<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>Planting a <strong>future</strong> for threatened species</h2><h3>Capertee Valley tree planting</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.


REPORTS on the  surveys:

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.

The next Grenfell survey will take place on the weekend of 20-22 March 2020. We hope that our existing volunteers and new volunteers will take part in the next survey. Everyone is encouraged to book accommodation as soon as possible as there are always events in 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).

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

The next survey will take place on September 24th 2016. We hope that our existing volunteers and new volunteers will take part in the next survey. Everyone is encouraged to book accommodation as soon as possible as there are always events in Grenfell in Spring and I have learnt that already the caravan park has no cabins available and several camping sites are booked. Please contact Allan Richards (activities@birdingnsw.org.au) or me (emhodson@exemail.com.au) if you are not already on our contact list and would like details of the next survey.



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.



The next survey will take place on March 19th 2016. Because of Easter this is a week earlier than usual. We hope that our existing volunteers and new volunteers will take part in the next survey. Please contact Allan Richards (activities@birdingnsw.org.au) or me (emhodson@exemail.com.au) if you are not already on our contact list and would like details of the next survey.


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.

The next IBA survey will take place on 26 September 2015. We hope that our existing volunteers and new volunteers will take part in the next survey. In particular we hope that more people from Grenfell will join us on the surveys. Please contact Allan Richards (activities@birdingnsw.org.au) or me (emhodson@exemail.com.au) if you are not already on our contact list and would like details of the next survey.


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.

The next two IBA surveys will take place on 28 March and 26 September 2015. We hope that our existing volunteers and new volunteers will take part in the next survey. In particular we hope that more people from Grenfell will join us on the surveys. Please contact Allan Richards (activities@birdingnsw.org.au) or me (emhodson@exemail.com.au) if you are not already on our contact list and would like details of the next survey.

Elisabeth Karplus

October 22nd, 2014