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.

August 2020
Sat 8Hall’s Babbler
Bourke-Hungerford Rd
A group of around a dozen birds were found at a relatively open habitat of mulga and eucalypts at 84.4 km along the road from North Bourke (Mitchell Hwy intersection).
Dan Williams and Darren Lyons 9/8 #258460
Black necked Stork
Wyong Town Centre
Flying from east to west across Wyong township, I followed by car and watched it land on small dam at the rear of a horse property on Yarramalong Rd Wyong Creek about 1.5K from town.
Paul Shelley 8/8 #258456
Thu 6Pied Oystercatcher (1)
Wharf Road, Melrose Park, Parramatta River
Single oystercatcher seen opposite from Newington Nature Reserve at Sydney Olympic Park at midday. Rare this far upstream and in location generally.
Dion Hobcroft 6/8 #258452
Wed 5Gibberbird
Sturt National Park--Bullens Ground Tank
Just after dawn a Gibberbird was heard issuing both trilling and piping calls west of the road at Bullen's tank, along or just south of the watercourse. After a pause of a few minutes it was heard a second time but more distant, on the north side of the watercourse. Other birds seen between the tank and Mt Wood Campground include Bourke's Parrots in 1s and 2s, Pied Honeyeater x4, and Chestnut-crowned Babblers. Quite a variety of wildflowers about too. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding, JJ Harrison. 8/8 #258458
Tue 4Juvenile Black-shouldered Kite (early breeding?)
Mill Stream Lookout (Botany)
I thought it was unusual to see a fledged Juvenile Black-shouldered Kite today. Hunting clumsily in the airport grass an calling for food. Very early breeding must be May or June ? - perhaps a response to the mild winter weather and the abundant mice in open areas around Sydney this year. (Moderator's Note: This report has been published because it is an interesting inner city breeding record, however as Black-shouldered Kites are winter breeders, there is nothing unusual about the breeding date. AKM)
Richard Murray 4/8 #258441
Mon 3highlightBudgerigar, Diamond Dove, Plum-headed Finch
Goulburn River, Upper Hunter
While surveying a private property adjacent to Goulburn River national park on Fri 31st Jul we briefly observed a single budgie. This morning (Mon 3rd) we tracked down a calling Diamond Dove along the river. Also of note was a large count (up to 100) Plum-headed Finches, including numerous juveniles. Other highlights were Gang-gang and Glossy Black Cockatoos, and in open farmland to the north west off Comialla Road there were Stubble Quails and a pair of Black Falcons.
Liam Murphy, Ross Crates & Max Breckenridge 3/8 #258438
Sun 2Flock Bronzewing and Pied Honeyeater
Sturt National Park
A single Flock Bronzewing flew in to briefly drink at South Myers Tank. Pied Honeyeater and Crimson Chat along creek line at Mt Wood homestead.
Allan Richards 3/8 #258434
Lewin's Rail, Spotless Crake, Buff-banded Rail
Sydney Park
Terrific birding on dusk at Sydney Park, with a Lewin's Rail calling continuously between 5:15 and 5:30pm, a Spotless Crake spotted for 3 seconds and 2 Buff-banded rails chasing each other. All of this action was in the north-east corner of the island pond. An Intermediate Egret on the island also worth mentioning.
Lorne Johnson 2/8 #258432
Channel-billed Cuckoo
Scheyville National Park
Heard a Channel-billed Cuckoo this morning, along with high numbers of Yellow-faced Honeyeaters signalling that spring is on its way.
Simon Blanchflower 2/8 #258431
Sat 1highlightAustralian Bustard
Carmel Lane, Baradine
A single Bustard was seen briefly in a cultivation paddock that was carrying mostly native grass and weeds, and adjacent to a field of rape, where it presumably disappeared into. This is the most further east that the Bustards have been seen in this recent incursion into NSW.
David and Sue Johnston, Tim O'Shannessy 2/8 #258430
Double-banded Plover (x33)
Boat Harbour, Kurnell
Surprised to see eBird flag this number for comment, but then discovered the high count at this location was 38 in March 1985. This was a quick count from one point - there may well be more there. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding 1/8 #258422

July 2020
Fri 31highlightGrey Plover
Dee Why Lagoon
Still present. Bird observed on east side of lagoon. eBird checklist
Anna Gillespie 31/7 #258420
Wed 29Grey Goshawks
Long Beach NSW
Three Grey Goshawks 2 white morph & 1 Grey Morph
TONY Dawe 29/7 #258410
Tue 28highlightAntarctic Prion
Lake Tabourie
A troubled prion was taken into care by Australian Seabird Rescue South coast. Unfortunately it died next morning. Scrutinising pictures of the bill and plumage lead to the conclusion this is a Antarctic Prion.
Vincent Mourik reporting for Shari Armstrong and Lisa Hood, ASR South Coast 31/7 #258421
Southern Boobook
Heard Boobook calling when I got off train at Wollstonecraft about 7pm. Tracked it to big eucalypt near the Mens Shed. It called continuously for about 6 minutes, then spent another 4 minutes 'churring'
Lindy Jones 30/7 #258413
highlightGrey Plover
Dee Why Lagoon
Very surprised to see a single Grey Plover on the centre spit at DY Lagoon this afternoon. Last record from this area was Long Reef in November. Could it possibly be an overwintering bird?
Mike Barrow and Jayden Walsh 28/7 #258409
Fri 24highlightSwift Parrot
Kingstown NSW
Single individual calling in E. prava , E. Marcorhyncha, E. melliodora woodland. Noisy Friarbird, Little Lorikeet, Musk Lorikeet, Striated Pardalote, Diamond Firetail also in the area. Site approx 10km east of Kingstown
Bruce Mullins 25/7 #258390
highlightSouth Island Pied Oystercatcher, Double-banded Plovers
Stockton Beach (Worimi Conservation Lands)
The long staying/visiting "1N" SIPO was present during a survey of Stockton Beach this morning (first report since January). There were 133 Double-banded Plovers counted, which is the 3rd-highest count on a regualr survey there. Also 47 Australian Gull-billed Terns, 55 Red-capped Plovers and some White-fronted Chats.
Dan Williams and Ann Lindsey per Mick Roderick 24/7 #258389
highlightSwift Parrot
Private Property south of Paxton
Minimum of 30 Swifties seen just after sunrise this morning, lerping in Grey Gum and Coastal Grey Box. There were ~15 birds in the Grey Gum while concurrently about 7 or 8 in a nearby Grey Box. Other birds heard calling from to east and pairs flying around so possibly more than 30 present. This site is not accessible but is about 6km south of where the Pelton birds are.
Mick Roderick and Max Breckenridge 24/7 #258387
Powerful Owl
Although reported on 13/7/20, this reports appears under todays date, so it won't be missed ! Male Powerful Owl calling from riverside Red Gum after dark last night. Have heard them before so certain of identifying call. On private property 15k. west of Narranderra on the Murrumbidgee River. (Moderator's Note: While this bird is well out of range, the observer is familiar with sexing Powerful Owls by calls so we would consider that it is a "possible report", possibly linked to disturbance by bushfires, and so subject to further investigation. AKM)
Paul Schofield 14/7 #258312
Thu 23highlightSwift Parrot
Saw a few swift parrots while walking along Pelton Road, hard to tell how many as there were a few fly bys, possible the same couple flying around (Moderator - Graham Nelson estimated 20 birds, birds still present this morning 24/07. In addition Graham also saw nearby 10+ on Wallaby Gully Rd Ellalong in a mixed flock of Rainbow and Musk Lorikeets. MR & AKM).
Carol Edwards 24/7 #258386
Wed 22Brolga
Urana Locality
A pair of Brolgas observed in Urana south-western NSW. Female sitting on what looked like a repurposed swan nest, male attending and foraging in nearby paddock.
Allan Richardson 22/7 #258377
Tue 21Fairy Martin
Quakers Hill
My father-in-law reported to me, that his nesting martins have arrived this morning. They nest under his eaves every year. I thought a late July arrival may be a worthwhile posting.
Ákos Lumnitzer on behalf of my father-in-law Kasey Chetty 22/7 #258378
Mon 20Musk Duck (breeding record and new high count)
North Quarry Lake, Castlearagh (western Sydney)
I had 16 Musk Ducks including 2 young birds (this is now my highest count at a single site in Sydney for Musk Ducks), 35 Blue-billed Ducks (all sitting on the water together), 3 species of Grebe (4 Great Crested, about 65 Hoary-headed and 28 Australasian Grebe), 2 Brown Quail and a single male Zebra Finch.
Edwin Vella 26/7 #258399
Glossy Black Cockatoo
3km East of Bogan Gate
A pair of GBC flying beside main road at 2;30 pm, these birds are turning up all over the place out here at the moment. Coming into reveg sites in towns to find food. 3 years of drought has seriously depleted Casuarina cone seed in this whole area. Over the last 4 months birds have been seen in Condo, Wyalong, Forbes and Lake Cargelligo. It also looks like they did not breed this year due to that food shortage.
Warren Chad 21/7 #258364
Fluttering-type Shearwater
Mistral Point, Maroubra
C.2800 fluttering-type shearwaters in dense rafts on a calm sea and dense flocks above it moving south.
Michael Ellison 20/7 #258360
Rufous Songlark
Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga
One bird sighted. Calling from its perch on a fence adjacent to the dam, near the National Life Sciences Hub on Nathan Cobb Drive. Unusual at this time of year.
Camilla Donnelly 20/7 #258359
Sun 19Rose Robin
Nurragingy Reserve, Blacktown
Male Rose robin observed along the education trail. Also observed Crested Strike-tit. A very active little trail.
Irene Lockhart 20/7 #258356
Glossy Black Cockatoo
Poulton Park, Hurstville Grove
Three were seen flying over Poulton Park this morning. In the last few days they (presumably the same birds) were seen in Oatley Park. I have lived here for nearly 40 years and have never seen Glossies here before. Perhaps displaced by habitat destroyed in the summer fires.
Graham Fry 19/7 #258345
Sat 18Australian Bittern
Pitt Town Lagoon
Brief glimpses of - I am assuming - "the" bittern as it flew out of the reeds not far from the bird hide and settled in quickly after a short flight just above the vegetation. eBird checklist
Ákos Lumnitzer and Netra Chetty 22/7 #258376
Channel-billed Cuckoo (1)
Yaralla Estate, Concord
An adult (red facial skin) possibly female by size looked pretty miserable sitting in a fig tree in mid-winter. My first ever winter record of this classic migrant. (Moderator's Note: There were two reports of Channel-bills at Coffs Harbour on 11th July as well and another has been present and photographed at the Dairy Swamp, Tuggerah throughout July. Anecdotally there have been many more Shining Bronze-cuckoos overwintering this year, presumably because small bush birds have been breeding right through winter. Unsure if these Channel-bills are overwintering or very early arrivals? MR).
Dion Hobcroft 20/7 #258358
Black Falcon
Maddens Plains
1 Black Falcon seen: large dark falcon flying purposely south to north, above the horizon but not high. Moving fast with powerful wing beats. Very long pointed wings and long tail. All dark bird, under tail dark, body dark and under wings dark. Feet visible as lighter spot. Seen at 7.28am, sun still low behind giving good light. eBird checklist
Martin Snowball 19/7 #258350
Brown Skua (4), Buller's Albatross, White-fronted Tern (8)
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
Sea watch from 14:30-17:10. Skuas all offshore but close enough for ID - 2 seen harrying Gannets. Buller's Albatross came in close towards end of session (as did other Albatross). WF Terns on reef loafing with other terns - disturbed frequently between 14:30 and 15:30 by 2 Osprey and a Sea-Eagle. Fluttering-type Shearwaters offshore feeding on bait fish schools and then later a large raft (200?) loafing on the water. Black-browed and Yellow-nosed Albatross also present offshore and 2 Giant Petrel sp seen loafing on water near a small boat. Humpback Whales and dolphins also seen. eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 18/7 #258344
Glossy Black-Cockatoo
Castlereagh Nature Reserve
Two Glossy Black-Cockatoos found eating in the casuarinas at the Barbaras Trail entrance on The Northern Rd. (Moderator's Note: Unusual location. AKM)
Ronan Mann 18/7 #258343
highlightSuperb Parrot, Australian Bustard (8)
3 Superb Parrots flew over at 4 Mile Creek Campground in the morning. On the outskirts of town heading towards Walgett we saw 7 bustards together in a paddock and another flying past in the distance.
Liam Murphy, Heath Milne, Matt Hinze, Ross Crates, Ben Mitchell, Steve Debus 18/7 #258338
Fri 17Black Falcon, Black Kite, Eastern Osprey
Tweed River, Tumbulgum
Black Falcon circling overhead with two Black Kites and an Eastern Osprey. One Kite chased off Black Falcon and other Kite chased off Osprey. Black Falcons rare in the Tweed Valley.
Greg & Val Clancy, Daniel Getaz, Izzy Luescher 19/7 #258351
Thu 16highlightBlue-winged Parrot, Flock Bronzewing, Orange Chat, Grey Grasswren, Redthroat
Bartons Crossing, Narriearra (restricted access)
At Bartons Crossing on Narriearra Station we observed 50+ Blue-winged Parrots, 12 Flock Bronzewing, 100+ Orange Chats, 2 Grey Grasswren and 2 Redthroat amongst many other species. Lots of evidence of breeding activity. Access to this property is still restricted (and may remain so) and as per recent post by Martin & Penny Potter visits must be pre-arranged with both the outgoing owner and NPWS Tibooburra. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy, Heath Milne, Matt Hinze, Ross Crates, Ben Mitchell, Steve Debus 22/7 #258371
highlightInland Dotterel
Sturt National Park
We encountered a large flock of Inland Dotterels roadside east of Tibooburra. It was impossible to get an precise count as the birds were moving around and blend so well to their surroundings, but all observers were in agreement that there was certainly no fewer than 80 and possibly up to 100 birds. A few days earlier we had a different flock of 25-30 a few km north of Mt Wood homestead. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy, Heath Milne, Matt Hinze, Ross Crates, Ben Mitchell, Steve Debus 21/7 #258366
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
Windy, cloudy, spitting rain, huge swells. Lone bird flew over from south side of LR Point. Had 2 small bream in talons (one in each). Tried to land on a banksia limb and dropped one of its fish. I managed to snap the attached shot, cropped from larger scene and slightly shadow-reduced in Photoshop. Fish type easy to identify. Question?? did it catch both fish in same dive or go down a second time. I've noticed on many occasions they hunt at Long Reef Point when the seas are rough and the rock platform is awash even at low tide: fish confused and easy to spot in churning, shallow water!
John Martyn 18/7 #258339
Brown Skua, Grey-faced Petrel and Giant Petrel Sp
Tacking Point Lighthouse, Port Macquarie
1x Brown Skua harassing Gannets resting on water, 1x Grey-faced Petrel flying in tandem with a Giant Petrel sp. eBird checklist
Tim Morris 16/7 #258333
Wed 15Grey-faced Petrel (1), Brown Skua (1)
Stockton Breakwater
A Grey-faced Petrel made to flyby inside of the breakwalls giving good views & a Brown Skua was seen harassing Australasian Gannets briefly. eBird checklist
Archie Brennan & Ted Elks 16/7 #258327
Glossy Black Cockatoo
Castlereagh Nature Reserve
Male and Female Glossy Black Cockatoo seen 11 AM Feeding in Casuarinas Near the wreckers entrance. eBird checklist
Michael Rutkowski 15/7 #258325
Black Falcon
Back Yamma State Forest
Single bird over the main dam.
LORAND SZUCS 15/7 #258320
Little Eagle
Tomerong, South of Nowra
A pair loitering overhead.I was alerted by all the locals suddenly charging about in a panic, including flock of straw-necked ibises from field next door. If I had gone into the house to get the binos for sure the birds would have disappeared- so 'naked eye' observation.Kite-sized, tails neither long,short,forked nor particularly square-ended.White undersides reflecting in the sunlight.Wings mostly bent. Underwings light and dark.Not sea eagles, harriers or kites.Process of elimination, plus visible characteristics-little eagles. (Moderator's Note: We consider that this is most likely a pair of Little Eagles given other recent observations in the area. AKM).
Andy Wood 15/7 #258317
Tue 14Blue-billed Duck, Glossy Ibis
Fivebough Swamp, Leeton
Pair of Blue-billed Duck on the ponds possibly nesting. Only the male visible for several minutes and he kept disappearing in the cumbungi in the centre of the ponds or displaying near them. Eventually after a disturbance and the hundreds of Teal took flight the female appeared from the cumbungi that the male had previously been swimming in to. Also a pair of Glossy Ibis were close to a large flock of Swamphens on the main water body. Two pair of Shovellers and a lone male Hardhead also seen along with the usual.
Paul Schofield 14/7 #258313
Mon 13White-winged Triller, Crimson Chat
Sturt National Park
75+ White-winged Trillers and ~50 Crimson Chats made up the bulk of a large and diverse mixed foraging flock near the Mt. Wood shearing shed. Other notable species observed in the Mt. Wood campground/homestead area were Bourke's Parrot, Blue-winged Parrot, Cinnamon Quail-thrush, Pied Honeyeater. Nice conditions in the eastern section of Sturt NP at present. The western section around Fort Grey and out to the corner appeared to have had less rain and was relatively unproductive. eBird checklist
Liam Murphy, Heath Milne, Matt Hinze, Ross Crates, Ben Mitchell, Steve Debus 21/7 #258365
highlightGrey Falcon
Lauriedale Lagoon(Between Bourke and Fords Bridge)
Bird observed flying over very slowly at 4 mtrs above our head. Very good view of all GF features. 2nd time observed at or near this site in last 12 months.
Chris. Catt 18/7 #258341
Sun 12Osprey
South of South Coogee Wetlands, Coastal Path
Sorry for not posting sooner - the weekend before this sighting I saw an osprey heading north just south of Little Bay, a first for me in this area. Living at Maroubra for 5 years see lots of sea eagles, peregrines around the Malabar headland but never an osprey. To see another the very next weekend suggests it may be same bird. It was very obliging and didn’t seem at all concerned about how close it was to the path whilst eating its fish supper! A white-faced heron was waiting nearby presumably for scraps.
Jonathan Lyford 20/7 #258357
Australasian Bittern
Pitt Town Lagoon
One seen around noon today foraging out in the open along side the reedy island on the north side of the lagoon. Record shot attached.
Edwin Vella et al 12/7 #258303
Sat 11Musk Duck (high count)
North Quary Lake
Had at least 13 Musk Duck and 20 Blue-billed Duck on this lake. The most Musk Ducks I have seen in Sydney area. Lake viewed with scope from Castlereagh Rd and just south of Smith Lane.
Edwin Vella 12/7 #258302
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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