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 and 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 numbers of birds. All Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot reports should be forwarded to Mick Roderick to assist in the recovery efforts of these severely declining species:

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Reports published in the past 30 hours.

June 2017
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
Wed 21Black Kite
Pacific Highway South Grafton
2 Black Kites flying over Pacific Highway, South Grafton, near flood levee.
Eric Wheeler 21/6 #231200
Little Eagle
Bruxner H'way, East Goonellabah (residential suburb of Lismore)
1 beautiful pale morph Little Eagle, being chased by crows. I managed to pull off road in heavy traffic this afternoon and observe this species not often seen in area with binos.
June Harris 21/6 #231199
Mon 19Brown Falcon
Marsden Park
One dark morph brown falcon on transmission wires north of Richmond Rd, east of South Creek at about 2:30pm.
Paul Burcher 19/6 #231180
Sun 18Grey-faced Petrel
Mistral Point, Maroubra
At least 15 Great-winged/Grey-faced Petrels today. The two that came close in sunlit conditions looked like Grey-faced Petrel candidates, but others a little too far out to see facial/bill detail. Also 5 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, 27 Black-browed Albatross, 30 Fluttering Shearwaters and 2 Giant Petrel (sp)
David Mitford 20/6 #231189
Northern Giant Petrel (juvenile)
Botany Bay National Park--Cape Banks
The bird came in close for about halve a minute, approximately 50 m's away from the cliff edge at 14:10. I could clearly see the complete absence of any facial markings, and I could with difficulty make out that the bill tip was darker, towards brownish/reddish. Further birds of note: 1 adult Kelp Gull, 1 white fronted tern, 3 black-browed Albatross, all very close to the cliffs. eBird checklist
Vincent Mourik 19/6 #231181
Sat 17Australian Magpie-white backed
Castle Cove, Sydney
A white-backed Magpie paired with a Black-backed one. This is well out of range for white backs.(Moderators Note: As previously advised on this site, our local magpies can produce white-backed offspring at times because the white-backed gene is dominant in this species. There is no evidence to show that we are being invaded by magpies from Vic.AKM).
Theo Kemp 17/6 #231166
Elegant Imperial-pigeon
Old New Brighton Road, NSW 2483
How likely is this observation. I was riding my pushbike along the Old New Brighton bike/walking track when i saw a dark coloured bird fly up off the road into some trees entwoned in vines about 100mts in front of me ... looked a bit like a male Satin Bowerbird but it was a gloomy grey day. I know the birds in this area pretty well, a Satin Bowerbird would be pretty rare anyway. I got off my bike, got out my binos and walked about 20mts and saw it come back onto the road. It was a pigeon I had never seen before. In my mind i eliminated the obvious pigeons I knew, of approx the same size... like a topknot, white-headed, brown, feral and wonga pigeons, what was obvious and what i remembered was the yellow eye, grey head and belly and the metallic green sheen on the wing coverts, like an emerald dove and head a bit like a topknot without the topknot and a beak like a white-headed pigeon Arriving home 10 minutes later and consulting the new Australian Bird Guide, the only bird that came close was the Elegant Imperial-pigeon. I had been assisting with planting trees for the NPWS so did not have a camera An hour later at 3pm when i returned it was gone. A Rose-crown and a Bar-shoulded was calling. I will keep looking, this time with a camera. [Moderator Comment: Published in case there are others in the area that may be interested in trying to follow up this promising report. AR. Subsequently, it has been pointed out to the Moderator's that some juvenile White-headed Pigeons, when transitioning to adult plumage have the appearance of an EIP.AKM)
Jan Olley 17/6 #231164
Lewin's Rail
Deep Creek Reserve, Narrabeen
Was excited to get my 100th bird species for Deep Creek today; a Lewin's Rail calling from an area of thick Gahnia sieberiana.
Jayden Walsh 17/6 #231163
Fri 16highlightBlue-billed Duck, Freckled Duck
Tallawarra Ash Pond 3, Yallah (Restricted Access)
28 Freckled Ducks and 21 Blue-billed Ducks counted at the ponds. These are good numbers for this site. eBird checklist
Carla Jackett, Kim Touzel 18/6 #231171
Square-tailed Kite
Private property near Morisset Cemetry
Single bird seen moving through canopy chased by Noisy Miners. May have been the same bird seen here on 30/5/17:
Paul Schofield 16/6 #231160
highlightSwift Parrots
Nangarin Estate, The Vintage rd, Picton NSW
Small flock of Swift Parrots observed in dead Eucalyptus Teretecornis next to the vintage rd and stonequarry creek. 5 observed but may have been more. 3 observed drinking and bathing in small puddle next to road. Swift Parrots moving between branches to avoid aggressive Bell Miners
Steven G Robertson 16/6 #231159
Wed 14Wompoo Fruit-dove
Tallawudjah Creek, Glenreagh
On a walk on my property a fledgling Wompoo Fruit-dove fluttered (crash landed) out of the canopy beside me, seemingly on its first flight. I was able to place my shirt over it and inspect, then placed it in a more open area and watched as it flew ,after sometime almost vertically back into canopy. I post this because a) its evidence of breeding at this location and b) either early or rather late breeding as far as i can ascertain from literature.
Pete Knock 16/6 #231156
highlightRed-capped Robin, Beach Stone-curlew
Evans Head
2 beach stone curlews were seen on the Evans River about 300m from river mouth on exposed sandbank associating with a pair of pied and sooty oystercatchers. Seen early in morning and still there late afternoon . Also of note was a single red-capped Robin at Chinaman Beach carpark at 2pm which would be at least 70 to 100kms out of range for this species
Philip Peel 14/6 #231148
Tue 13highlightRegent Honeyeater
Quorrobolong (private property)
Minimum of 20 Regent Honeyeaters seen this morning at the property we are monitoring at Quorrobolong, south of Cessnock. The same number of birds were seen along the power easement as were present a few weeks ago (14) plus there was a group of at least 6 birds in a different part of the property where we have recorded them previously (e.g. 2012) but hadn't this time round. Hence I am not convinced numbers are necessarily building. But the birds seem very comfortable, feeding in Spotted Gum blossom, chasing away smaller nectar-sippers and were very vocal, several pairs interacting.
Mick Roderick, Denzo Neader and Lucy Knutson 13/6 #231146
Banded Lapwing
4 Banded Lapwings in the paddocks owned by the Australian Wheat Board at silos in Cobar Rd, Nyngan.
Mick Crosland 13/6 #231132
Mon 12highlightLittle Shearwater
Seven Mile Beach, Lennox Head, NSW.
Found dead on hightide mark. Significant rainfall event in preceding days. (Moderator's Note: Little Shearwater is on the NSW ORAC review list so a submission is encouraged. MR)
Nick Priest 12/6 #231127
Double-barred Finch
Barton Park South--Landing Lights Wetland
One Double-barred Finch seen with Red-browed Finches. (Moderator's Note: There have been suggestions on previous Birdline posts that Double-barred Finches have bred nearby at Eastlakes Golf Course. MR) eBird checklist
Brian Deans 12/6 #231120
Sun 11Blue-billed Duck
Saleyard Ponds, Berrima Rd, Moss Vale
6 Blue-billed Duck (the most I've seen together in the Highlands), 10 Pink-eared Duck (the most I've seen together in the Highlands), 10 Hoary-headed Grebe, a Musk Duck, a Great Egret (very rarely seen in the Highlands) and a Yellow-billed Spoonbill (feeding in a wet paddock) were the highlights of a quick bit of birding at the saleyard ponds at Mossy this afternoon.
Lorne Johnson 11/6 #231110
Sat 10Major Mitchell Cockatoo
Strathbogie Lane, approx 20km NW of Junee
2 birds perched in Eucalypt trees. Must be on the Eastern extremity of their range. 1 bird was seen here in Aug 2016 which I thought was likely to be an escapee at the time. Now I'm not so sure. (Moderator's note - published as a 'possible/probable' record as it is hard to rule out escapee as it is far east of the standard range)
Steven Cooper 13/6 #231140
Kookaburra with Leucism
Killalea State Park
This afternoon there were two individuals with Leucism feeding near the entrance to Killalea State Park. At least one other normal pigmentation Kookaburra with them.
Ralph Stadus 10/6 #231108
Jacky Winter
I was thrilled to see 6 Jacky Winters in Tallong this afternoon (they are rare birds in the Southern Highlands). 3 were 2km down Badgerys Lookout Rd and the other 3 were towards the end of Warrima Drive. I've only had one JW in many years of birding in the Southern Highlands - that individual was at Badgerys Lookout, Tallong, in October 2015. Other birds of note in Tallong today were Grey Currawong, Scarlet Robin, White-winged Chough and Superb Lyrebird.
Lorne Johnson 10/6 #231107
Thu 8Powerful Owl
Boundary St, Clovelly
Calling from a rooftop TV antenna at 10.30pm.
Katie Oxenham 12/6 #231126
highlightPink Robin (probable)
Deepwater Park, Milperra
A female robin found at Deepwater at about 9:30 this morning gave fairly close views in the open for several minutes (although it was rarely still), but was not heard to call. Notably brown above and on top of head, with buff-brown wash to flanks, cheeks and hind neck, and grey brown wash across breast. Two tan wing bars. But underside of tail seemed mid-light grey, neither whitish (as in Rose) nor brown (as in Pink) leaves me confused. Did not flick wings and tail as strongly as Rose often does. Foraged on ground and base of trunks (behaviour not typical of Rose), as well as in shrubs and canopy. Was chased off by another bird and could not be relocated despite searching until 13:00 with help from Greg McLachlan (site went quiet by about 11:00). Did see and hear a greyer female and 2+ male Rose Robins for comparison. I think a 2nd look is needed. (Moderator's Note: Description fits for a 'brown' Pink Robin, which is on the NSW ORAC review list [for reports north of the Southern Highlands]. Publishing as 'probable' but further observations would be worth pursuing. MR)
David James 8/6 #231099
Tue 6Emu
Maclean/Brooms Head road
an Emu seen 10km from Brooms Head
Eric Wheeler 9/6 #231103
Pink-eared Ducks
Lismore Lake
50 + Pink-ears at Lismore Lake, now full to capacity after the floods. 6 species of duck present and good numbers of other waterbirds. Nice to see as the lake has been just a puddle to dry for quite some time.
June Harris 8/6 #231101
Grey Goshawk
Manilla Bridge to Bridge
I was a bit surprised to see an adult Grey Goshawk by the river in Manilla and thought it worthy of a report here after speaking with Matt Hinze who lives in Manilla, has birded the township extensively for a number of years and has not yet recorded GG there. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy 8/6 #231100
Sun 4Red-necked Avocet, a, Black-Fronted Dotterel
Tuggerah Bay Saltmarsh, off Lake Rd Tuggerah
10 Red-necked Avocets and 3 Black-fronted Dotterels seen on salt marsh on 4/6/17, subsequently 6 were still present on 6/6/17. Last seen on the Central Coast on 15/12/2015 when there were 2 at the same location
luke ullrich 5/6 #231085
highlightAustralian Bustard
Gibson Way, Macquarie Marshes
One male Bustard seen close to the road in open farmland between the Macquarie River bridge and Monkeygar Crossing on the Gibson Way. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy 4/6 #231078
Sat 3Topknot Pigeon
Five Topknot Pigeons obseved flying over Pacific Highway at Turramurra flying from the direction of the railway line at 4:00pm. Flew north-east. Later, at 4:10pm I observed four Topknots fly in to a tall Camphor Laurel above the war memorial next to Wahroonga station. Not sure if the same birds.
Kurtis Lindsay 3/6 #231071
Little Eagle
Lucas Heights
A lone Little Eagle circling over New Illawarra Road Lucas Heights
Kurtis Lindsay 3/6 #231070
Straw-necked Ibis
John Fisher Park, Curl-Curl
Singe bird seen on the baseball field closes to Harbord Rd/Abbott Rd junction approx 11:20am. Definitely no others seen in the area - unusual to see one so close to coast (less than 2kms) and on its own. (Moderator's Note: Agreed that 2 kms from the Coast might be very unusual for Sydney, but currently Straw-necked Ibis are present on the The Entrance High School Ovals at Bateau Bay, at a guess 450 m from the Sea!.AKM)
Tom Wilson 3/6 #231065
Fri 2Australian Bustard
5km outside North Bourke on the Milparinka Road
One adult just off the road outside North Bourke
Melissa Mason 5/6 #231086
Grey Goshawk
Between Mount Annan and Campbelltown
One adult bird perched on a streetlight at the bottom of southbound Hume Highway off-ramp from Narellan Road. Seen today at 3pm, yesterday at 5pm and 5pm on 31/5/17.
Lorne Johnson 2/6 #231062
Thu 1megamegaNorthern Shoveler
Kingston Commons, Norfolk Island
I found a male Northern Shoveler in the wetland at Kingston on Norfolk Island this afternoon. Will prepare a BARC report.
Ashwin Rudder 1/6 #231053

May 2017
Wed 31highlightBlack-breasted Buzzard
just outside Nevertire in the Mitchell Highway between Narromine and Nyngan
One Black-breasted Buzzard being mobbed by Black-shouldered Kites.
Melissa Mason 5/6 #231087
Tue 30highlightSwift Parrot, Turquoise Parrot, Red-capped Robin
Singleton Training Area (no public access)
Just 2 Swift Parrots on yesterday's survey of the Singleton Training Area. There is virtually no Spotted Gum blossom here this year which explains the lack of Swifties. A single Turquoise Parrot, a Diamond Firetail and a female Red-capped Robin observed; all of these species are just holding on here at their limit of range within the Hunter Valley (the robin not recorded here since 2013).
Mick Roderick and Lucas Grenadier 31/5 #231046
Red-necked Avocet
Barton Park South--Landing Lights Wetland
Two Avocet seen this afternoon on the wetland feeding. They have not been seen at this site since 2015. eBird checklist
Greg McLachlan 30/5 #231039
Spotted Quail-thrush, Glossy Black Cockatoo, Jacky Winter
Colo Heights (Wheelbarrow Ridge Road)
Up to four Jacky Winter calling from tree tops and powerlines on roadside. Spotted Quail-thrush heard, them one seen foraging on ground under Turpentines in a front yard under canopy. Foraging Glossy Black Cockatoos in Allocasuarina torulosa.
Kurtis Lindsay 30/5 #231037
Square-tailed Kite
McGraths Hill
One Square-tailed Kite flew over McGraths Hill McDonalds flew in from the east. 2.55pm. Chased by Noisy Miners.
Kurtis Lindsay 30/5 #231036
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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