<h2>Celebrating <strong>Beauty</strong> & Diversity</h2><h3>Superb Fairy-wren</h3> <h2><strong>Bringing Back</strong> Vanishing Species</h2><h3>Regent Honeyeater</h3> <h2><strong>Sharing,</strong> Exploring & Discovering</h2><h3>Discovering Shorebirds outing</h3> <h2><strong>Connecting</strong> with Nature's Wonders</h2><h3>Double-banded Plover</h3> <h2>Sharing Nature's Awesome <strong>Majesty</strong></h2><h3>Yellow-nosed Albatross</h3> <h2><strong>Reducing</strong> the Threat of Extinctions</h2><h3>Superb Parrot</h3>

Grenfell IBA surveys

Use the map on this birdata.com.au page (and enter South-west Slopes NSW in the search box)

South West Slopes IBA

to navigate around the survey area

or use this link to Google maps of the sites for the Grenfell IBA surveys.  Hover over the site marker for the site name or click the marker for site details.

Birding NSW’s Important Bird and Biodiversity Area Survey around Grenfell

These maps show the survey results to date in the form of  distribution of:

Superb Parrots and Diamond Firetails

Other significant birds

or view the complete list in this map Significant Bird List




NOTE:  Since the maps appear in Google map form, there is a choice of map/satellite base with each map.  See toggle in upper RH corner.


The next survey will be on September 23-25, 2022 The Twenty-second Bird Survey Weekend. New surveyors are always welcome. In small groups, we survey on about 30 sites including many on private properties around Grenfell. The survey takes place on Saturday morning and the rest of the weekend is free for birding. We meet for a barbeque on a private property on Saturday evening. Grenfell is about five hours’ drive west of Sydney. Accommodation is available in hotels, a motel and bed and breakfast places as well as in the caravan park. It is advisable to book early. If you would like to join us or would like more information, please contact Elisabeth Karplus on emhodson@exemail.com.au  or Allan Richards on activities@birdingnsw.org.au The twenty-third Grenfell survey weekend will be on 17-19 March, 2023.


REPORTS on the  surveys:


Elisabeth Karplus

April 10, 2022

The 20th bird survey around Grenfell in the Central West of NSW took place on March 19, 2022. We were not able to do the survey in September 2021 because of COVID-19. This March we only had 24 surveyors unlike March 2021, when we had 39 surveyors. We lost a couple of surveyors to COVID-19 at the last minute. We were very pleased to welcome nine new surveyors including several from Cumberland Bird Observers Club. This time we had six survey groups with each group surveying on five sites. I would like to thank the survey group leaders – Allan Richards, David Winterbottom, Graham Fry, Russell Beardmore and Richard Webber – as well as all the surveyors. I hope that the new surveyors found the survey interesting and that they will be keen to come again.

We were pleased to see that in some but not all areas, the number of bird species seen was higher than in our last survey in March 2021 with a total of 69 species compared with 65 species. However the overall number of birds seen at 950 was not very different from the 943 species seen then though that number was inflated by the 100 Common Starlings seen on one site. For example during this survey 24 species were seen at one site in Bimbi State Forest compared with only six species seen at the same site in March 2021. On the forest sites in Bimbi, Warraderry and Weddin State Forests, the species seen included more small birds with several species of Thornbills while Speckled Warblers were seen on five of these sites. One of the target species is the Diamond Firetail and on this survey two Diamond Firetails were seen in Warraderry State Forest. Among the forest sites, fewer species and total birds were seen in Warraderry State Forest compared with Bimbi and Weddin State Forests. Superb Parrots were less common than in the previous survey, when 70 were seen, with a total of 23 birds seen on four different sites. Of other special birds, a single Hooded Robin was seen in Bimbi State Forest. Red-capped Robins were seen on three forest sites and on one private property. Four Australian Ringnecks were seen on one site in Weddin State Forest while a single Turquoise Parrot was seen between sites in that forest. Raptors were more common in this survey with Brown Goshawk, Square-tailed Kite, Collared Sparrowhawk and Wedge-tailed Eagle seen on different survey sites as well as Black-shouldered Kites and a Spotted Harrier being seen close to survey sites.

This time we had a dry weekend and were able to hold all the outdoor social activities. Many people brought their food and drink for a picnic on Friday evening on O’Brien’s Hill. Depending on the status of the COVID pandemic, we might be able to return to the Railway Hotel or another venue for dinner on Friday evening on the next survey weekend. On Saturday evening most people came to Mikla and Wayne’s place for the barbecue followed by birthday cake on a warm evening. Mikla had added additional entertainment as she with friend, Will Shone, played their Guitars and sang songs written by Mikla. Mikla and Will are now recording Mikla’s songs. Many of us had a walk round “Rosemont” before the barbecue. Having not seen any Superb Parrots on the survey, I was pleased to be shown a male bird perched in a wattle on one of the survey sites on Rosemont.

On Sunday morning several surveyors gathered at Company Dam for a walk around the Dam. David Kellett from Local Land Services Central West joined us for the walk. David has very kindly offered to provide morning tea at Company Dam on the Sunday of the next survey weekend in September 2022. We had a pleasant walk with a few birds seen. Company Dam is now full again and there were both Australasian Grebe and Hoary-headed Grebe on it as well as a Black-fronted Dotterel on the edge of the dam.

The 21st Grenfell survey will take place on the weekend of 23-25 September 2022. If you are not already on our contact list and would like details of the next survey, please contact Allan Richards (activities@birdingnsw.org.au) or me (emhodson@exemail.com.au).



Species NrBirds NrSites Species NrBirds NrSites
Apostlebird 116 13 Noisy Miner 99 17
Australasian Grebe 6 4 Pacific Black Duck 19 2
Australian Magpie 24 11 Pied Butcherbird 2 2
Australian Raven 20 6 Pied Currawong 3 3
Australian Ringneck 4 1 Rainbow Bee-eater 10 2
Australian Wood Duck 23 1 Rainbow Lorikeet 10 3
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike 6 4 Red Wattlebird 3 2
Blue-faced Honeyeater 3 2 Red-browed Finch 1 1
Brown Goshawk 2 2 Red-capped Robin 5 4
Brown Quail 6 3 Red-rumped Parrot 6 2
Brown Thornbill 6 2 Rufous Whistler 6 3
Brown-headed Honeyeater 3 3 Speckled Warbler 9 5
Buff-rumped Thornbill 45 3 Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater 9 5
Collared Sparrowhawk 1 1 Spotted Pardalote 4 2
Common Bronzewing 20 5 Square-tailed Kite 1 1
Common Myna 4 3 Striated Pardalote 2 2
Common Starling 30 3 Superb Fairy-wren 8 2
Crested Pigeon 34 13 Superb Parrot 23 4
Diamond Firetail 2 1 Swamp Harrier 1 1
Double-barred Finch 1 1 Tree Martin 4 1
Eastern Rosella 66 16 Wedge-tailed Eagle 2 2
Eastern Yellow Robin 1 1 Weebill 9 3
Galah 38 9 Welcome Swallow 2 1
Grey Butcherbird 8 8 Western Gerygone 2 2
Grey Fantail 9 4 White-browed Babbler 1 1
Grey Shrike-thrush 7 6 White-eared Honeyeater 16 5
Grey-crowned Babbler 31 6 White-faced Heron 2 1
Hooded Robin 1 1 White-plumed Honeyeater 18 2
Inland Thornbill 2 1 White-throated Gerygone 1 1
Jacky Winter 2 1 White-throated Treecreeper 1 1
Little Corella 7 2 White-winged Chough 36 4
Little Pied Cormorant 2 2 Willie Wagtail 9 6
Little Raven 1 1 Yellow Thornbill 51 5
Magpie-lark 38 10 Yellow-faced Honeyeater 4 2
Yellow-rumped Thornbill 2 1
Total number of birds seen 950 Total number of species 69


Birdwatching at Company Dam on Sunday Photograph: David Marquard




Elisabeth Karplus

The 19th bird survey around Grenfell in the Central West of NSW took place on March 21, 2021. This time we had 39 surveyors – a record number for the Grenfell survey. We divided surveyors into seven groups – each group had 5 or 6 surveyors. I would like to thank the survey group leaders – Allan Richards, David Winterbottom, Allan Pidgeon, Graham Fry, Russell Beardmore and Paul Johnstone – as well as all the surveyors. Once again, we had a number of new surveyors. I hope that they will come again and that they were not put off by the windy, damp and cool weather. At least we did not have the large amount of rain seen on the coast that weekend.

Despite the apparently good conditions following good rains, bird numbers were no higher than on our previous survey, particularly in the forests. Overall we saw 65 species with a total of 943 birds, though this included the 100 Common Starlings seen on Dodd’s Lane. There was almost no blossom for honeyeaters and Russell Beardmore pointed out that there were no insects as evidenced by the lack of insects on our windscreens. Species numbers per site varied between one and 14 species. In only five sites were 10 or more species recorded. The number of birds seen on each site varied between two and 94 (excluding the 100 Common Starlings) with the highest numbers seen on Mikla Lewis’ property and the roadside sites on Dodd’s Lane and Abbott’s Lane. Small birds such as Thornbills, Pardalotes and Robins were uncommon particularly in the forests. Seventy Superb Parrots were seen on four sites. Two Turquoise Parrots were seen in Weddin State Forest. We did not record any Diamond Firetails during the survey.  Two Speckled Warblers were seen in Bimbi State Forest.We recorded Stubble Quail on two sites and Diamond Doves on one site – these species had not been recorded on our surveys before.

Diamond Doves Photographer: Colette Livermore












On Friday evening, many of us met at O’Brien’s Lookout for drinks and our dinners – Tom and I had very good takeaway from the Chinese Restaurant. We hope that by the time of the next survey we will be able to have a sit down dinner together on Friday evening at a local restaurant or one of the hotels. On Saturday evening, Mikla and Wayne moved the barbecue to the home of a friend of theirs because of the cold wind. At Pam’s home, we were able to sit in the sheltered garden and enjoy the barbecue.

On Saturday afternoon many of us drove the 40 km west to the village of Caragabal to view the Bird Art Project of artwork created by Camila De Gregorio and Chis Macaluso of Eggpicnic. This project is described by Camila and Chris in an article in this issue of the newsletter. The project was the vision of Phillip Diprose, on whose property we survey. On Sunday Central West Local Land Services hosted a morning tea for the birders after we had walked around Company Dam. Highlights on the walk were Speckled Warblers and a pair of Diamond Doves. Central West Local Land Services are planning to put a Sign at Company Dam to show the important birds of the area.

The 20th Grenfell survey will take place on the weekend of 24-26 September 2021. Following that survey we will arrange for analysis of the ten years of data. If you are not already on our contact list and would like details of the next survey, please contact Allan Richards (activities@birdingnsw.org.au) or me (emhodson@exemail.com.au).


Species NrBirds NrSites Species NrBirds NrSites
Apostlebird 99 10 Nankeen Kestrel 2 1
Australian Magpie 15 7 Noisy Friarbird 1 1
Australian Raven 10 6 Noisy Miner 65 17
Australian Ringneck 1 1 Pacific Black Duck 3 2
Australian White Ibis 1 1 Peaceful Dove 2 1
Australian Wood Duck 19 3 Pied Butcherbird 4 3
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike 1 1 Pied Currawong 4 3
Blue Bonnet 5 1 Rainbow Lorikeet 20 5
Blue-faced Honeyeater 1 1 Red Wattlebird 1 1
Brown Thornbill 1 1 Red-capped Robin 5 3
Brown-headed Honeyeater 1 1 Red-rumped Parrot 14 4
Buff-rumped Thornbill 3 2 Rufous Fantail 1 1
Common Bronzewing 10 5 Rufous Whistler 7 3
Common Starling 100 1 Sacred Kingfisher 1 1
Crested Pigeon 51 14 Speckled Warbler 2 1
Diamond Dove 3 1 Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater 2 2
Dusky Woodswallow 10 1 Spotted Pardalote 2 2
Eastern Rosella 68 12 Striated Pardalote 1 1
Eastern Yellow Robin 2 2 Striated Thornbill 4 1
Galah 53 8 Striped Honeyeater 1 1
Golden Whistler 1 1 Stubble Quail 7 2
Grey Fantail 18 9 Superb Fairy-wren 14 4
Grey Shrike-thrush 1 1 Superb Parrot 70 4
Grey Teal 1 1 Tree Martin 9 1
Grey-crowned Babbler 17 4 Turquoise Parrot 2 1
Inland Thornbill 3 2 Wedge-tailed Eagle 2 1
Jacky Winter 1 1 Western Gerygone 2 1
Laughing Kookaburra 1 1 White-eared Honeyeater 1 1
Leaden Flycatcher 1 1 White-plumed Honeyeater 13 2
Little Pied Cormorant 1 1 White-winged Chough 78 6
Little Raven 36 1 Willie Wagtail 11 7
Magpie-lark 24 7 Yellow Thornbill 28 7
Yellow-rumped Thornbill 5 2
Total number of birds seen 943 Total number of species 65

Striped Honeyeater                              Photographer: Colette Livermore














Error in 18th Grenfell survey report

Elisabeth Karplus

Ted Nixon has identified an error in my report of the 18th Grenfell survey held on September 26, 2020 and published in the December 2020 – January 2021 issue of the Birding NSW’s Newsletter. I wrongly indicated that we had seen no Buff-rumped Thornbills. In fact Allan Richards and his group saw 6 Buff-rumped Thornbills in one of the sites in Bimbi State Forest. The published species list is correct.



Elisabeth Karplus

The 18th bird survey around Grenfell in the Central West of NSW took place on September 26, 2020. We were pleased to have 36 surveyors despite the COVID-19 restrictions. Surveyors were divided into seven groups. These were more difficult to organise than usual because we were not able to carpool so most people drove their own cars. However everything worked out with all the sites surveyed. I would like to thank the survey group leaders – Allan Richards, Kim Farley, Ted Nixon, Allan Pidgeon, Graham Fry and Russell Beardmore – as well as all the surveyors. We had a number of new surveyors from Sydney and I hope that some of them will come again when hopefully the weather will be better. We were able to have a barbecue at Mikla and Wayne’s home on Saturday night but we had to limit the numbers attending because of the COVID-19 restrictions so many surveyors did not come to the barbecue.

The survey day proved to be particularly cold and damp with temperatures not rising much above 10 degrees Celsius. In the poor conditions, we saw a total of 905 birds from 65 species, which does not differ much from the March 2020 survey when we saw 61 species (818 birds) or the September 2019 survey when we saw 62 species (967 birds). However the number of species and birds seen were considerably less than the 80 species (1234 birds) seen in September 2018. The numbers of species per site varied between four and fourteen (average nine species per site) while the number of birds seen per site varied between 10 and 47 per site (this excluded a single site where 47 Common Starlings took the site count to 125 birds). Superb Parrots were only seen on one site (six birds) during the survey though some of us saw Superb Parrots flying over “Rosemont”, the home of Mikla and Wayne where we had our barbecue on Saturday evening. During the March survey, 62 Superb Parrots were seen on five sites. Nevertheless there were a number of interesting bird sightings – Cockatiels were seen on six sites and Budgerigars were seen on one site. Brown Treecreepers and Hooded Robins, which are listed as vulnerable species in the area, were seen on one site each. Grey-crowned Babblers, which are also listed as vulnerable, were seen on eight sites. Migrants seen included Sacred Kingfishers, Rufous Songlarks and White-winged Trillers. The only raptors seen were a single Brown Falcon and a single Black Kite. Few honeyeaters were seen as there was almost no blossom though a Yellow-tufted Honeyeater was seen on one site in Bimbi State Forest. While Yellow-rumped and Yellow Thornbills were quite common, we did not see any Buff-rumped or Chestnut-rumped Thornbills on this survey. We hope that with good recent rains, we will see increased numbers of species and birds on the surveys in 2021.Yellow Thornbill                                                                     Photographer: Colette Livermore

Yellow Thornbill                                                                     Photographer: Colette Livermore

The next Grenfell survey should take place on the weekend of 19-21 March 2021, provided we continue to see low numbers of cases of COVID-19 in Sydney and surrounds.  At present there are almost no cases of COVID-19 in the Central West of NSW and obviously our group of largely Sydney based birdwatchers has to make sure that we do not take the illness to Grenfell. If you are not already on our contact list and would like details of the next survey, please contact Allan Richards (activities@birdingnsw.org.au) or me (emhodson@exemail.com.au).


Species NrBirds NrSites Species NrBirds NrSites
Apostlebird 120 16 Laughing Kookaburra 5 4
Australasian Grebe 2 1 Little Black Cormorant 2 1
Australian Hobby 1 1 Magpie-lark 17 10
Australian Magpie 28 13 Mistletoebird 1 1
Australian Raven 12 9 Noisy Miner 51 16
Australian Wood Duck 33 6 Pacific Black Duck 4 2
Black Kite 1 1 Pied Butcherbird 6 5
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike 6 3 Pied Currawong 8 8
Blue Bonnet 2 1 Rainbow Lorikeet 2 1
Blue-faced Honeyeater 1 1 Red Wattlebird 1 1
Brown Falcon 1 1 Red-capped Robin 4 2
Brown Thornbill 4 2 Red-rumped Parrot 5 2
Brown Treecreeper 1 1 Rufous Songlark 7 3
Budgerigar 9 1 Rufous Whistler 23 9
Buff-rumped Thornbill 6 1 Sacred Kingfisher 3 3
Cockatiel 33 6 Speckled Warbler 1 1
Common Bronzewing 4 3 Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater 1 1
Common Starling 51 2 Straw-necked Ibis 4 1
Crested Pigeon 28 15 Striated Pardalote 2 2
Double-barred Finch 2 1 Superb Fairy-wren 2 1
Eastern Rosella 82 18 Superb Parrot 6 1
Fan-tailed Cuckoo 3 2 Weebill 2 2
Galah 87 19 Welcome Swallow 1 1
Golden Whistler 1 1 Western Gerygone 5 4
Grey Butcherbird 5 5 White-necked Heron 1 1
Grey Fantail 4 4 White-plumed Honeyeater 1 1
Grey Shrike-thrush 5 3 White-winged Chough 54 11
Grey Teal 13 2 White-winged Triller 5 2
Grey-crowned Babbler 48 10 Willie Wagtail 9 8
Hardhead 2 1 Yellow Thornbill 58 9
Hooded Robin 1 1 Yellow-faced Honeyeater 1 1
Jacky Winter 4 3 Yellow-rumped Thornbill 12 5
Yellow-tufted Honeyeater 1 1
Total number of birds seen 905 Total number of species 65


Red-capped Robin                                                                           Photographer: Colette Livermore













White-winged Chough Photographer: Colette Livermore














Red-rumped Parrot Photograph by Colette Livermore














Elisabeth Karplus

On March 21, 2020, twenty three surveyors took part in the 17th bird survey around Grenfell in the South West Slopes Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). Several people dropped out before the survey but others dropped in – including Ted Nixon, whose bush walk was cancelled so he drove to Grenfell for the survey instead. Four people joined the survey for the first time. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to change some of the weekend’s activities but all sites were surveyed. We had seven survey groups as previously and surveyed on 30 sites. We are no longer able to survey on a site on one private property since the property changed hands but we have an additional site in Warraderry State Forest. I would like to thank the survey group leaders – Allan Richards, David Winterbottom, Kim Fairley, Coleen Southall, Paul Johnstone and Dianne Deans.

On the survey sites we recorded 61 species with a total of 818 birds. There had been small amounts of rain since we were last in Grenfell. While this was sufficient to give a veneer of green, many of the trees were dead or dying. Compared with the March survey in 2019, we recorded three fewer species but a similar number of birds overall. Compared with the September 2019 survey, we saw more Superb Parrots with 62 birds recorded on five sites. Most were seen on Mikla Lewis’ property “Rosemont”. Eight additional Superb Parrots were seen during the weekend. We had no sightings of the other target species, the Diamond Firetail. The total bird numbers were relatively high largely due to large numbers of Apostlebirds (122), Crested Pigeons (30), Eastern Rosellas (51), Galahs (37), Grey-crowned Babblers (49), Noisy Miners (54), Superb Parrots (62), White-winged Choughs (64) and Yellow Thornbills (33). Small numbers of Blue-faced, Brown-headed, Spiny-cheeked, Striped, White-plumed and Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Noisy Friarbirds were seen on survey sites but there was little blossom. The numbers of species per site (species richness) varied between one and 14. The numbers of birds seen per site (bird abundance) varied between 3 and 90 birds.

Other interesting sightings not on survey sites were Turquoise Parrots seen on the way to Bimbi State Forest and at Ben Hall’s Cave and a Little Friarbird, seen feeding in a flowering tree on one of the private properties. A Boobook Owl and an Owlet Nightjar were heard calling by Paul Johnstone and Nigel Miller who were camping at Ben Hall’s Cave. Of particular interest was a Square-tailed Kite seen flying over the site at Vaughn’s Dam but not during the survey time.

Because of social distancing, we cancelled the Friday night dinner at the Railway Hotel. In fact the hotel went into lockdown after one of the children came home from school with chest symptoms. We had our Saturday evening barbecue at O’Brien’s Lookout in Grenfell and everyone enjoyed the evening. We celebrated several birthdays with a chocolate cake. On Sunday morning we went to the Sewage Treatment Works as David McCue, husband of Kathleen, one of the local surveyors, had permission to take us inside. We saw Pink-eared Ducks and a Yellow-billed Spoonbill among other species but alas the hoped-for Plumed Whistling Ducks had moved on. Several of us had a short walk at Company Dam and were rewarded with great views of a pair of Speckled Warblers.

The next Grenfell survey should take place on the weekend of 25-27 September 2020 but this will obviously depend on the progress made in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.  At least we have managed one survey in 2020 and we hope to survey twice in 2021. If you are not already on our contact list and would like details of the next survey, please contact Allan Richards (activities@birdingnsw.org.au) or me (emhodson@exemail.com.au).



Grenfell 2020-Q1 Grenfell 2020-Q1
Species NrBirds NrSites Species NrBirds NrSites
Apostlebird 122 8 Noisy Miner 54 15
Australian Hobby 1 1 Olive-backed Oriole 2 1
Australian Magpie 21 11 Peaceful Dove 5 3
Australian Raven 8 7 Pied Butcherbird 16 9
Australian Wood Duck 8 3 Pied Cormorant 1 1
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike 1 1 Pied Currawong 16 10
Blue Bonnet 5 1 Rainbow Bee-eater 3 1
Blue-faced Honeyeater 4 2 Rainbow Lorikeet 2 1
Brown Goshawk 2 1 Red Wattlebird 1 1
Brown-headed Honeyeater 4 1 Red-capped Robin 4 2
Buff-rumped Thornbill 7 2 Red-rumped Parrot 17 3
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill 6 2 Rufous Whistler 6 6
Common Bronzewing 2 2 Speckled Warbler 3 2
Common Myna 2 1 Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater 6 5
Crested Pigeon 30 12 Striated Pardalote 4 3
Eastern Rosella 51 15 Striped Honeyeater 7 4
Eastern Yellow Robin 4 4 Superb Fairy-wren 2 1
Emu 3 1 Superb Parrot 62 5
Fairy Martin 1 1 Varied Sittella 2 1
Galah 37 10 Wedge-tailed Eagle 1 1
Golden Whistler 2 2 Weebill 16 4
Grey Butcherbird 15 10 Welcome Swallow 6 2
Grey Fantail 4 4 Western Gerygone 7 4
Grey Shrike-thrush 6 4 White-browed Babbler 7 1
Grey-crowned Babbler 49 8 White-plumed Honeyeater 3 2
Inland Thornbill 2 1 White-throated Treecreeper 3 2
Jacky Winter 9 4 White-winged Chough 64 6
Magpie-lark 14 7 Willie Wagtail 13 11
Nankeen Kestrel 1 1 Yellow Thornbill 33 9
Noisy Friarbird 4 1 Yellow-faced Honeyeater 6 2
Yellow-rumped Thornbill 15 4
Total number of birds seen         818 Total number of species 61


Western Gerygone                                                                          Photograph by Paul Johnstone


Report of 16th BIRD SURVEY around GRENFELL in the SOUTH WEST SLOPES KEY Biodiversity Area

Elisabeth Karplus

On Saturday September 28th, 2019, 34 surveyors took part in the 16th survey around Grenfell in the South West Slopes Key Biodiversity Area (KBA). There were eight new surveyors from Sydney and surrounds while Jenny Hetherington, a regular surveyor from Grenfell, bought two friends. We had seven survey groups with most groups surveying on five sites. Twenty nine sites were surveyed. Survey leaders apart from myself were Allan Richards, Ron Broomham, Graham Fry, Russell Beardmore, Paul Johnstone and Richard Webber.  I thank all the survey leaders. In particular I would like to thank Ron Broomham, who at short notice took over as leader of the group surveying in Warraderry State Forest when David Winterbottom twisted his knee. Jill Molan, a regular leader on the Grenfell surveys, got a better offer – she went to SW Queensland to see Letter-winged Kites!

Overall in this survey we recorded 62 species with 967 birds counted. On the March 2019 survey we recorded 64 species and counted 814 birds. Therefore despite the drought the number of birds seen had not fallen between March and September 2019. However we would expect more birds in the spring compared with the autumn so a better comparison is with the September 2018 survey when we recorded 80 species and counted 1234 birds. In particular we saw fewer Superb Parrots with only one being recorded on survey sites though a few others were seen elsewhere. There were no sightings of our other target bird – the Diamond Firetail – during the survey. Two Turquoise Parrots were seen on one site – we rarely see these birds on the Grenfell surveys. Two Australian Ringnecks were seen on one site but we failed to record Bluebonnets on this survey. Unexpected sightings were of White-winged Trillers, which were seen on six sites. On one site, 10 White-winged Trillers were counted. Data from BirdLife Australia indicate that this species is one of the inland species moving closer to the coast during the drought. Forty three Grey-crowned Babblers, which are listed as vulnerable in NSW, were seen on eight sites. A single Brown Songlark was an unexpected sighting. Since there were few flowering trees, honeyeater numbers were low. As usual the most common birds seen were Noisy Miners, Apostlebirds, White-winged Choughs and Eastern Rosellas. The numbers of species per site (species richness) varied between five and 20 with most species seen on two sites in Weddin State Forest. The numbers of birds seen per site (bird abundance) varied between 11 and 76 birds.

As usual most surveyors ate dinner at the Railway Hotel on Friday evening and then attended the barbecue at Mikla and Wayne’s property “Rosemont” on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning several of us visited Company Dam and saw a number of birds including a Speckled Warbler, which appeared to be nesting.

Crimson Chat (male).                                      Photograph by Russell Beardmore

Crimson Chat (male).                                                       Photograph by Russell Beardmore













After the walk several of us drove south on the road to Young to look for a large group of Crimson Chats seen by Jodi and Richard on the previous day.  While we saw the chats in the distance, the best sighting there was of a Spotted Harrier flying low on an adjacent field.


Grenfell-2019Q3 Grenfell-2019Q3
Species NrBirds NrSites Species NrBirds NrSites
Apostlebird 88 14 Pied Butcherbird 5 4
Australasian Grebe 1 1 Pied Currawong 14 8
Australian Magpie 27 13 Rainbow Lorikeet 3 1
Australian Raven 13 7 Red Wattlebird 8 2
Australian Ringneck 2 1 Red-capped Robin 18 8
Australian Wood Duck 6 2 Red-rumped Parrot 8 2
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike 12 6 Restless Flycatcher 2 1
Brown Songlark 1 1 Rufous Whistler 44 14
Buff-rumped Thornbill 16 2 Speckled Warbler 2 1
Common Bronzewing 9 5 Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater 5 3
Common Starling 1 1 Spotted Pardalote 5 4
Crested Pigeon 40 13 Striated Pardalote 17 9
Eastern Rosella 58 15 Striped Honeyeater 3 2
Eastern Yellow Robin 2 2 Superb Fairy-wren 14 4
Fan-tailed Cuckoo 1 1 Superb Parrot 1 1
Fuscous Honeyeater 10 1 Turquoise Parrot 2 1
Galah 43 17 Wedge-tailed Eagle 2 1
Grey Butcherbird 10 9 Weebill 5 3
Grey Fantail 18 8 Welcome Swallow 6 3
Grey Shrike-thrush 4 4 Western Gerygone 13 4
Grey Teal 2 1 White-browed Babbler 15 5
Grey-crowned Babbler 43 8 White-eared Honeyeater 4 2
Hooded Robin 2 2 White-faced Heron 1 1
Jacky Winter 2 2 White-plumed Honeyeater 16 6
Laughing Kookaburra 5 4 White-throated Treecreeper 10 7
Little Raven 4 2 White-winged Chough 78 13
Magpie-lark 14 8 White-winged Triller 17 6
Masked Lapwing 2 1 Willie Wagtail 16 7
Noisy Miner 104 16 Yellow Thornbill 53 11
Pacific Black Duck 5 3 Yellow-faced Honeyeater 10 5
Peaceful Dove 8 5 Yellow-rumped Thornbill 17 6
Total Nr Birds seen 967 Total Nr Species 62


Elisabeth Karplus reports on:  14th Grenfell survey, 22 Sept 2018


Hooded Robin Photographer: Jodi Webber

Elisabeth Karplus reports on 13th Grenfell survey:  March 24 2018


Yellow-rumped Thornbill Photo by Zik Teo

12th survey – Spring 2017 –  16 October 2017


For a report on the survey and sightings click here.


Autumn 2017 – 25 March 2017

Click here for a full report and some great pictures.


While surveying Site 2, Rae Lister  had some amusing experiences.


MARCH 19 2016

Follow this link to the report

Juvenile Wedge-tailed EaglePhotograph by Camila De Gregorio

Juvenile Wedge-tailed Eagle Photograph by Camila De Gregorio




Previous survey reports

26 September 2015

Twenty six surveyors took part in the ninth survey around Grenfell, which is in the South West Slopes IBA.

Our surveys started in September 2011. This time five surveyors from Grenfell joined us. In seven groups we surveyed on 29 sites, of which 12 sites are on private land. I would like to thank Allan Richards, David Winterbottom, John French, Graham Fry, Jill Molan and Russell Beardmore for leading groups and ensuring that the survey forms were completed.

Overall we saw 74 species during the surveys and at other times over the weekend. We have now seen 123 species on survey sites and 132 species overall during our visits to Grenfell. The numbers of species per site varied from one to 23. The sites in Weddin State Forest were particularly good with between 14 and 23 species seen on the four sites. A Black-eared Cuckoo was heard on one site there. Bimbi State Forest also had good numbers of species with improved habitat since the cattle have left. Superb Parrots were seen on six sites and at four other places over the weekend. The largest number of Superb Parrots (15) was seen in a flowering eucalypts in the centre of Grenfell. No Diamond Firetails were seen.


Ground Cuckoo-shrike Photograph: Paul Johnstone

The most exciting sighting was of up to five Ground Cuckoo-shrikes – a new bird for many people. Other interesting sightings were a Spotted Harrier, Plumed Whistling Ducks, Hooded Robins and a Southern Whiteface as well as several sightings of Bluebonnets. I am indebted to Michael Edwards, who has developed a database for the Grenfell IBA sightings. Now we will be able to provide more accurate data on individual survey sites and overall and we will be able to compare sightings across surveys.


BirdLife Australia has appointed an IBA co-ordinator for Australian IBAs. Golo Maurer has already visited several IBAs and he spoke at the recent BIGnet meeting hosted by the Central Coast Group of Birding NSW. Golo is hoping that we can provide annual reports on survey findings and the threats to the IBAs. Phillip Diprose, owner of Ochre Arch , where we have three survey sites, has helped me complete the report form for the 5% of the South West Slopes IBA that we cover around Grenfell. In particular he helped me expand the section on threats to the landscape.


Phillip and Jan Diprose with Rae Lister and Tom Karplus at a survey site on “Ochre Arch” Photograph: Elisabeth Karplus





The winners (Allan Richards, Elisabeth Karplus, Tom Karplus, Paul Lester) of the Trivia Quiz with the Quiz Master, John French (standing behind). Photograph: Mikla Lewis


Winners of the “consolation toilet rolls” (Jill Molan, Paul Johnstone, Sally Forsstrom) in the Trivia Quiz with Quiz Master, John French, and their prizes. Photograph: Mikla Lewis

As usual we met for dinner on Friday night at the Railway Hotel, where Carol provided a roast for us. On Saturday evening we once again had a barbecue at “Rosemont” hosted by Mikla and Wayne. John and Fiona ran a trivia quiz about birds – this was a great success particularly as my team won possibly because I knew the name for a group of starlings (a murmuration)!My prize was two of Fiona’s paintings. On Sunday morning we met at Kathleen McCue’s Gallery as the area around Company Dam was too wet. We had a lovely walk through the bush on her property and then she gave us scones, jam and cream – a lovely ending to the weekend.

Elisabeth Karplus

March 2015

Twenty-nine surveyors took part in the eighth bird survey around Grenfell today. We welcomed three surveyors from Grenfell. We were very pleased to have four Cowra Woodland surveyors join us.

The 2015 Grenfell Surveyors

Surveyors at Company Dam, Grenfell. Photo courtesy of The Grenfell Record

Several people were not able to take part in the survey this March because of the NSW election. I would like to thank Paul Johnstone, David Winterbottom, Jill Molan, Coleen Southall, Richard Webber and Russell Beardmore for leading survey groups.

This weekend we added six new species to those birds listed for the survey sites. David’s group saw a flock of 60 White-backed Swallows in Warraderry State Forest. David has surveyed in Warraderry for many years and he had not recorded this species there before.

Speckled Warbler

Speckled Warbler – photo by Jodi Webber

There were also Tree Martins recorded in Warraderry. Jill’s group saw two immature White-bellied Sea-eagles flying over Weddin State Forest. There were four Pink-eared Ducks as well as 26 Plumed Whistling-Ducks at the Sewage Treatment Works. We have now recorded 138 species on the surveys, and important species in other areas.


Inland Thornbill

Inland Thornbill – photo by Paul Johnstone


Of our target birds, Superb Parrots were seen at six survey sites and at five other places during the weekend. We saw 14 Superb Parrots at the survey site on Heather Lamb’s property. She had not seen Superb Parrots on her property before.



Diamond Firetails were seen on three survey sites during the survey time and on a fourth site but outside the survey time. Rainbow Lorikeets are spreading through the Grenfell area and for the first time were observed on one of the survey sites (Abbot’s Lane). On the 29 survey sites (12 on private properties), the number of species observed during surveys ranged from zero to 27.


Crested Shrike-tit

Crested Shrike-tit – photo by Jodi Webber

Richard’s group found 27 species at Abbot’s Lane including nine Superb Parrots and 150 Little Corellas. In Bimbi State Forest, Coleen’s group recorded 22 species at the dam site. This was an impressive improvement on previous surveys and is probably due to the removal of cattle from around the dam. Birds seen included 11 Southern Whitefaces, 15 Jacky Winters, seven Diamond Firetails and two Hooded Robins. Of the declining woodland species, we saw Hooded Robins at three sites, Speckled Warblers at three sites and Grey-crowned Babblers at five sites, but once again we did not see any Brown Treecreepers. Jill’s group saw a single Turquoise Parrot in Weddin State Forest.

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill

Chestnut-rumped Thornbill – photo by Jodi Webber

Twenty eight people dined on Friday evening at the Railway Hotel – a good opportunity for people to meet others in their survey groups. Once again Mikla and Wayne hosted us at their home for a barbecue on Saturday evening. Everyone got there early in the hope of seeing the two Ground Cuckoo-Shrikes which had flown over the previous evening – no luck! There were however large numbers of Little Friarbirds and several Bluebonnets and Superb Parrots around. We thank Mikla and Wayne for their hospitality. Finally on Sunday morning we went birding at Company Dam. After a slow start, we found a spot with much bird activity and Richard recorded 32 species.

Elizabeth Karplus

September 2014

Bird watching at Company Dam. Image: Jodie Webber

Bird watching at Company Dam. Image: Jodie Webber


The seventh IBA survey around Grenfell took place on Saturday 27 September 2014. Thirty surveyors planned to take part in the survey – the largest number we have had so far. Alas two people could not make the trip at the last minute so 28 surveyors, including three from Grenfell, in seven teams surveyed the 28 sites.

I would like to thank Allan Richards, David Winterbottom, Ted Nixon, Jill Molan, Russell Beardmore and Richard Webber for leading the survey groups.

Seventy-seven species were seen during the survey and at other times over the weekend. This included five new species – Plumed Whistling-Duck, Straw-necked Ibis, Whistling Kite, Brown Falcon and Brown Songlark. The Brown Falcon was seen on Mark Shortis’ place and Mark tells me that he has been seeing this bird around for some time. The Brown Songlark was seen on Ochre Arch and Phillip Diprose tells me that they love watching these birds. Up to 50 Plumed Whistling-Ducks were seen at various times over the weekend at or near the sewage ponds. We have now seen 130 bird species during the surveys or over the weekends at Grenfell.

Superb Parrot. Image: Jodie Webber

Superb Parrot – photo by Jodi Webber

Superb Parrots were seen at five sites during the survey times and at several other places including three flyovers of the caravan park. Two birds were seen investigating a nest hollow in a tree near the sewage ponds; alas Rainbow Lorikeets were also in the area and seemed interested in the same hollow. No Diamond Firetails were seen during the surveys though two were seen during the weekend. The number of species seen at each site varied between 5 and 19 species. We became more aware of the threats to the survey areas; a site with one of the highest number of bird species is part of an enlarging housing estate.

Of the declining woodland species, we did not see any Brown Treecreepers during the weekend but we did see Speckled Warblers at four survey sites, Grey-crowned Babblers at five sites and Hooded Robins at three sites. Although we have not seen Swift Parrots during our Grenfell weekends, Dianne Deans, who joined us for this survey, saw seven Swift Parrots in April 2014 at Holy Camp in the Weddin Mountains National Park.

Red-capped Robin. Image: Jodie Webber

Red-capped Robin – photo by Jodi Webber

On Sunday morning some of the surveyors joined people from Grenfell for a walk around Company Dam. As well as birds – we saw both Western and White-throated Gerygone among others – Mikla showed us many beautiful and delicate wildflowers including several species of orchids.


Elisabeth Karplus

October 22nd, 2014
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