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.

Recent Sightings


Reports published in the past 30 hours.

June 2021
Sun 20megamegaBlack-fronted Tern
Fort Scratchley, Newcastle
Seen (and poorly photographed) at c.9.45 am for several minutes flying back and forth over the northern-eastern part of Fort Scratchley but initially assumed to be an Arctic-type Tern. Seen again with Jon Spicer-Bell at c.11.20 am. It spent several minutes flying back and forth over an exposed and windy area of lawn near -32.92559,151.79225. Nearly landed several times and at one point photographed taking an earthworm. Last seen flying along slowly out past the breakers. Correct identification first suggested by Angus Daly after Jon Spicer-Bell posted a photo to the NSW Rare Bird Alert Facebook group. Identification later confirmed by various experts after more photos were posted to the Australian Twitchers Facebook group.
Michael Kearns. 20/6 #260344
Immature Pacific Gull
Flat Rock, Ballina
Update on Pacific Gull at Flat Rock, Ballina. Seen one bird resting right on Dawn. Looking fairly chilled out and relaxed, only one bird sighted.
Angela Suzanne Powell 20/6 #260341
Sat 19highlightSouthern Fulmar, Southern Giant Petrel and Bullers Albatross
Magic Point, Maroubra
An excellent sea watch today with a Southern Fulmar showing very well about the middle of the day within 300 metres from shore as first spotted by Robert . It appeared to be heading to Maroubra Bay before dissapearing. An adult Bullers Albatross seen earlier in the morning with an Immature Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross. A few Giant Petrels also came in close enough to identify a Southern amongst 4 juvenile Giant Petrels (both species photographed) . Also seen were about a dozen Grey-faced Petrels, 60 plus Black-browed, a few Campbell and at least 7 Shy Albatross, 60 plus Fluttering and 2 Huttons Shearwaters and a White - fronted Terns.
Edwin Vella and Robert Griffin 19/6 #260339
highlightSouthern Fulmar
Magic Point, Maroubra
Another Southern Fulmar seen today, possibly 2 (12:30pm & 3:20pm) Very good numbers of Black-browed Albatross c70. 10+ Grey-faced Petrel, 1 Brown Skua etc seen today. This is my 10th Southern Fulmar at Maroubra and the only one I’ve been able to photograph and I use the word photograph very loosely.
David Mitford 19/6 #260338
Buller's Albatross.
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve.
Highlight of a seawatch from Long Reef this morning were 6 Buller's Albatross about 5 Brown Skuas and 4 Giant Petrels along with 3 Grey-faced Petrels.
Michael Ronan 19/6 #260337
Thu 17Immature Pacific Gull
Flat Rock (Ballina)
(Moderator's Note: This is a follow on from the posting on 7/6/2021 by Steve McBride, of a sighting of two immature Pacific Gulls at Flat Rock Ballina #260288! AKM)
Merv Whicker 17/6 #260332
highlightSwift Parrot
1. Innes Ruins LINR Port Macquarie 2. The Nature School, Port Macquarie
This morning a group of Hastings Birdwatchers Club birders observed 9 Swift Parrot on the monthly Innes Ruins Survey Walk (Restricted Access - members HBC only), within the Lake Innes Nature Reserve that is only a few kms south of the Nature School. Then this afternoon at 16:28 a group of 16 Swift Parrot was observed going swiftly to roost at The Nature School on The Ruins Way (NOTE PLEASE Restricted Access) by myself and Theresa Foran (both HBC members). This species has been observed here by many HBC members over the past week or more. eBird checklist
Tony Bischoff 17/6 #260331
Wed 16highlightSwift Parrot
Near eastern boundary of Gibraltar Range NP
Four birds observed on morning of 16th June sunning themselves in early morning light and six seen feeding on lerp in area of forest where severe canopy burn had occurred during the 2019 bushfires. Being constantly chased by Bell Miners. Only in the area for 10 minutes or so. Very active. (No public access to the site). (Moderator's Note: Approx 80% of Swift Parrot records this year in NSW have been birds feeding on lerp. This is a very interesting observation given that the area had been badly burnt, but lerps are present. It would be well-worth checking other burnt areas where Bell Miners are present. MR)
David Charley 17/6 #260330
Pacific Baza
Was at work in one of the sheds when I heard the resident Noisy Miners going off. I stepped out expecting to see a Sparrowhawk or Goshawk as usual but it was a Baza sitting in plain view on a dead limb of a Red Gum. Had a brown wash on the upper breast feathers so I presume it was an immature bird. Crest prominent when it turned its head. I went to get a photo of it with my phone but it took off with the Miners trailing. First time I have seen one here outside of the warmer months.
Paul Schofield 17/6 #260329
Tue 15Pale-yellow Robin
Dingo Creek Rd. East Orara SF
One Pale-yellow Robin observed at creek crossing in State Forest in Upper Orara. Surprised to see this species at this location
June Harris 19/6 #260336
Red-winged Parrot
Merriwa Rotary Park nsw
15+ Red-winged Parrots in 2 trees by the river feasting on yellow berries in the tree near the solar system sign around sunset. (Moderator's Note: This is an exceptionally high count of Red-wings in the Upper Hunter and they are rather scarce east of Cassilis. MR).
Patricia Sweet 19/6 #260335
Mon 14Blue-faced Honeyeater
We planted gymea lilies many years ago now and we’re excited last year when we got one blooming. This year we have 3 blooming and they have started attracting bird life. This sighting is on behalf of our neighbour who photographed a Blue-faced Honeyeater visiting one of the flowers. They knew I was a birdwatcher so thought I might be interested. I was just disappointed that I missed it. Hopefully it will be back … eBird checklist
Joel Poyitt 15/6 #260323
Beach Stone-Curlew
Shark Bay, Iluka.
A pair of Beach Stone-Curlews flushed from amongst the driftwood by a woman walking her dog off leash in the National Park. Woman was advised of the critically endangered status of the species in NSW and was very apologetic and left immediately. Concerning to see.
Nick Priest 15/6 #260322
Diamond Firetail
Boonoo Boonoo
Pair foraging on road verge at turn off to Boonoo Boonoo Falls off Mt Lindsey Rd.
Ian Colvin 14/6 #260321
Sun 13Osprey
Whale Beach Pittwater Sydney
two birds on nest built on a builder's crane overlooking the beach eBird checklist
Gerard Duane 14/6 #260319
Pheasant Coucal
Widden Brook (Restricted access)
While doing surveys at this location on Monday this week I thought I heard a distant Pheasant Coucal but wasn't 100% certain. This morning I heard the distinctive whooping calls, this time much closer, from dense long grass in an open paddock. Appears to be a very westerly record for the Hunter region. Other interesting observations were Tawny Grassbird, an adult male Flame Robin (first for me for this property), good counts of ground-feeding granivores (Common Bronzewing, Peaceful Dove, Double-barred Finch, Red-rumped Parrot), and small honeyeaters feeding in flowering yellow box (White-naped, Yellow-faced, Fuscous). eBird checklist
Liam Murphy 13/6 #260316
Red-capped Plover (53)
Doyalson (restricted area)
A pretty incredible 53 Red-capped Plover on a recently drained wetland that now has extensive exposed mudflats.
Andrew Robinson 13/6 #260314
Sat 12highlightSwift Parrot
The Nature School, Ruins Way, Port Macquarie
Update on Swifties at this site. On Saturday after 4.30 pm, half an a hour later than usual, 24 Swift Parrots flew into the tall Blackbutts near the school, and almost disappeared from sight. There was none of the usual calling or fly past. It is still not known where the birds are feeding during the day, although there was a report of 2 Swifties at North Atlantic Circuit, Lake Cathie on 13/6/21 but not seen since eBird checklist
Alan Morris 16/6 #260327
Pacific Gull
Kamay Botany Bay National Park--Yena Gap Lookout and Picnic Area
1 immature Pacific Gull, arrived 11.30 and settled on rocks for 5 minutes before flying into Botany Bay, returned about 2.30pm for fly by and headed south down the coast. Sea calm, only a few albatrosses around (Black-Browed - 4, Yellow nosed - 2). Lot's of whales! eBird checklist
Martin Snowball 12/6 #260311
Fri 11Arctic Jaeger, Sooty Shearwater& Fairy Prion (leucistic)
Green Cape Lighthouse
Lots of activity in close, 100’s of Fluttering Shearwaters, 3 Brown Skuas going after the dozens of Australasian Gannets diving for fish. 30 Shy Albatross also seen with 4 Black-browed Albatross over 100 Fairy Prions, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 5 Giant Petrels (including 1 NGP) and an Arctic Jaeger. However the most interesting bird was a pure white (presumed) Fairy Prion which briefly showed a couple of times - never seen anything like that before in a Prion.
David Mitford 11/6 #260306
Wed 9highlightLetter-winged Kite
Narriearra Caryapundy Swamp NP (restricted access), Tibooburra
On 21st May after receiving approval from NPWS we visited the former Narriearra Station. During our visit we inadvertently disturbed 3 Letter-winged Kites from a nest site. The Birdline NSW moderators were notified and suggested that we not release the sighting for a few weeks until nesting was likely to have finished. However I have just heard from Bill Kosky that he went back a week later and there was no sign of the Kites, so after consultation with the Moderators we are now reporting our observation of this very rare bird in NSW. We did not approach the nest and the photo is heavily cropped. (Moderator's Note: Exceptional sighting, last confirmed breeding in NSW was at Deniliquin in 1993. AKM)
Paul Johnstone, Bill Kosky 9/6 #260300
Tue 8Plum-headed Finch
Putta Bucca Wetlands, Mudgee
Large flock of these birds this arvo. Conservative count of 60 but probably more. Foraging around the northern fence line. Photo does not include all the birds.
Mark Leary 8/6 #260294
Cattle Egret; Red-necked Avocet
Sydney Olympic Park
3 Cattle Egrets roosting in trees on L Belvedere islands approx 7:15am. Moved off to the SW (when a Peregrine flew over). 29 R/N Avocets on Waterbird Refuge - have been absent for approx 2 months - 1st reports of returns on 29 May of 6 birds - numbers building again? Also 2xLittle Egret near L Belvedere and 2x Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo feeding in trees around L Belvedere eBird checklist
Tom Wilson 8/6 #260293
Mon 7Pacific Gull, Brown Booby
Flat Rock (Ballina)
Two immature Pacific Gulls see resting on Flat Rock this afternoon, also an immature Brown Booby seen flying past heading north. eBird checklist
Steven McBride 7/6 #260288
highlightSwift Parrot
Jubilee Ave, Warriewood
Found about 20 Swift Parrots feeding in flowering Swamp Mahogany in the carpark of 7 Jubilee ave this morning (-33.679749, 151.286931)
Jayden Walsh 7/6 #260286
Sun 6Magpie Geese
About 130 Magpie Geese at a wetland behind the grain receival complex just west of the wetlands on the Tullamore Rd. They have bred here before so will be interesting to see what happens come Spring. Other birds of note were Whistling Kite, Black Kite and Swamp Harrier
Warren Chad 6/6 #260280
Purple-backed Fairywren
Cope State Forest
Six birds observed in box Ironbark grassy woodland on sandplain. Thousands of Noisy Friarbirds attracted to large flowering event of Mugga Ironbark.
David James and Dion Hobcroft 6/6 #260278
Sat 5Pacific Gull
Harrington breakwall
Late in the afternoon a single immature Pacific Gull was seen at the end of the breakwall on the beach. It was with a Whistling Kite and an adult Brahminy Kite
Warren Chad 8/6 #260290
Wed 2Baillon's Crake, Buff-banded Rail
Fivebough Wetlands
The sighting of the Baillon's Crake is exceptional as they have never been recorded in this location in the winter. Normally, they arrive in early spring and disappear in late summer. The photo was taken on 2 June by Kathy and Phil Tenison. Also seen was a Buff-banded Rail along with both Spotted and Spotless Crake.
Kath and Phil Tenison and Max O'Sullivan 3/6 #260270
highlightSwift Parrot
The Nature School, Ruins Way, Port Macquarie
Update on previous sightings. A minimum of 49 Swifties were seen between 4-5 pm at the Nature School Carpark. The birds fly in after 4 pm and appear to be roosting in the tall Blackbutts. None as yet have been seen feeding away from the site. Ian Kerr reported that they appear to leave the site between 6.30 and 6.45 am.
Catherine Oehlman, Ted Giblin, Alan Moirris and 4 members HBW 2/6 #260268
Spangled Drongo
Tabbigai Gap Trail, Kurnell
I reported earlier in the year that there were quite a few single Spangled Drongos showing up in southern Sydney along the Georges River this year, but a group of 7 is quite astounding for Sutherland Shire. Near the track junction that is about halfway to the ponds from Sir Joseph Banks Drive. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg / Sydney Birding 2/6 #260267
Tue 1Ground Cuckoo-shrike
Hill View Road, Woodenbong
At least three individuals in paddock near water-tower.(Moderator's Note: An interesting observation that is well east of this species usual range. AKM)
Wendy and Paul Daly 1/6 #260263

May 2021
Mon 31Swift Parrot
Castlereagh Nature Reserve
Two Swift Parrots were very quietly feeding amongst leaves of ironbarks in Castlereagh Nature Reserve (western Sydney) at noon today. No flowers present. The birds only made an occasional chirp. Watched them for at least 20 minutes. The birds were located about 300 metres north-west from the eastern entrance, opposite Spence Rd. The trail doesn’t seem to have a name. Location is here (33°40'42.9"S 150°45'36.0"E)
Andrew Patrick 31/5 #260261
Sun 30highlightSouthern Fulmar, Wandering Albatross, Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Magic Point, Maroubra
Another good seawatch day, with a Southern Fulmar seen at about 500-600m offshore. Also a Wandering Albatross (possibly Snowy) and good numbers of Black-browed (~40), 3 Shy, several Campbell Albatross; a Wilson's storm petrel and a Fairy Prion. With David Mitford, Michael Kearns, Simon Gorta, Edwin Vella and others. Photo: Terry Percival. (Moderator’s Note: Amazing photograph! MR). eBird checklist
Terry Percival and Roksana Boreli 30/5 #260257
Sat 29highlightSouthern Fulmar
Munmorah State Conservation Area
A 3.5 hour seawatch from 8 - 11:30am produced good views of a Southern Fulmar powering northwards but which was lost from view in the glare as I went for the camera. Also Brown Skua (1), Giant Petrel sp. (1), White-fronted Tern (1), Black-browed Albatross (30+), Shy Albatross (5+), Fluttering type Shearwater (500+ southward bound), a number of probable Fairy Prion and Australasian Gannet (100+).
Andrew Robinson 30/5 #260254
highlightSouthern Fulmar
Magic Point, Maroubra
A Southern Fulmar was seen today, following a pod of Dolphins moving south. Plenty of other birds, such as 35+Black-browed Albatross, 5 Shy Albatross, 4 Giant Petrel (sp), 1 White-fronted Tern, 1 Sooty Shearwater and at least 50 Australasian Gannets
David Mitford 29/5 #260252
Eastern Osprey
Foreshore Road Boat Ramp, Botany
2 Osprey seen from the boat launching site - just to the west along the foreshore. Not seen here before.
Tom Wilson 29/5 #260248
Fri 28highlightSwift Parrot
The Nature School, The Ruins Way, Port Macquarie
Update on previous sighting. Today at 4 pm, in very windy weather, 4 birds were initially sighted roosting at the top of a tall Blackbutt, which was not in flower. However about 15 minutes later a Wedge-tailed Eagle flew low over the clump of Blackbutts and flushed at least 32 Swift Parrots from the trees! Later the birds came back and a count of 30+ was again achieved. The birds would appear to roosting at this site, nearby are both flowering Swamp Mahoganys and Forest Red Gums. Note that this is a private school, and access is restricted, so therefore if you are visiting the car park in school hours, you must sign in. eBird checklist
Alan & Tim Morris, Catherine Oehlman (School Principal), Peter West 28/5 #260244
highlightSouthern Fulmar,Buller's Albatross Grey-faced Petrels.
Long Reef Aquatic Reserve
Highlights from a seawatch of Long Reef this afternoon was a Southern Fulmar flying north with the strong southerly and 3 Buller's Albatross in with about 10 Grey-faced Petrels,6 Giant Petrels and good numbers of Shy and Black-browed Albatross.
Michael Ronan 28/5 #260243
Red-browed Treecreeper
Burragorang Lookout, Nattai
At least three red-browed treecreepers seen in the central bush area above the car park. I understand they are not frequently seen in the Macarthur region.
Brenda Parkinson 28/5 #260241
Wed 26highlightSwift Parrot
The Nature School, The Ruins Way, Port Macquarie (Lake Innes)
Previously reported two days before by Catherine Oehlman. and found today feeding on lerps in predominantly Forest Red Gum (8 birds).
Edward Giblin 27/5 #260237
Brahminy Kite
Careel Bay, Sydney
I saw a single adult Brahminy Kite washing its feathers at the water's edge almost at low tide. My attention was attracted by the activities of resident seagulls who were dive bombing the kite. Pizzey & Knight list its range as uncommon south of Cape Byron but extending as far as the Myall Lakes, so this sighting is out of range. (Moderator's Note: P&K's information on this species is out of date. There are resident birds currently at Brisbane Water, Tuggerah Lakes and Lake Macquarie although at this stage the most furthest breeding pair known are at Tanilba Bay, Port Stephens. However your observation is a good Sydney record! (AKM).
Derek Curtin 27/5 #260236
Tue 25highlightFlock Bronzewing (1500-2000), Blue-winged Parrot (75), Gibberbird, Inland Dotterel
Sturt National Park
Very impressive numbers of Flock Bronzewing around an ephemeral wetland 33km N of Tibooburra on the Silver City Hwy. Blue-winged Parrots coming in to roost in lignum at South Myers Tank. A pair of Gibberbird and multiple Inland Dotterel observed along Cameron Corner Rd.
Max Breckenridge, Grant Brosie, Simon Gorta 28/5 #260242
Mon 24highlightAustralian Bustard
Narrabri West
A single Australian Bustard was found by R. Collins and subsequently photographed by V. Collins at the Viterra site in the industrial estate in Narrabri West this morning. By afternoon the bird could not be found again. Photo by V. Collins.
V. Collins per M. Dahlem 24/5 #260235
Sun 23Swift Parrot
Heard twice making the chattering call. 4 Species of lorikeet were seen flying over to roost so probably with them. eBird checklist
Archie Brennan 23/5 #260227
Sat 22Diamond Firetail
Nerriga Hotel
Reported twice from this location a few years back - must be eastern edge of its usual range. Species often hard to locate or view but a trio sat for well over 10 minutes on power lines just sunning themselves, quite comfortable with human activity nearby. Could be a site for regular sightings, but quite an out-of-the-way place to visit. Also trio of Scarlet Robins down the roat near Tianjara Falls. eBird checklist
Chris Rehberg - Sydney Birding 24/5 #260233
Noisy Pitta
Henrietta St Waverley
One came into WIRES care from Henrietta St Waverley, continuing the above average movement into Central Sydney that started in early autumn
Gillian, WIRES and Alan Morris 22/5 #260220
Blu-faced Honeyeater
Kanbyugal Reserve (Woodbine)
While looking for Swift Parrots I was surprised to have a pair of Blue-faced Honeyeater fly over calling. The distinctive ascending whistle was repeated a few times in flight. A dark morph White-bellied Cuckooshrike also seen. A lot of Honeyeater activity including 25+ New Holland Honeyeaters and 20+ White-naped Honeyeaters. Large amount(50+) of Silvereyes feeding on fruiting weeds. Flowering Mugga Ironbark bringing in a lot of birds. eBird checklist
Timothy Paasila 22/5 #260219
Fri 21highlightFlock Bronzewing, Blue-winged Parrot
South Myers Tank, Sturt NP, Tibooburra
Have only recently returned from a trip which included a stay in Sturt NP, so apologies for the late report. In addition to the earlier report we also saw Flock Bronzewings for 4 consecutive days at South Myers tank, the largest flock was well over 1000 birds, also several Blue-winged Parrots there.
Paul Johnstone, Nigel Miller, Nevil Lazarus, David Pratt 29/5 #260246
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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