15/1 #236599
Mon 14highlightCommon Sandpiper
Taren Point Foreshore Pathway
Spotted next to the derelict platform 10m northwest of the rockwall at the St George & Sutherland Shire Anglers Club on rocky/shelly exposed low tide shore. eBird checklist
David Sinnott 15/1 #236595
Sun 13Streaked Shearwater, Shy Albatross
Clovelly Beach
Streaked Shearwater south at 9am, Shy Albatross south at 5:40pm -both close in shore
Stephen Hey 13/1 #236583
Streaked Shearwaters, Shy Albatross
Sydney Harbour National Park,North head
Highlights of a seawatch from North Head today was 2 Streaked Shearwaters and 2 Shy Albatross
Michael Ronan 13/1 #236580
highlightOriental cuckoo
Castlereagh Nature Reserve
A single bird observed perched in Eucalyptus fibrosa along the North trail near junction of Powerline trail
Peter Lockhart 13/1 #236579
Sat 12highlightCommon Gull-billed Tern, Terek Sandpiper, Common Tern and shorebirds
Stockton Sandspit
Stockton Sandspit on the falling tide was very productive, despite the numerous disturbances by fishermen walking around and across the salt marsh. One Common Gull-billed Tern (ssp. affinus) roosting with its Aussie mates, presumably the same bird reported at Stockton Beach this week. Three Common Terns stopped briefly on the mudflat. One Terek Sandpiper feeding and heaps of other shorebirds. Combined total of 18 terns and shorebird species. (Moderator's Note: The Common Gull-billed Tern is on the Review List for the NSWORAC and may be accepted subject to a submission to the Committee. AKM) eBird checklist
Richard Murray 13/1 #236581
Little Tern
Dee Why Lagoon
Rarely sighted on Sydney's Northern Beaches, a pair of Little Terns one of which was actively fishing and bringing food to a third bird, a juvenile, resting on the sandy shore with the other adult. Also nearby, the local Tawny Grassbird pair, a flushed Buff-banded Rail, 3 Pied Oystercatchers, and 2 Ospreys resting on a log. (Moderator''s Note: Littke Terns breed in Botany Bay and have had a reasonably succesful year at Karagi Pt The Entrance where a minimum of 17 young have fledged. Within a few daya of fledging the parents some times take the chicks well away from the colony while others stay in rhe vicinity. Could be from any colony!.AKM)
David Sawyer 12/1 #236572
Fri 11highlightBlack-breasted Kite
Juvenile bird soaring with Black Kites and Whistling Kites. Clearly distinguishable by white lateral underwing patches and short tail
Andrew Martin 19/1 #236617
Brahminy Kite
Pioneer Dairy, Tuggerah
1st time I've seen a Brahminy Kite over the Dairy, a juvenile. Also sighted were a Whistling Kite and juv. WBSE.
Biggles Csolander 11/1 #236568
Thu 10Tawny Grassbird
Maroubra Beach
One bird heard calling from vegetation at southern end of beach close to beginning of track to Magic Point. I've never heard a TG here before. Interestingly, there are no records on eBird.
Lorne Johnson 10/1 #236563
highlightCommon Gull-billed Tern
Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton Beach)
A single CGbT was present among a larger flock of AGbT this afternoon. Total count of AGbT was 88, with many birds flying south, potentially headed to Stockton Sandspit. Also 51 A. Pied Oystercatchers present, but no sign of the previously recorded SIPO.
Dan Williams 10/1 #236561
Diamond Dove
Corner of Wollar Road and Hulks Rd Merriwa
We decided to try for these today going on Mick Rodericks and Dan Williams sighting earlier in the week. We managed to locate two birds a pair plus heard another near by so three present atm a great find! Also present Restless Flycatcher, Dusky Woodswallows with two newly fledged young, White-browed Woodswallows and a glimpse of several Diamond Firetails. (Moderator's Note: Steve Roderick also had a total of five Diamond Doves in this stretch of Wollar [Ringwood] Road yesterday 10/01. MR).
Darren Earnshaw and Fiona Earnshaw 10/1 #236560
Wed 9highlightAleutian Terns
Old Bar spit
10 birds counted at 5.30pm. On the periphery of a flock of Common and Crested terns. Walking in from Mudbishops point rd they were the first Terns encountered. One was bathing, 4x2 were resting on the sand within a 20m radius and a further bird was 10m away across a small area of water. (Moderator's Note: This is the highest count so far this season. Numbers did build slightly around this time last year as well. It will be interesting to see if numbers keep increasing this season. MR)
Greg McKay 10/1 #236555
Australian Shelduck
Bicentennial Park (Sydney Olympic Park)--Waterbird Refuge
2 birds adult females at the hide Waterbird Refuge Bicentennial Park. First reported at this site on 3/1/19.
Gerard Duane 9/1 #236552
Australian Hobby
I was a little surprised to see an Australian Hobby over home this morning. I don't think I've ever seen one in the inner-west of Sydney before.
Lorne Johnson 9/1 #236551
Tue 8highlightAustralian Little Bittern
Lake Wallace
Seen flying between reed beds three times between 9AM and 12PM in southern end of the lake eBird checklist
Michael Rutkowski 8/1 #236544
Laughing Kookaburra
Thornleigh, NSW
New born Kookaburra appears to have no white markings - not sure if this is rare (Moderator's Note: melanistic bird).
John Whitty 8/1 #236543
highlightAustralasian Bittern
Fletcher (Hunter Region, NSW)
Seen flying low over the wetlands in a NW direction at 9 am. approximate location: 32°51'51.8"S 151°38'06.4"E -32.864380, 151.635115
Paul Pellegrini 8/1 #236542
Mon 7highlightDiamond Doves
Ringwood Road and Roma Road, Upper Hunter
Three Diamond Doves seen in the past two days in the Upper Hunter. Two birds were seen along Ringwood Road 7/01/19, just to the north of Goulburn River National Park, then one bird 8/01/19 at the crossing of Lorrimer Creek along Roma Road, north-west of Merriwa. All birds vocal. One of the Ringwood Rd birds seen again briefly this morning. This is an extremely scarce species in the Hunter Valley. See
Mick Roderick and Dan Williams 8/1 #236546
highlightBlack Honeyeater
Split Rock Reservoir
I located a male during a quick visit to the toilet area. Initially I grabbed the bino's to ID some woodswallows but then saw a small black and white honeyeater flying into mistletoe behind the toilet block. It was spinebill-sized with a black head, neck and chest, with white underparts and no white on the wing. eBird checklist
Matt Hinze 7/1 #236537
highlightEastern Yellow Wagtail
Hexham Swamp Nature Reserve--Old Pipeline Track
Eastern Yellow Wagtail still present at Hexham Swamp. One bird clearly heard calling in the mangroves about 50 m from the end of the Old Pipeline Track. It seemed to be only a few metres away but frustratingly I could not get a look at it. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy 7/1 #236534
Sun 6Wandering Whistling-Duck
Pitt Town Lagoon
2 birds present to the left of the hide at 4:30pm
Stephen Hey 6/1 #236531
highlightAustralian Shelduck, Marsh Sandpiper
Sydney Olympic Park
A pair of Australian Shelduck observed today at the waterbird Refuge as reported on Birdline yesterday. This is a most unusual sighting for this site. Photos of both birds in ebird list.The Marsh Sandpiper is also still present. (Moderator's Note: These birds were first reported at the same site by Terry & Audrey Burgess on 3/1/19, see eBird report. It is amazing to me, that Shelducks are pretty low numbers in NSW at present but yet yesterday at Werribee STW when we went to see the Tufted Duck, we would have seen between 4-5000 Australian Shelducks. The numbers were staggering! AKM). eBird checklist
Jenny & Rod Stiles 6/1 #236529
highlightPlum-headed Finch
Carrs Creek Bridge, Grafton
A pair of Plum-headed Finches observed flying over creek, alerted by their calls. Subsequently perched on nearby overhead powerlines, good views through scope. They then dropped into lobg grass in nearby farmers field, unable to relocate. Very rare sighting for lower Clarence Valley. eBird checklist
Darryl Eggins 6/1 #236522
Sat 5highlightBeach Stone-curlew & Brown Honeyeater
Shoalhaven Heads Inlet
Beach Stone-curlew first sighted & reported by Thomas Burley yesterday. BSC was southern side of the inlet. Brown Honeyeater was along the dune treeline east of the BSC locaton. (Moderator's Note: a very southerly coastal record of Brown Honeyeater. MR) eBird checklist
Paul Lynch 5/1 #236510
highlightAustralian Shelduck
Bicentennial Park (Sydney Olympic Park)--Waterbird Refuge
Pair of shelduck. Record picture through scope.
Michael Barton 5/1 #236509
Fri 4Terek Sandpiper; Red Knot; Curlew Sandpiper
Stockton Sandspit
3 Tereks roosting on the shingle beach to the NE of the spit with 32 Grey-tailed Tattlers; 2 Curlew Sandpipers rooting in samphire area with approx 90 Pacific Golden Plovers; single Red Knot not seen until birds started feeding. Also 2 Caspian Tern; 4 Gull-billed Tern; approx 40 Whimbrel (hard to count as many birds hunkered down with it being very hot). Good numbers of E Curlew (est 100+) and much larger numbers of Pied Stilt (120+) and Red-necked Avocet (at least 600). Session curtailed as some idiot bait-digger walked right across the roosting area and through the birds waiting for the tide to fall and flushed the lot. eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 5/1 #236514
Black-necked Stork; Marsh Sandpiper; Curlew Sandpiper
Ash Island
Single stork on pond next to railway embankment; Marsh Sandpiper in same place mixed in with rolling flock of 30-40 Greenshanks. @ Curlew Sandpiper here sitting with 12 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 5/1 #236513
highlightBeach Stone-curlew
Shoalhaven Heads Inlet
First found this morning by Thomas Burley. Observed by Kim and I at 1:35pm in the inlet estuary close to Comerong Island. There are past records for them in the Shoalhaven region.
Carla Jackett and Kim Touzel 5/1 #236508
highlightShining Flycatcher
Cobaki Broadwater, TWest of weed Heads
After much searching i located an adult male flycatcher and an immature bird in nearly complete male plumage. This is in an area where i had found them in late 2018 and had thought they were breeding. I think this is the first potential breeding record for NSW.
David Charley 4/1 #236507
Marsh Sandpiper, Zebra Finch
Sydney Olympic Park
A Marsh Sandpiper was observed in front of the birdhide at Sydney Olympic Park this morning. We have never seen one there before and it has been a number of years since one has been reported there on ebird. We also saw at least 9 Zebra Finch at Wentworth Point, so it is good to see they are hanging on there still. eBird checklist
Jenny & Rod Stiles 4/1 #236502
Thu 3White-browed Woodswallow
Castlereagh Nature Reserve
Was very pleased to hear and see a good number of White-browed Woodswallows on the Herb Trail (about 200m from Llandilo Road). I did a circuit going back via Cattle Trail and counted around 30 birds and you could hear calling frequently so I think its safe to say a higher number than this. This was reported earlier and certainly looks like a significant breeding event as many immature birds present and being fed by adults. Also good numbers of Dusky Woodswallows too as well as the usual Fuscous Honeyeaters.
Simon Blanchflower 3/1 #236499
Tue 1Satin Bowerbird
Cooks River, near Steel Park in Marrickville
One juvenile/female seen in the trees along the mangroves near Steel Park. No recording of Satin Bowerbirds at this site previously on eBird, I walk down there regularly but had never seen one there before. Could not find it again the next morning.
Stephanie Morse 3/1 #236496
Australasian Figbird
Mount Kaputar National Park--Upper Bullawa Creek
My first for the season, and the farthest in inland NSW for the season that I can find on ebird. Right by the roadside, within 50 m of the entrance gate to the NP.
Michael Dahlem 1/1 #236479

December 2018
Mon 31 Bush Stone-curlew
Koala Beach Estate, Pottsville
4 maybe more. Gathered around 8.15pm & hung out in residential bushland fringe in small park near Melia Close. All adults however one juvenile spotted a few day previous a few streets away. Very loud behaviour. Common area for BSCurlews who are regulars here. Sadly one found dead on road Christmas time further down on Lomandra Drive, in the same estate where a chick was hatched early December, last seen late December by me. Not known whether it was the same bird!
Irene Timmins 1/1 #236478
highlightLittle Bittern
Lake Wallace, Wallerawang
I watched a Little Bittern fly around the lake edge from one reed bed to another on the western shore. There are currently hundreds of campers and caravanners camping right up to the water and reedbeds for the New Year's fireworks, so I wasn't able to search properly for other species. It’s clear there are thousands of coots, ducks, etc currently on the lake but many have been pushed closer to the eastern side, which is where the fireworks will be launched.
Carol Probets 31/12 #236475
highlightOriental Cuckoo
Bega NSW
8:30 am my wild garden near Bega River: Sparrow alarm calls as a large bird sweeps up into nearby Casuarina tree. FB Australian Bird ID group believes this to be ORIENTAL CUCKOO which would be a significant sighting - actually the furthest southern appearance of this species, far away from its normal winter ranges much further north. I managed to take 4 photos through fly screen as it flew off in a low swooping way heading in the direction of the Bega river (East Street side). Initially I thought it might be a goshawk given its large body size. It would be amazing to confirm its presence in this region.
Motria Tymkiw von Schreiber 31/12 #236472
Sun 30Pacific Folk Tailed Swift/ White Throated Needle Tails
We were observing for awhile a small group (10-20) of White Throated Needle Tails at quite a distance away however they came closer and when viewed closer we got our first good views or Folk Tailed Swifts at least 3-4 seen flying at speed. Most notable thing about them (to me at least) was the long pointed tail as opposed to the shorter more square tail of the Needle Tails. A good first sighting of this species for me.
Darren Earnshaw and Fiona Earnshaw 30/12 #236465
Pacific Swift
Long Reef Golf Course
About 150-200 Pacific Swifts circling and feeding over Long Reef Golf Course this afternoon
Michael Ronan 30/12 #236463
highlightRegent Honeyeater (2)
Ray Lawler Park, Morpeth
Two adult Regent Honeyeaters feeding in a flowering Eucalypt on the small island close to the carpark. Both were wild, unbanded individuals. Record passed on to the birdlife team. (Moderator's Note: Birds were first found by Marg Clarke 28/12. Just the second record of Regent HEs in Maitland LGA in the past 25+ years. MR). eBird checklist
Dan & Els Pendavingh 30/12 #236462
Sat 29Grey Goshawk
Peppermint Place, Old Bar, NSW
First sighting of these magnificent birds on our property. Pair first seen in our area on 27th, appear to have managed a kill yesterday afternoon and have been observed since. Identification using Pizzey & Knight Field Guide (Moderator's Note: Publishing because there are remarkably few records from Old Bar and surrounds in Birdata and eBird. MR).
Ron McDermott 30/12 #236460
Stubble Quail
Hexham Swamp Nature Reserve--Old Pipeline Track
We arrived early today to try for Eastern Yellow Wagtail with no luck on that front. With sightings of many Tawny Grassbirds and Cisticolas, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers etc with the odd Swamp Harrier. However on starting our exit from this site we happened to notice a mature male Stubble Quail, had good views of the bird for several minutes before it slipped quietly into the long grass.
Darren Earnshaw, Greg Miles and Davo 29/12 #236454
Fri 28White-cheeked Honeyeater, Pacific Swift
Kianga Lake, Narooma North
At least one, likely two birds were found feeding and bathing in a regular forest soak just north of Kianga Lake along a 4WD track. Not at all a common bird this far south into its range. Five Pacific Swifts also flew over quite low in humid air around sunset, at the entrance to the treatment plant road. Also of note is the number of Scarlet Honeyeaters in the area - the dominant call in the forest with eight birds attending this one small pool alone. eBird checklist
Oakley H Germech 28/12 #236451
Blue-billed Duck
Curly Dick Rd, Meadow Flat at -33.4524, 149.9256
3 males and 2 females on the large dam/pond about 1.5kms after turning south off Great Western Highway. Also a single Australasian Shoveler and well as lots of Coots, Grebes and Hardheads.
Tom Wilson 28/12 #236450
Thu 27Pheasant Coucal
Heard calling from below fire station at interface of weed plume and sandstone woodland.
Paul Burcher 28/12 #236443
Pacific Emerald Dove
Saltwater National Park
Right at the start of five islands trail flushed from ground next to trail and landed on a log good views eBird checklist
Theo Kemp 27/12 #236441
Wed 26King Quail
Hexham Ash Island.
My Wife myself decided after an unsuccessful search for EasteryYellow Wagtail at Hexham Pipeline track we decided to head to Ash Island we decided once there to turn down the Scotts Point rd which ends near a boat ramp where we parked and walk the remaining part on foot had a great siting of a Australian Hobby then I left my wife for 10 minutes or so in the shade to try for King Quail. I walked the long grass on a side track for about 250mts or so then finally up burst 4 King Quail! Excellent for a first time visit! Not an easy find from what I’ve been told.
Darren Earnshaw 30/12 #236468
Sun 23Regent Bowerbird
Dudley NSW
Saw 5 male regent bowerbirds and several females and/or juveniles all perch in a spotted gum, staying there for about 5 minutes before all moving off together in a flock. Never seen such behaviour before. Often see single male/female pair here.
Stephen Ryan 7/1 #236538
Eastern Koel
Boorowa, nsw
One bird heard at the park at the Northern end of the town. Did not see the bird but it was calling strongly. I have this bird in my backyard all summer at Dalmeny, NSW and am very familiar with the call.
Bill Martin 3/1 #236494
Shy Albatross and Black-browed Albatross
Mistral Point, Maroubra
As well as one of each of the Albatrosses, we also saw at least 2 Long-tailed Jaeger, one close dark morph Arctic Jaeger with an interesting, extensive golden nape, 8 Pomarine Jaegers and perhaps the most interesting observation was at least 10 Sooty Shearwaters compared to 15 Short-tailed Shearwaters.
David Mitford & Robert Griffin 24/12 #236423
Brown Honeyeater [Buff-banded Rail]
Eastlake Golf Course
Early this morning a single Brown Honeyeater flew from tree to tree along the edge of the marsh adjoining the second fairway. Later on, a Buff-banded Rail brought her [?] three fairly large offspring out from the reeds to drink and bathe in a puddle on the golf buggy track at the same spot - one of the puddles favoured by the Fairy Martins for gathering mud for their nests in the nearby culvert.
Ted Nixon 23/12 #236413
highlightEastern Yellow Wagtail
Hexham Swamp Nature Reserve--Old Pipeline Track
3x Yellow Wagtails at the start of the mangroves landing in the trees and on the track. (Good on you Graeme!!.AKM)
David Catt and Graeme Catt 23/12 #236412
Sat 22highlightLittle Bittern
Wallaroi Ck 20km South of Condobolin
A two hour visit to a little swamp along the Wallaroi Ck just before sunset yielded three Little Bittern. Two could be heard calling strongly from the cumbunge reeds and one flew over me as it flew between reed clumps
Warren Chad 23/12 #236410
White-browed woodswallow
Castlereagh Nature Reserve
Birds have been in the reserve for several weeks and have bred. There are a good number of family groups in the eastern section of the reserve, several with recently fledged juveniles.
David Ongley 22/12 #236409
highlightLittle Bittern
Sydney Park, Alexandria
At 7:25 this morning, when walking along the southern edge of the main pond with the island, I flushed a juvenile/immature Little Bittern from reeds. I had clear views of the bird in flight for 6 seconds through my binoculars. It flew more slowly than a snipe, its legs trailing. Yellow panels in wings distinct. The bird flew into dense reeds/rushes on the other side of the pond and vanished. At the southern end of the island there is a log which turtles get on. The Bittern flew into all the rushes directly east of that log.
Lorne Johnson 22/12 #236403
Fri 21highlightOriental Plover
Airforce Beach at Salty Lagoon, Evans Head
5 Oriental Plovers found roosting on the beach at Salty Creek mouth, Airforce Beach, approx. 4km north of Evans Head. First found at 2:40pm, they were still there when I left at 4:15pm, but could not be found when I returned with friend at about 5:15pm. eBird checklist
Steve McBride 21/12 #236396
Black Bittern
Gloucester, along Gloucester river between the caravan park and Thunderbolts highway
To my surprise I flushed at least 3 possibly 4 Black Bitterns along the river at the edge of town. Good views in flight, I think they were all adults, or close to adult plumage. Lots of storm damage and cleaning currently happening. Other birds of interest: Australian Hobby, begging and territorial accipter sp., calling Glossy Black Cockatoo, couldn't locate the last may have been flying over.
Vincent Mourik 21/12 #236395
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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