Vol. 13 No. 1-text

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Journal of the
Volume 13, No. November, 1978

ISSN 0311-8150

Registered for Posting as a Periodical Category BTHE N.S.W. FIELD ORNITHOLOGISTS CLUB
COMMITTEE J. Strudwick
E. Hoskin
The object of the Club is to promote the study and conservation of Australian birds and the
habitats they occupy.
Annual subscription rates of the Club (due 1st July each year) are:
Single Member (within Co. of Cumberland) $8.00
Single Member (Country and overseas) $7.00
Family Member $9.00
Junior Member $5.00
All members receive a quarterly newsletter and a copy of the quarterly journal “Australian
Birds”. The price of the journal is $2.00 plus postage per issue to non-members. Club badges
are available to club members at $1.30 or $1.50 if posted. The Club holds a meeting and a
field excursion each month.
All correspondence should be addressed to the Hon. Secretary at:
90 Picnic Point Road, Picnic Point. 2213
All membership fees should be sent to the Hon. Treasurer at:
18 Russell Street, Oatley. 2223
Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor at:
P.O. Box 39, Coonabarabran. 2857MOS
Volume 13, No. 1 November, 1978
This is the Eighth Annual Report and it confirms that 1977 was a year of considerable
interest and excitement for N.S.W. observers. Two species, Asiatic Dowitcher and White-rumped
Sandpiper were added to the state list during the period and there were sightings of other rarities
such as Grey -headed and Sooty Albatrosses, Tahiti Petrel, White -headed Petrel (400 km inland)
and Red-browed Pardalote. Information clarifying distributional limits was received for numerous
species including Scaly -breasted Lorikeet, Noisy Pitta, Rufous Scrubbird, Tawny Grassbird, Yellow –
throated Scrubwren, Pale Yellow Robin, Brown and Singing Honey -eaters, Chestnut -breasted
Finch, Regent Bowerbird and Paradise Riflebird. Other items of note were the large influx of
Pelicans and the continued sightings of Letter -winged Kites.
The Sydney area also had its share of interests with breeding records of Shoveler, Pied
Oystercatcher, Musk Lorikeet and Gang Gang Cockatoo, apparently for the first time, as well as
sightings of Buller’s Albatross, Oriental Dotterel, Little Whimbrel, Long -toed Stint, Australian
Pratincole and Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater.
Due to unforeseen circumstances I was unable to complete this year’s report and I am
especially grateful to Terry Lindsey for taking over at short notice. Terry edited more than half
the final report and undertook all the typing and checking. My thanks also to John Hobbs, Alan
Morris and Ernie Hoskin who have again been generous with their advice and contribution of extra
records. As I will not be continuing as Records Officer I would like to take this opportunity of
expressing my thanks to the many observers who have contributed to these reports over the last
eight years. I am convinced that regular documentation of records will be of long term benefit to
ornithology in N.S.W. and I would urge your continuing support in the future.
Alan E.F. Rogers
A. Aldridge Y. Ebb J. Lewis R.C. Smith
A.G. Lindsey D.I. Smedley
T. Allan
I. Arch ibo Id Ecofest School (EFS) TN .. W L. a vL iso n (g Tm Lao )r e C R. . S So hn at re ror ck (RSh)
K. Avery
T. Alley (THA) T. Felton T. Lindsey H. Steetbark
B. Finch P. Steetbark (PSt)
WM .. B Baa rld dew nin (WBa) W B.. S .F i Fle ow reo so t d B S A.. . MM Maa crn Gcn h ie la ls n t G K K. .. S S St t te o rv ik ne e gn s fs e llow (DSS
D D.. B Ba ar tt eo sn (DBa) J J. . CF . ra Fn oc rsis h aw AJ.
M Mc cC Cre ua
tc heon
J W. .S Str wu ed ew ni ec yk (JSt)
H. Battam M. McKellar M. Sykes (MSy)
D. Best (DBc) F. van Gessel J. McKean T. Scott (TSc)
J.D. Gibson
W TR G C .. .. . M BB B B . o i l og a B nlg c e so k s en w rs ee rll B B H M. . . . G G G Gi o ol ol li ld og ds da st t wn e e i iin nn (BGo) G D R R. .. . M M M Me i i ol ll ln e fe fd d are g tl e ( RMo) E D R. .. T T Th uuo rr nnm eea rrs
A. Morris
P. Bourke D. Gosper V. Murphey D. Waterhouse (DRW)
D.F. Gray
T. Nordstroem E. Wheeler
A.M. Cartwright
J A. . R Ro ob ge er rt ss on (JRo)
S G. . D De ib bu les y 0. Kershaw A.B. Rose
M. Dibley W. van der Kley (WK) J. Russil
N. Russil
P. Disher
J J. . FD . is Dn ixe oy n B D. . L La ar rk ki in ns s D. Sawyer
N. Schrader
T. Dixon S.G. Lane
A. Sefton
M. Doyle (MDo) E. Lesser B.L. Schmidt
J. Duranti (JDu) K. Lesser L. Smith
F. Dwight P. Lester P. Smith
R. SmithNovember, 1978 3
Emu 3 in the North Bombing Range area near Evans Head 23 July (DG, WW).
Little Penguin 5 nests found on Statis Rock in Sugarloaf Bay near Seal Rocks 3 Jan (GH), see
Corella 1:81.
Wandering Albatross Summer records: 3 and 6 seen at sea off Coffs Harbour 9 and 11 Jan resp.
(GH, RCS).
Royal Albatross 2 possibly 3 of the northern race sanfordi at sea off Green Cape near Eden 25
Sept; identified at a distance by plumage pattern and confirmed at close range by black cutting
edges of mandibles (MJC).
White -capped Albatross c. 200 at sea off Green Cape 25 Sept included a juvenile of the race
salvini identified by wholly dark head and large amount of black on the primaries (MJC, DB).
Buller’s Albatross An adult seen near the airport runway at Botany Bay 19 March. At first this
bird was thought to be sick or injured as it drifted with the tide a few metres offshore. However,
when approached on one occasion by a boat it took off with ease. Observed for about one hour at
ranges down to a few metres, description submitted (JSt, BSF).
Yellow -nosed Albatross 30+ feeding around a trawler off Green Cape 24 Mal (DM) and 10-20
same location 23 and 24 Sept (MJC). 15+ off Sydney Heads 7 May (AR et al).
Grey -headed Albatross An immature seen at sea off Green Cape near Eden 25 Sept (MJC).
Identification confirmed from photograph.
Sooty Albatross An adult seen and photographed at sea off Green Cape near Eden 25 Sept,
pale sulcus and eye ring clearly seen (MJC).
Cape Petrel At least two of a flock of c. 50 seen at sea off Green Cape near Eden 25 Sept were of
the nominate race capense (MJC).
Great -winged Petrel One flew past Boat Harbour, North Cronulla at close range 19 Nov (AMcG,
NWL). Inshore records are rare.
White -headed Petrel One seen far inland about 20 km W of Gunbar 1 June (RMo), a remarkable
occurrence; see Aust. Birds 12:55-7. At least 10, perhaps up to 20, seen at sea off Green Cape
near Eden 25 Sept (MJC).
Black -winged Petrel Up to 6 birds present during summer at Muttonbird Island Coffs Harbour,
last seen 19 Jan (GH).
Tahiti Petrel Single birds seen at sea off Coffs Harbour on 11, 13 and 26 Jan with 4 on 14 Jan
(RCS per GH). One seen at sea about 18 km NE of Nambucca Heads on 2 and 3 April. On the
latter date the bird continuously circled the boat at night from about 02.00-03.00 hrs; once it
appeared dazzled by a decklight and approached to within 3 m of the observer (GH).
Providence Petrel 2+ seen at sea about 30 km off Sydney Heads 8 Oct (AR et al).
Wedge-tailed Shearwater Southern records: 30, 20 and c. 100 seen off Eden 23, 24 and 25 Sept
resp. (MJC).
Short -tailed Shearwater A massive and prolonged wreck was recorded in the Shoalhaven area.
First noted on 31 Oct when c. 2000 beach washed birds were seen on the beach between Currarong
and Lake Wollumboola with hundreds of near dead birds drifting offshore. On 29 Nov the sandbar
at Lake Wollumboola was littered with dead birds. Fresh carcasses were still coming ashore at
Comerong Island on 6 Dec (JH).AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13)
Little Shearwater One beach washed at Steamers Beach near Jervis Bay 27 Dec (CS).
Hutton’s Shearwater One beach washed at Bungan Beach 21 Nov (SD), now AM (Aust. Museum)
Wilson’s Storm -petrel 29 at sea off Coffs Harbour 23 April with single birds on 31 March and 2
April (GH, RCS). 10+ at sea off Sydney Heads 8 Oct, mainly well offshore (AR et al). One beach
washed at Tathra 10 Nov (PS).
Australian Pelican iViany uuseiveis wniintrueu (ill the big influx of this species into the eastern
half of the state late Oct -Dec, examples are as follows. 643 counted in the Nowra area Nov -Dec
compared with 25 in the same period last year (JH). Up to 43 at Carcoar Dam and 30+ on reser-
voirs in the Orange area Nov -Dec (JBr), not recorded by Heron Emu 73:1-8. Odd birds on stock
dams -in the Parkes -d istrict end Nov -Dec (NS). Seen on farm dams thoughout the Coonabara-
bran Coonamble Gilgandra area during Dec, many dead or in weakened condition (AM).
20 at Towra Point 10 Dec, a high count for this locality (BSF). 202 at Tuggerah Lake 23 Dec,
observers highest count (AM).
Pied Cormorant Three pairs nesting at St Huberts Island, Brisbane Water amongst Little Pied
and Little Black Cormorants 2 Jan first breeding record for the country of Northumberland (AM).
30+ at Riley’s Island Brisbane Water 24 August (CMB). There was a noticeable influx in Oct into
the Sydney area, where it is normally rare. On 15 Oct 2 were seen at Woolooware Bay (GC), on
22 Oct one at Boat Harbour, North Cronulla (RB, AC, AMcG, NSW et al), on 23 Oct 3 at Old
Cooks River Mouth Botany Bay, 30 at Pelican Point Towra Peninsular (BF) and singles at Cen-
tennial Park (EH) and Long Reef Collaroy (LJH). Birds remained at most of these localities and
were also seen in Sydney Harbour with 2 at Longueville 31 Oct and 1 Nov (LS) and 10+ around
Darling Harbour and Long Nose Point 12 Nov and 6 Dec (AR).
Little Pied Cormorant 16+ pairs nesting in Centennial Park Sydney 23 Oct (EH).
Lesser Frigate Bird A female off North Solitary Island (SGL, HB et al) and one off Swansea
Heads (TGK) both on 4 Dec.
Hoary -headed Grebe Recorded in larger numbers than usual in the Sydney area being present
throughout the year at McGraths Hill Windsor, max 20 on 6 June (RB, GD, MD, AC et al) and
at Warwick Farm Sewerage Works where numbers increased to c. 50 Oct -Dec with a max of
75 on 18 Dec (MP, AMcG, JFD, BF). Present at Botany Bay near Hale Street with 50+, 40+
and 28 on 16 July, 17 Sept and 26 Nov resp. (J -M P, BM, KL, EL). Recorded at various fresh and
salt water locations in the Nowra area 15 April 29 Nov, max 43 on 28 June at Sanctuary Point,
St Georges Basin (JH). 200+ at Teasdale Reservoir near Warren 11 July (AM).
Great Crested Grebe 40+ on Wingecarribee Dam Oct (AC, RG, TD, JFD). Present at Spring
Creek Reservoir near Orange, max 9 on 27 Nov (JBr).
White-faced Heron c. 200 in flooded paddocks at Albion Park 8 July (SO’M).
Mangrove Heron Single birds at Comerong Island 28 March (JH), at Lake Illawarra 10 April
(TD, SO’M) and on the Crookhaven River near Culburra 14 May (JH).
Cattle Egret Breeding: up to 200 pairs nesting at a new colony 2 km SW of Macksville during
Jan (GH). Birds first returned to the recently founded colony at.Murwillumbah (see 1976 Report
for details) on 19 Oct and hundreds had laid eggs by 26 Nov, an estimate of nests in use was
700-800 (EP). Non -breeding: In the Nowra area the first birds returned on 20 March and rapidly
increased to 42 on 28 March, 430 on 7 April and 967 on 17 April. Numbers then dropped to
700-800 and remained at that level throughout the winter. In late Oct a sudden rise occurred
until 1600+ were present on 30 Oct, numbers quickly dropping to 30 on 6 Nov (JH). Present in
numbers in the Hawkesbury area 26 March -15 Nov with max 200+ at Pitt Town Bottoms 26
July and at Bushells Lagoon Wilberforce 20 Aug (AC, RG, RB, CMB, LS, JN, BH, JSt, BM et al).
Up to 50 in the Penrith area until 18 Oct (PL). 300+ in the Wyong Valley 11 June (AC, RG), andNovember, 1978
c. 200 near Albion Park 8 July (SO’M). One at Centennial Park 30 Oct (EH). One at Gloucester
6 Dec, observers first record (ABR). Inland: 3 at Griffith Sewerage Works 30 March (RMo),
one at Finley 14 May (JI), 4 at Berida property near Gilgandra 12 Nov (AMcG), 8 at Dangars
Lagoon Uralla 26 Dec and one at Walcha 29 Dec (RC).
Large and Plumed Egret Up to 10 pairs of each nesting amongst Cattle Egrets at the Macksville
colony in Jan, see above (GH).
Little Bittern One at Woolooware Swamp 17 and 23 Jan (GD, MD, JF, DIS) and 3 on 23 Oct
(BF). Single birds at Deepwater Park East Hills 3 Jan, 5 and 7 Nov and 26 Dec (DIS). One near
Mowll Village, Castle Hill 21 and 22 Dec (CMB). An immature at Pedro Swamp about 2 km
S of Moruya Heads 21 Dec and an adult on a small swamp 12 km N of Moruya 26 Dec (SM).
2 males and a female present 10 km S of Finley 26 Nov to year end but no breeding noted (JI).
Black Bittern One at Ryans Swamp Jervis Bay 6 May (JH). Numerous County of Cumberland
Brown Bittern One at Wolooware Swamp on six occasions 31 May -23 Oct with 2 on 30 July
(JD, BM, BF, NR, JR, FJ, GC). 2 at Gosper’s Lagoon Upper Colo 19 March (AC, RG). One flushed
from reeds along Borah Creek Pilliga (NR) 21 April (AM). One at Cambria property 22 km N of
Barham 8 Aug (ET). Many winter records in the Nowra area, max 5 at Brundee 31 July (JH).
Single birds at Deepwater Park East Hills 9 Sept (DIS), Brewarrina 10 Oct (CMB, TB, HG, BG) and
on Mirool Creek between Darlington Point and Griffith 5 Nov (RMo).
Jabiru Inland: Some of the following records may refer to the same individual, however, at
least 2 individuals were involved, one being much browner. An immature near Narrabri 4 Feb,
5 June 25 July and 30 Aug (PDa, PSt, HS per AM), at Coonamble 10 June (DJ) and at Wingadee
25 km N of Coonamble 15 June (RB-S per AM). One at Munwonga property near Moree 17 Aug
(VC per ABR). In the Sydney area one present at McGraths Hill Windsor Jan -May (AC, RB, ASC,
DS, RZ et al) and a pair mid Nov -Dec (JAH, EH, AMcG, NWL et al); one at Londonderry 14 May
(AC, RG).
Straw -necked Ibis Common on the northern tablelands in late Dec, the largest groups being c.
2500 about 20 km S of Walcha 29 Dec and 4000+ about 20 km N of Armidale 31 Dec (RC).
Glossy Ibis Tablelands record: 4 about 15 km W of Armidale (GH).
Plumed Tree -duck Continues to be widespread in distribution and maintains the high population
level of recent years. Only the more notable records are summarised. Resident in the Grafton
area max 400 at Cowans Pond 30 April (EW). 50+ near Singleton 16 April (RC) with 200+ on
16 May (GS) and 350 on 18 May (GH). Recorded in the Hawkesbury area Jan -July max 120
at the Hawkesbury Agricultural College Richmond 18 June (AC, RG, RB, LS et al). 600+ at
Yarrie Lake 25 km W of Narrabri 30 Aug (PSt, HS per AM). 6000+ about 11 km W of Narromine
21 Dec (NS). Present throughout the year at Lake Wyangan near Griffith varying in numbers up
to 1000 (RMo). 60+ at a temporary swamp near Collie 8 March (AM). 6 at Great Cobar Tank
7 Feb (BLS). Present in small numbers on a tank 45 km S of Louth 1 March (NCo per BLS).
Black Swan 910 counted on Tuggerah Lake from Long Jetty to Budgewoi 23 Dec (AM).
Freckled Duck 2 at Griffith Sewerage Works 23 Sept and one on 26 Nov (RMo, CS) were the
only records reported.
Mountain Duck A male at Bushells Lagoon Wilberforce 19 Feb and possibly the same bird at
Pitt Town Lagoon 27 April -7 May (AC, RG, RB). A male at Hoskins NR Bowral 22 Dec appears
to be the first district record (CS). 8 at Carcoar Dam 20 Nov (J13r). 2 at Parkes Sewage Farm
12 July, 2 and 9 Sept (NS). 100+ at Morrisons Lake near Ivanhoe 10 and 11 April (RMo).
Breeding recorded at Lake Cowal (NS) and Lake George (LJH).
Grey Teal 1300 at Tuggerah Lakes 23 Dec (AM).6 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13)
Chestnut Teal 150+ at Tuggerah Lakes 6 Aug (DSS) and 160 on 23 Dec (AM), 82 at Avoca
Lagoon and 80 at Wamberal Lagoon 23 Dec (AM); these are large concentrations for this area.
Breeding recorded at Vincentia (JH) Narrabri Common (PDa) and Macquarie Marshes NR (EFS)
all during May and at Long Neck Lagoon Cattai (AC, RB, LS) during Nov.
Shoveller Recorded on numerous occasions late April -mid. Aug in the Richmond -Windsor area,
max 100+ at Bakers Lagoon Richmond 27 April (JN, AC, RB, RG, JDu et al) 12 at Menangle
Swamp 17 Sept (JR, NR). On 5 Nov a female was flushed feigning injury at McGraths Hill Windsor
(EH); on 17 Nov a pair was present with 8 young (GD, MD, BF) and were seen by many observers
to 29 Nov. This is the first breeding record for the County of Cumberland.
Pink -eared Duck Present in the Richmond -Windsor area late April -end July max 52 at Bakers
Lagoon Richmond 13 May (JN, WF et al). 4 at Kooragang 2 and 3 Jan (FG). 5 at Liddell Lake
24 July (RC). 2 at Spring Creek Reservoir near Orange 4 Dec (JBr).
White -eyed Duck 500 at Southgate Creek between Grafton and Lawrence and 130 at Sportsmans
Creek Lawrence 10 July (EW). 300+ at Worrigee Swamp near Nowra 17 July (JH).
Blue -billed Duck A pair at the northern marsh Macquarie Marshes NR 2 Oct (EFS). 31 at Dangars
Lagoon Uralla including a pair with 8 downy young 26 Dec (RD), this appears to be the first
breeding record for this area.
Musk Duck A male on a large dam at Kentucky Stud 10 km S of Grafton 30 Nov (EW); observers
only previous district record was a male displaying at a small swamp behind the beach between
Minniewater and Sandon on 22 Aug 1971.
Black -shouldered Kite c. 70 at Bakers Lagoon Richmond 13 Aug (AC, RB), see Aust Birds
Letter- winged Kite Observations of this rare species continued following its “explosion” in late

  1. 10 at Tichborne 12 km S of Parkes 31 Jan (NS), see Aust Birds 12:15-16. One at Muswell-
    brook 20 Feb (FG, WBa, T La). One at Cobar 28 Feb (BLS). One flying over the Princes Highway
    along Cooks River at Tempe 12 March (BC, GCo, MMcK). 2 at Redhead Beach 29 March (VM,
    BMu per FG). Observed at the VORG Easter Camp -out at Jerilderie, see VORG Notes 13:18.
    3 about 30 km W of Jerilderie on the Conargo Road 9 April (PD). Up to 5 present for about six
    weeks at Burraboi Railway Siding 35 km NE of Barham Oct -Nov (PD, ET, JI). One over the south-
    ern marsh Macquarie Marshes NR 3 Oct (EFS). One at Dareton 10 Nov (PB). Two additional
    occurrences can be treated as “highly probables”: 3 reported by 11 -year -old Peter Debus on
    Athena property near Urana 25 Jan (per SD) and one reported as seen regularly around Bylong
    in the early part of the year by a local resident (per RC); in each case a good description was given
    and the observers were aware of the differences between this species and the Black -shouldered
    Crested Hawk Recorded in every month at Reserve Creek Murwillumbah with breeding Sept –
    Dec (EP). There was again a noticeable movement into the Mullumbimby district in Aug with
    individuals frequenting the town area (MK), see also Aust Birds 12:17. At least 4 pairs nested on
    the slopes of Middle Brother Mountain near Kendall Sept -Nov (DM). Southern records: 2 at
    Boronia Park Epping 22 March, barred breasts and crests well described (FD per BH), a pair at
    Lake Parramatta (BF) and singles at Blue Gum Creek near Springwood 8 Oct (AC et al), at Thorn-
    leigh 14 Jan, 20 Aug and 21 Oct (BH) and at Ourimbah SF 27 Nov (TF per FG).
    Black Kite Coastal record: single birds about 5 km NW of Moruya 25 Sept, 16 and 23 Nov (SM)
    Square -tailed Kite Single birds as follows: at Finley 25 Feb (JI), on the Newell Highway 46 km
    N of Coonabarabran 2 Sept (JCW per AM), over the southern marsh Maquarie Marshes NR 3
    Oct (EFS), 15 km NE of Bundarra 9 Dec (RN, SN), 10 km S of Finley 16 Dec (JI) and above the
    Terrace near Richmond 27 Dec (AC, MP, JFD, TD). The last mentioned is a notable record for the
    Sydney area the previous occurrence being over five years ago, see report for 1972.November, 1978
    Black -breasted Kite A pair at Goorimpa property 65 km S of Wanaaring 1 July (RM, AA).
    Brahminy Kite Southern records: a sub adult at the Manning River Bridge Taree 25 June (DIS)
    and one on the Hastings River near Port Macquarie 21 Dec (RC).
    Grey Goshawk One perhaps two 3 km N of Armidale 5 April (RN, SN). Many near coastal
    Little Eagle 7 seen between Brewarrina and Narran Lake 22 May hawking low over grassland,
    catching locusts and eating them on the wing (JSt).
    Wedge-tailed Eagle A pair seen performing a display flight at Church Point 21 Nov (SD).
    White -breasted Sea -eagle Breeding recorded 20 km W of Tocumwal in July (JI) and at the southern
    marsh Macquarie Marshes NR in Oct (EFS).
    Spotted Harrier Many more coastal records than usual. Sydney area: single birds at Marsden Park
    26 Feb (ASC, AMC), at Woolooware Swamp 16 July (JSt); in Royal NP at Garie 31 July (JR,
    NR) and Wattamolla 13 Aug (FJ, DT); and in the Richmond -Windsor area at McGraths Hill 18 Feb,
    near the Hawkesbury Agricultural College 18 June, at Bakers Lagoon 2 July, 21 Aug, 15 Sept and
    30 Dec, at Pitt Town BottoMs 26 July and 13 Aug and at Bushells Lagoon 29 July (ASC, JN,
    RC, AC, RG, AMcG, BH, JSt, BM, GB). North coast: single birds at Cedar Point 24 km N of
    Casino 29 March, at McKees Hill 15 km E of Casino 18 June and at Evans Head 23 July (DG).
    Swamp Harrier One at a small dam 7 km S of Orange 4 Sept (JBr), not recorded by Heron Emu
    73:1-8. One seen over Mallee at Round Hill 31 Aug (DL, JMP).
    Osprey In marked contrast to previous years inland records predominated. One seen and photo-
    graphed at Dalmorton on the Boyd River 80 km inland 4 Jan (JMcC per DIS). One about 3 km
    below Bellbrook on the Macleay River 45 km inland 12
    the Orara River 35 km inland from Wooli 3 Dec and 2 at Eatonsville on the Clarence River 12 km
    upstream from Grafton 25 Dec (EW). One reported at Keepit Dam 20 km NE of Gunnedah 10
    Dec by Ms J. Zealey a visitor from the U.K. who is very familiar with the species in Scotland
    (per AM). Coastal: single birds at Comerong Island 25 Jan (JH) and at Urunga 14 Sept (AMcG).
    Black Falcon One at Yarramundi near Richmond 8 Oct (AC, RG) was unusual for the, Sydney
    area, see Aust Birds 12:54. One at Munghorn Gap 22 May (DIS) was the first record for the
    Mudgee area since regular observations commenced in 1965 (per AM). Many inland records.
    Grey Falcon A pair 10 km SE of Deniliquin 25 June (JI) was the only record reported for the
    Mallee Fowl Single birds seen in Goonoo Goonoo SF near Mogriguy in mid Sept (DPa) and about
    24 km SW of Mendooran 15 Dec (AM). In Pilliga NR one was seen at No 1 Fire Break on 10 Jan
    (per AM) and a week old chick was caught and photographed about 34 km SW of Boggabri 30

Dec (AM). 2 in Blue Mallee SF 10 km W of West Wyalong 8 Dec (RT).

Brush Turkey 2 seen in the Wattagan Mountains, map reference Quorrobalong 1:25 300 501508
3 July (DFG).
King Quail One heard calling at North Ryde 9 Feb (RC). A pair at Diamond Head Crowdy Bay
NP 3 Oct (SD). 2 at Christmas Bells Plain about 15 km S of Port Macquarie 22 Dec (RC). Only
two occurrences of single birds at Reserve Creek Murwillumbah in contrast to a healthy breeding
population in previous years (EP).
Painted Button -quail Nesting recorded at Cumbil Bore near Kennebri N of Barradine 10 Dec
(GD, MD).
Red -chested Button -quail One in grazed stubble on Athena property near Urana 25 Jan (SD).
One flushed twice from grass by the edge of Narran Lake 13 May (DL, JW). One flushed at Wooran8 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (131 1
property 12 km NW of Sandy Camp near Quambone 6 Oct (EFS). 3 and 2 about 16 km SE of
Finley on 24 and 30 Dec resp (JI). 7 adults and at least 8 chicks seen by the roadside 22 km NW
of Inverell 31 Dec (RC).
Brolga Breeding recorded Oct -Dec at Baroone property, Gulargambone (DBe per AM) and at
Berida property near Gilgandra (AMc per AM).
Lewin Water Rail One at Royal NP 2 Jan (GP). An adult and an immature at Tumbi Umbi 22
Jan (GC). One calling at dusk at Dee Why Lagoon 4 April (DS). One killed by a cat at Gool Gool
homestead 16 km W of Narrabri 8 Nov, specimen sighted (PDa) this appears to be the first record
for north western N.S.W.
Banded Land Rail One at Reedy Creek 21 km NE of Eugowra 29 Sept (JBr). Breeding recorded
near Batemans Bay Jan (PL), Deepwater Park East Hills Aug (TN) and Kuring-gai Chase NP Nov
(KL, EL). One at Avoca Lagoon 23 Dec was the first area record (AM).
Marsh Crake 2 at dam at Mailman’s Gap, Cocoparra NP 31 Jan, apparently first record for the
park (RMo). 2 first seen 16 Nov present continuously to year end at Parkes Sewage Farm (NS)
and 3 at Mountain Lagoon near Bilpin 30 Dec (AC, RG).
Spotted Crake Recorded frequently at Woolooware swamp Jan -early Feb and again from 15 Oct
through Nov, max. 6 (BF, AMcG, GC, SGL et al). Single bird in small clump of mangroves at
Hale Street, Botany Bay 19 Oct -2 Nov, an unusual locality (JMP). One at Mountain Lagoon, near
Bilpin 30 Dec (AC, RG). Reported also from Baker’s Lagoon and McGrath’s Hill. Inland records:
one at Mulawoolka Basin on Tongo Station, Paroo River System 17 Oct (CMB, TB, HG, BG);
max. 2 at Parkes Sewage Farm 15 Oct -29 Dec (NS); one at Balaka Lake 25 km NE of Menindee
20 Oct (RP); 2 on swamp 2 km W of Hollands Lake near Dareton 15 Sept (CS), and 1-2 at Cobar
Sewage Ponds (BLS). The Oct records is interesting.
Spotless Crake Sydney area: one caught and banded at Woolooware Swamp 1 Feb (GC) and one
seen 23 Oct (BF); one at McGrath’s Hill near Windsor 5 Feb (AC, DSS, BF et al). A few heard in
Brundee Swamp near Nowra 31 July (JH). Inland records: one near Euligal Lake, Kinchega NP 29
Aug -9 Sept (GLC per AM), and one at Lake Wyangan near Griffith 23 Sept (RMo, CS).
Bush -hen One road casualty at Lennox Head 23 Nov (GM). Heard calling at Reserve Creek,
Murwillumbah from 30 Sept until first week of Feb 1978 (EP).
Jacana One at Mountain Lagoon near Bilpin 30 Dec (AC, RG).
Painted Snipe Sydney area: at least 2 pairs (3 males recorded on 2 occasions) at McGrath’s Hill
near Windsor from 26 Jan to 12 Feb (JR, NR, ASC, DS, JN, AC, BF, DSS, JFD, RG) and 3 on
27 Dec (AC, MP, JFD, TD); 2 at Pitt Town 1 Jan. A female at Woolooware Swamp 16 Jan (JW)
and one (sex unrecorded) 21 Jan (BSF); a male 13 Jane, caught and banded 15 Jan, retrapped
12 Feb (GC). 3 (one male, 2 females) feeding at large pond on Elizabeth Drive near Badgery’s
Creek, Luddenham 6 Jan (JR, NR). 2 at Kooragang Island 12 Nov (FG). 6 seen 9 km NW of Parkes
16 Jan and one at Parkes Sewage Farm 12 Dec (NS); 2 at Lake Cowal 12 Nov (NS). 3 at Tatham –
near Casino 7 Jan (DG), and a pair at Great Cobar Tank 14 Jan (BLS). 2 at Wagga 22 Oct (RS
see Bird Obs 556:119).
Pied Oystercatcher Botany Bay records: 8 on 5 Jan (JW) and 5 on 17 Jan (GD, MD) at Towra
Point; 2 at Pelican Point on 16 Apr and 28 May (GD, MD). Nest with 2 eggs found on Towra Point
3 Oct; pair of birds present displaying aggressive behaviour to intruders. Eggs still present 5 Oct
but later disappeared. No evidence of egg shells which would have indicated successful hatching
(JCF). This appears to be the first breeding record for County of Cumberland.
Banded Plover Pair with young at 700 m in a small clearing surrounded by rugged sandstone
at Talwong in Morton NP 45 km W of Nowra 8 Nov (JH); 17 in Nov and 2 pairs with young 10
Dec at Numbaa (JH).November, 1978 9
Thumb Lagoon, Wollongong 15-28 Nov appear to be first record for the County of Camden (DG).
One 17 Km SE of Orange 16 and 19 Oct, 2 seen 14 km S of Orange 20 Nov and 2 at Carcoar Dam
20 Nov (JBr).
Double -banded Dotterel Recorded at Boat Harbour 27 May -9 Sept (JW), 2 at Pitt Town Lagoon
4 May (RB) and one at Baker’s Lagoon Richmond 14 and 20 Aug (JN). An adult in breeding
plumage remained at Comerong Island through the latter part of 1976; it was still in breeding
plumage on 4 Jan 1977. On 25 Jan, when it was losing breeding plumbge, it was accompanied by
2 immatures. The presence of the bird through the summer, in breeding plumage, together with
its subsequent association with immatures well in advance of the normal arrival dates from New
Zealand, suggests the possibility of breeding, although never more than one adult was seen (JH).
Large -Sand Dotterel One at Comerong Island 28 March and 22 Dec (JH). 2 at Hastings Estuary
Port Macquarie 20 Dec (RC).
Black -fronted Dotterel 7 May a total of 80+ recorded in the Hawkesbury region (AC).
Oriental Dotterel 6 present at Bankstown Aerodrome from early Nov -year end (BL, AMcG,
AC et al) see Aust Birds 12:159-160.
Australian Dotterel 2 at Manara on Ivanhoe-Menindee Road 31 August (JW).
Eastern Golden Plover Inland: single birds at Parkes Sewage Far 7-28 Nov (NS) and at Great
Cobar Tank 31 Oct -1 Nov (NCo per BLS).
Grey Plover Single birds at Towra Point 19 March (JW) and (in partial breeding plumage) at
Hale Street Botany Bay 17 Sept (JMP); one at Griffith Sewerage Works 23 Sept (RMo, CS);
1-2 present at Comerong
Little Whimbrel One at Pitt Town Lagoon seen 29 and 31 Oct (RB, LS, AMcG, BF, NWL, EH,
AC et al).
Whimbrel Single bird near Euligal Lake, Kinchega NP 3-9 Sept. Thought to be first inland NSW
record (HJ, GLC) see Aust Bird Watcher 7:170.
Marsh Sandpiper Inland records: one at Griffith Sewerage Work 6 Sept (RMo), BM et al) and 4
on 23 Sept (RMo, CS); one at Guyra 9 Nov (GH).
Greenshank Inland records: one near Euligal Lake , Kinchega NP 8 Sept (GLC per AM), one on
small dam 7 km S of Orange 20 Nov (JBr), one at Parkes Sewage Farm 2 Sept (NS), one at north
marsh Macquarie Marshes NR 5 Oct (EFS per AM) and 2 at Griffith Sewerage Works 23 Sept
(RMo, CS). Several records in the Cobar area: one at Lerida Tank 28 Sept (OK) and at Great
Cobar Tank 3 from 7-14 Feb, one remaining to 25 Feb (BLS), and later one on 13 and 21-24
Sept (NCo per BLS).
Wood Sandpiper One in north marsh, Macquarie Marshes NR 5 Oct (WB EFS per AM) and 5+
at Griffith Sewerage Works 23 Sept (RMo CS).
Common Sandpiper Inland records: one at Round Hill Tank 100 km N of Wilcannia 19 Oct
(CMB, TB, MG, BG) and one at Tuckers Creek between Dareton and Wentworth 28 Oct (PB per
Wandering Tattler 2 at North Solitary Island 8 March (GH) and 2 at South Solitary Island 16
Asiatic Dowitcher Sight record: one, perhaps 2 on spit at Shoalhaven Heads 20 Feb (JMcK).
Full details submitted. First N.S.W. record.
Great Knot 7 near runway at Mascot Airport Botany Bay 3 Jan (RP, JSt), 2 at Towra Point
29 March and one at the same place 17 Sept (BSF) and one at Long Reef, Collaroy 11 Jan (JW,
Pectoral Sandpiper Observations at Pitt Town Lagoon 1 Jan and 19 Feb (JSt) and at McGrath’s
Hill Windsor 21 Jan (AC, TD), 5 Feb (AC, BF et al) and 18 Feb (ASC, JN) may refer to the same
2 individuals. One at Baker’s Lagoon Richmond 15 Sept (JN). 2 at McGrath’s Hill 5 Nov, 8 Nov,
12 Nov, 17 Nov and 17 Dec (EH, GD, MD, AMcG, AC et al); one at Pitt Town Lagoon 12 Nov
(EH et al) was perhaps one of the McGrath’s Hill birds. One caught and banded at Woolooware
Swamp 15 Jan (GC) and seen again next day (JW). 4 at Kooragang Island during Jan (FG) and
one at Racecourse Lagoon Uralla 26 Dec (RC).
Red -necked Stint Inland records: one at Great Cobar Tank 2 Jan (BLS). One at Willandra NP
5 Sept (BM, DL JMP, WB, BSF et al), 2 near Euligal Lake, Kinchega NP 8 Sept (GLC per AM),
2 at Griffith Sewerage Works 6 Sept (RMo, BM et al) and one on a small dam at Guyong 17 km
SE of Orange 16 Oct (nr).
Long -toed Stint One first seen 29 Oct at Pitt Town Lagoon (AC, BF, AMcG, EH, WS, NWL)
remained in the Hawkesbury district until the end of the year (BF, AGL, TL et al) and was usually
seen at McGrath’s Hill (AC, LS, RB, GD, MD, AR et al). All sightings probably of the same
individual although on 12 Nov was reported both from McGrath’s Hill and Pitt Town Lagoon.
Third N.S.W. record, and first for County of Cumberland.
White-rumped Sandpiper One in the Hawkesbury district from 29 Oct was last seen 24 Dec
and reported on various occasions from Pitt Town Lagoon, McGrath’s Hill and Baker’s Lagoon
(BF, AC, AMcG, RB et al). First N.S.W. record, third Australian record see Aust Birds 12:57-58.
Sanderling Present at Comerong Island 15 Sept -31 Dec with maximum 5 on 13 Nov (JH). 2 at
Boat Harbour 3 Jan (BSF). 17+ at Hastings estuary Port Macquarie 20 Dec (RC).
Broad -billed Sandpiper One at Budgewoi Lake 14 Jan (AC, TD).
Black -tailed Godwit One photographed at Parkes Sewage Farm 15-20 Sept (NS) and up to 7
at Pitt Town Lagoon 25-31 Oct (RB, AMcG, BF, AC, EH et al). Seldom recorded away from the
Bar -tailed Godwit One on temporary swamp near Rocky Glen 11 Oct (BCa per AM). A flock of
220, many in breeding plumage, at Towra Point on 28 Aug is an early arrival date, and 3000+
at Kooragang Island on 5 Nov is a large concentration (FG et al).
Ruff Male birds (possibly the same individual) were seen at Broadwater Lagoon, Little Cattai
Creek 5 Feb (AC, BF et al) and at McGrath’s Hill near Windsor 18 Feb (ASC, JN). Single reeves
were noted on various dates 1 Jan -5 Feb at McGrath’s Hill and Pitt Town Lagoon (ASC, DS,
JSt et al); these records may all involve a single individual, but 2 reeves were seen at McGrath’s
Hill 12 Feb (AC, RG). Later in the ye’ar a male turned up at Pitt Town Lagoon 29 Oct (BF,
AMcG et al) and was seen there-after,on many occasions either at Pitt Town or McGrath’s Hill
until the end of year; most subsequent sightings were at McGrath’s Hill (BF, TL, GD, MD et al).
A reeve was seen at Pitt Town 22 Oct (BF) and at Baker’s Lagoon 26 Nov (AC, RG). Other
localities: a reeve at Kooragang Island 3 Jan (FG, WBa).
Avocet Several coastal records: 6 photographed on a sandbar at entrance to Smith’s Lake 24-25
March (YE); photographs seen and identification confirmed. One on runway at Botany Bay
26 July (JW) and 29 July (GD, MD, AMcG, DL); 21 on Lake Liddell, Hunter Valley 24 July (RC).
Bush Stone -curlew One 18 km S of Narrabri 27 Aug (ABR) and a pair calling 10 km S of Balranald
on the Kyalite Road 1 Jan (RM) Three pairs present at Berida property near Gilgandra 8 MarchNovember, 1978 11
(AMcC per AM). 2 pairs on Cubbercio property about 30 km SW of Mungindi during Sept -Oct
were observer’s first record since Sept 74 (JCos per AM).
Beach Stone- curlew A pair at Red Rock 22 Jun and again 26 Nov (JBr, RN, SN, GH).
Australian Pratincole Exceptional number of reports Oct -Dec with records from Macquarie
Marshes NP (EFS per AM), Mungindi (JCo per AM), Narrabri (PDa per AM), Lake Cowal (NS),
Barham (ET), Parkes (NS), Cobar (NCo per BLS), Lake Cargellico (RMol, Dubbo (AM), and
Gilgandra (DPa per AM). Breeding confirmed at the first five localities. 2 at Pitt Town 29 Oct (BF,
AMcG, AC, NWL, EH, WS). Earlier in the year 200+ seen at Mossgiel 9 Jan, some with young (NS
and one at Cuttaburra Creek 35 km W of Yantabulla 19 Jan (RMo).
Pomarine Skua 44 flying N off Coffs Harbour 3 Apr (GH) and 15-20 off Sydney Heads 7 May
(AR et al).
Pacific Gull 2 at Windang 10 April and one at same locality 11 April (TD, MSy, SOM).
Kelp Gull An immature at Hale Street Botany .Bay 2 Nov (JMP), and 2 adults between Patch’s
Beach and South Ballina 26 Nov (DG).
Silver Gull 3 Jan, approx 100 disused nests at Statis Rock, Sugarlaf Bay, Seal Rocks, but only 2
pairs present with eggs, see Corella 1:81 (GH). Inland record; 3 on rice water approx 24 km N of
Barham 23 Oct (ET).
White -winged Black Tern 81 at Kooragang Island 5 March (AR, TGK, FG, RC, DBo)
Gull -billed Tern One at Harboard Lagoon 22 Jan (LJH).
Common Tern 1000 at Boat Harbour 2 Jan (BSF). 300+ at same locality 22 Oct (AC, RG, RB,
AMcG et al).
Artic Tern Single birds seen 80 km E of Brush Island and 75 km E of Burrewarra Point 20 Jan
Sooty Tern One 70 km E of Burrewarra Point 20 Jan (DM), one 90 km E of Cape Dromedary
(near Bermagui) 21 Jan (DM); 2 off Coff’s Harbour 24 Jan (GH); 2 adults and 1 juvenile at Flat
Rock near Ballina 25 Nov (DG).
Little Tern Breeding colonies: c. 40 birds present, and 4 nests found at Lake Wollumboola 29 Nov
(JH); c. 38 birds present and 7 nests found at Comerong Island 22 Dec (JH) and about 10 birds
in a new breeding colony at Forster Quays 1 Jan (GH). Other records: 200+ at Boat Harbour
22 Oct (AC, RG, AMcG et al).
Brown Noddy An immature landed on a fishing boat at night at sea off Coff’s Harbour 3 Feb
(RCS per GH). One off Broughton Island 27 Nov (SGL et al), and one at Windang 10-11 April
(TD, MSy, SOM).
White -capped Noddy One feeding off rocks at eastern tip of Muttonbird Island NR, Coffs Har-
bour 30 May (AM).
Purple -crowned Pigeon A female flew into a window at Bellvue Hill, Sydney 24 March (per JD)
and one found dead by the roadside at Wahroonga 9 Aug (JP). Now AM 0.46130 and 0.46287
Topknot Pigeon Seen regularly at Tumbi Umbi during the year; 5 on 27 Feb, 17 on 24 April,
2 on 20 Aug, 4 on 21 Aug, 5 on 17 Sept, 4 on 22 Oct, 3 on 23 Oct (GC). 21 at Karanga Brook,
Royal NP 8 Jan (GD, MD).
White -headed Pigeon Up to 6 recorded regularly (sightings in all months) in Lane Cove River
Valley at South Turramurra from 25 June to 23 Oct (BL, DL, TA, SGL, SD). One at Thornleigh
10 July (BH), and 2 in undergrowth along Scout Creek near Pennant Hills 23 Nov (BH).12 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13) 1
Brown Pigeon 13 below Barren Grounds on 28 July (JW). 2 at Long Point 40 km SE of Armidale
13 March (GH, RN) and one at Narrow Neck 35 km SE of Armidale 13 Jan (GH); the western
limits of distribution are not clearly understood. Several Sydney records: one present 6-13 Feb
along Lane Cove River, South Turramurra (DL), one at Davidson Park, Turramurra 14 June
(RB, LS, TB, CMB), and one found dead at Lindfield 11 March (per JD) now AM 0.46132. 2 near
Springwood Jan (AMcG, JFD).
Spotted Turtle -dove Observed in Mudgee 5 Sept (BH).
Bar -shouldered Dove One on Cabbage Tree Island off Port Stephens 20 March (AR, WB et al)
is apparently the first record for the island. One in bushland in Lane Cove River Park 6 Nov (SD)
may have been an aviary escape. 2 heard calling on Comerong Island 6 Dec (JH), see Aust Birds
11:59 and 1971 report. Further inland reports (see 1975 and, 1976 reports): 2 in callitris at Round
Hill 30 Aug (DL), one at Narran Lake 13 May (JW, JMP, DL), 2 at Yathong NR c. 30 km NW of
Mt Hope 21 Sept (RMo, CS ), and 4 at Cocoparra NP 25 Sept (RMo).
Emerald Dove Reported again from Tumbi Umbi (GC) and Darky Creek Gorge about 20 km S
of Bulge (AC, RG) see 1975 and 1976 reports. One at Lady Carrington Drive Royal NP 3 Dec
(JRol, an unusual record for the park. 2 at Narrow Neck 35 km SE of Armidale 8 July (HAF per
GH), apparently a new locality.
Squatter Pigeon One about 10 km NE of Bingara 31 Dec (RC). Full details supplied.
Rainbow Lorikeet 6 at Cootamundra feeding with 6 Scaly -breasted Lorikeets on a silky oak
19 Jan (NS).
Scaly -breasted Lorikeet Western records: a pair in Yellow Box woodland along Borah Creek
40 km NE of Coonabarabran 2 Aug (BCa per AM); 6 feeding with Rainbow Lorikeets at Coota-
mundra Jan (NS); 2 at Parkes 28 Jan (NS), and small flocks (max. 6) seen regularly E of the
Newell Highway in the Pilliga NR and Borah -Rocky Glen area Sept -Dec (BCa, AM). The occur-
rence at Cootamundra is exceptionally far south. Possible Sydney breeding record in August at
Elanora Heights (BH).
Musk Lorikeet A pair apparently at a nest hole in a blue gum -a t the Forestry Commission West
Pennant Hills 15 Oct (TSc, EH, et al). Breeding later confirmed first for County of Cumberland
Swift Parrot 3 at Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 19 June (EP). Not recorded at Coonabarabran
during the winter (AM), but several other western records: 2 about 20 km N of Cootamundra
24 Aug (RS), see Bird Observer 556:119, 6 at Bumberry Dam E of Parkes 22 June (NS), one
in Backyamma SF about 15 km S of Parkes 18 June (SD) and 12 about 20 km N of Barham
12-13 June (ET).
Glossy Black Cockatoo Northern records: max. 5 seen on 6 occasions 16 Feb -30 Nov near
Murwillumbah (EP), and 2 at Wollomombi Falls 40 km E of Armidale 27 Feb (RN, SN). Western
records: a pair at nesting hollow in Binnaway NR 8 km NE of Binnaway (probably a new locality)
22 March (AM), 2 in Sept on Denmire Road 11 km SE of Gilgandra (DPa), 11 on Dubbo road
20 km SW of Mendooran 8 Sept (AM), and 10 near Bumberry 30 km SE of Parkes 1 March (JBr).
Also several further reports from Pilliga NR (see 1975 and 1976 reports).
Gang -gang Cockatoo A female watched preparing nest site in Dharug NP 1 Oct (JN). A pair
successfully raised 2 young during Nov -Dec in Pennant Hills Park, apparently first breeding record
for the County of Cumberland (BH, DL, BL, TA); full details supplied. Northern records: Mung-
horn Gap NR, 4 on 24 April and 8 on 21 May (DIS), and 6 about 4 km from Broke 16 July (RB).
Also reported from Ebenezer, Widden Brook, and Forest Glen near Maroota.
Galah Numbers appear to be increasing in the Sydney area. 40+ flying E at Oatley Bay 28 Mar
(GD, MD); 52 at Long Reef Golf Course 4 Jan (DS). Present throughout the year in the Nowra
area, max 600 at Worrigee 29 June (JH).November, 1978
Cockatiel Small numbers present throughout the year at Cambria property 22 km N of Barham
(ET). A pair at Wilberforce 10 Sept (AC, RG), a male at Greendale 29 Jan (LS) and a male at
Oatley Bay 2 Aug (GD, MD) may have been aviary escapes.
Superb Parrot The following records are close to the normal limits of range: a pair, the male
moulting into adult plumage, at Box Ridge 12 km SE of Ulamambri 22 March (AM); 30 at Nar-
romine 26 May (JSt); 130+ at Alectown 14 June (NS) and 36 feeding by the roadside 15 km NE
of Tottenham 22 Dec (NS). The last record appears to be a new locality.
Red -winged Parrot One adult female at Munghorn Gap NR 9 April was the first record for the
reserve (DIS), and is south of the normal range.
King Parrot 150+ in loose flocks at Greendale 9 July (AMcG, RG, JFD) is an unusually large
concentration for this area.
Mallee Ringneck Several 40 km W of Warialda 20 March (RN, SN). 200+ at Round Hill 16 April
(JF, BF, MMcK, BG, BHa) seems an unusual concentration.
Blue Bonnet Eastern record: one 2 km E of Mullaley 26 March (AM).
Mulga Parrot The following records were close to the eastern limits of distribution: a pair at
Cubberoo property 30 km SW of Mungindi in Sept (JC per AM), a pair 12 km N of Sandy Camp
Station near Quambone May and Oct (EFS per AM), and 4 at Tottenham 31 May (NS).
Bourke Parrot 2 on the Barrier Highway just E of Wilcannia 12 May (JR, NR).
Turquoise Parrot New localities not previously noted in these reports: 40+ at Numeralla about
20 km E of Cooma 25 March (G. Bedggood, Bird Observer 547:47): The Rock NR, 15+ on 30
April and 2 on 5 June (RMo); a group in the Conimbla Ranges near Bumbaldry 4 Oct (RI). A
small breeding colony discovered SW of Nowra had about 5 pairs, some with recently fledged
young, on 2 Jan. Last seen 1 Feb, but at least 6 pairs returned 1 Oct; left again 30 Oct probably
due to disturbance from quarrying nearby. Scattered birds seen subsequently in the area and a
pair, probably breeding, seen at Tomerong 7 Dec (JH). Many reports also received from well-known
areas, indicating continued good population levels, particularly around Inverell, the Pilliga Scrub,
Weddin Ranges, and the Colo River area.
Ground Parrot One seen by roadside at Broadwater NP 2 Feb (GJM) and present on heath near
Green Cape 23 Sept (MJC).
Pallid Cuckoo One calling at Oakville 10 July (AC, KA); otherwise reported arrival dates were in
the latter half of August:Binnaway 24 Aug (AM), Deepwater Park East Hills 19 Aug (DIS), Gilgai
27 Aug (MB) and Cambria property 22 km N of Barham 20 Aug (ET).
Brush Cuckoo Arrival dates: Murwillumbah 2 Oct (EP), Warrumbungle NP 7 Oct (AM), Tingha
9 Nov (GH), Warrimoo 13 Nov (PL), Tumbi Umbi 23 Oct (GC) and Moruya 15 Oct (SM). One
at East Gosford 9 Sept (MP) may have been a wintering bird.
Fan -tailed Cuckoo One at Kinchega NP 30 Aug was the first record for the park. Other far western
records were: one 90 km W of Cobar 7 Sept and one 65 km W of Wilcannia same day (GH).
Black -eared Cuckoo Eastern records: one on the Warkworth road near Bulga 28 Jan (AC, RG)
and again 23 July (RG).
Horsfield Bronze Cuckoo First for season at Gilgai not until 9 Oct, much later than usual. One
seen at Greendale 15 Oct carrying an egg in its bill; later seen to crush it and eat the yolk (AC,
Shining Bronze -cuckoo Nominate subspecies: one caught and banded at Munghorn Gap NR
(first record for the Mudgee district) 8 April, and another at Deepwater Park, East Hills 17 Nov
(DIS). One found dead at Alstonville near Ballina 3 Oct, now AM 0.46396, and a female found
dead at Wahroonga 23 Oct, now AM 0.46395 (THA, JD). Subspecies plagosus: up to 4 wintered14 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13) 1
near the Sphinx, Kuring-gai Chase NP 9 July -14 Aug (LS, SD). Absent from the Noruya area
11 Jan -26 Aug and unusually scarce thereafter (SM); absent from Coonabarabran 20 April -20 Aug
Indian Koel Arrival dates: Murwillumbah 8 Sept (EP), Beacon Hill Oct (LJH), Thornleigh
3 Oct (BM), Hornsby Heights 3 Oct (RC), Nowra 5 Oct (JH), and Moruya 1 Nov (SM).
Channel -billed Cuckoo Southern records: 3-4 at Nowra 22 Nov -31 Dec (JH), and numerous
records (max. 4 individuals) in Moruya area 27 Sept -9 Dec (SM).
Masked Owl One spotlighted in Wallingat SF near Forster 14 Dec (ABR).
Grass Owl Possible record on Cubberoo property 30 km SW of Mungindi late in the year (JC
per AM). Description given strongly indicates this species.
White -throated Nightjar Two on 10 Jan along No. 1 Fire Break at Pilliga NR, with several Spotted
Nightjars in the same locality. There were bushfires in the area at the time (AM). An extreme
western record. Arrival dates: Diamond Head, Crowdy Bay NP 1 Oct (SD), Rocky Glen 31 Oct
(BCa), and Moruya 31 Oct (SM).
Spine -tailed Swift Arrivals: Murwillumbah 6 Oct (EP), Rocky Glen 4 Nov (AM), Warrimoo 2
Nov (PL), Thornleigh 4 Nov (BH) and Moruya 3 Nov (SM). 3 at Linden near Springwood 28 Oct
(WS), an early date.
Laughing Kookaburra 12 spotlighted roosting close together in Weddin SF 10 May (RT).
Rainbow Bee -eater Arrival dates: Beechwood near Wauchope (3 Birds) 30 Aug (JR, NR), Gilgai
5 Sept (MB), Coonabarabran 8 Sept (AM), and East Gresford 4 Sept (MP). The Gilgai record was
observer’s earliest for the area, see Emu 75:117.
Dollarbird Three reports from around Cobar : single birds on the Barrier Highway 33 km E of
Cobar 15 Feb (JBr), 30 km E 27 March (a late date) (BLS, NCo), and 5 km SE 30 Oct (OK).
Riverina: two 10 km S of Finley 25 Oct (JI) and one on the Murrumbidgee near Yanco 8 Dec
(RMo). Departure dates: Moruya 13 March (SM), Warrimoo 23 Feb (PL), Parkes 10 March (NS),
uoonabarabran 9 March (AM), and Murwillumbah 3 March (EP). One at Ebor 1 April (GH) was
exceptionally late. Arrival dates: Murwillumbah 29 Sept (EP), Coonabarabran 17 Oct (AM),
Gilgai 23 Oct (MB), Parkes end of Oct (NS), Thornleigh 1 Oct (BH), Appin 9 Oct (AP), Warrimoo
15 Oct (PL), and Moruya 2 Oct (SM).
Noisy Pitta Southern record: one seen (22 Nov) and 2 others heard 2-25 Nov near Barrington
House, Barrington Tops NP (GD, MD).
Rufous Scrub -bird One seen clearly at close range at 450 metres near Barrington House, Barrington
Tops NP 22 Nov (GD, MS). Also seen and heard at 4 locations along the track to Wright’s Look-
out, New England NP 3 Dec (GH).
White -backed Swallow Londonderry: 3 on 7 May (AC), 7 on 13 Aug (RB), 9 on 10 Sept (AC,
RG), and 10+ on 26 Dec (TL, BF et al).
Ground Cuckoo -shrike 2 nests found at Macquarie Marshes NR 1-8 Oct (RB). One bird at Gilgai
14 April (MB) (see 1973 report), and 3, 3km N of Armidale 8 July -23 Aug (RN, SN). Several
records from the Parkes -Orange area.
Cicada Bird Departure dates: Moruya 16 March (SM), Glossodia near Wilberforce 2 March (RB),
Gilgai near Inverell 10 Feb (MB), Murwillumbah 3 March (EP). Arrival dates: Murwillumbah
18 Oct (EP), Gilgai 19 Nov (MB), Warrumbungle NP 27 Nov (AM), Tumbi Umbi 22 Oct (GC),
South Turramurra 2 Oct (DL), Thornleigh 12 Oct (BH), and Moruya 9 Oct (SM). In most of these
records, observers did not specify sex, although the Tumbi Umbi bird was a male. Females were
noted at Sackville 15 Nov (RB) and Deepwater Park, East Hills 10 Nov (TN, AMcG).November, 1978
White -winged Triller Earliest spring arrival 31 Aug at Cambria property 22 km N of Barham (ET).
Two winter records from the Sydney area: a male at Cobbity 4 June (AC, RG), and 2 in casuarinas
at Oakville 10 July (AC, KA). A noticeable influx in the Nowra area 30 Oct -31 Dec, with group
nesting involving up to 15 pairs in casuarina groves in dairying country around Numbaa (JH).
Red -whiskered Bulbul Again recorded at Boambee, Coffs Harbour (see 1976 report), and also
at Korara Bay 5 km N of Coffs Harbour (JBr).
Blackbird Apparently continuing its steady spread in N.S.W. Seen in dense scrub at Lake Menindee
29 August -9 Sept (GLC per AM). 2 singing males seen and others heard in Nyngan 26 Aug (AM),
apparently a new locality. Adult male in Gilgandra Hospital Grounds 22 Dec (AMcC per AM).
Recorded a few times around Armidale by Ian Archibald; a male road -kill specimen procured
(RN). Reports also received from Cobar (bred, OK), Wagga Wagga (JN), Queanbeyan (LJH),
Warwick Farm (MP), Kelso, Bathurst and Molong (PB per EH).
Spine -tailed Logrunner Common near Barrington House, Barrington Tops NP 20-25 Nov (GD,
Spotted Quail -thrush One male in the Conimbla Range near Bumbaldry 4 Oct (RT). This appears
to represent a new locality, although further north the species is known to occur around Mudgee,
Armidale, and in the Warrumbungle Range, localities well to the west of the range shown in Frith
(ed.) 1977 (Complete Book of Australian Birds: Readers Digest).
Chestnut Quail -thrush Recorded regularly through the year in Belah and Mallee near Bindi
Homestead 65 km SW of Cobar (BLS); this is slightly north of the known range in this region
(see 1973 report).
Cinnamon Quail -thrush Two pairs on stony outcrop just N of Packsaddle on Tibooburra –
Broken Hill road 4 May (CS). Seldom reported in N.S.W.
Grey -crowned 3abbler 2 at Corindi 30 km N of Coffs Harbour 17 June (JBr).
Chestnut- crowned Babbler Good numbers in small area of Macquarie Marshes NR in Oct (AMcG,
EFS per AM).
Golden -headed Cisticola Further western reports (see 1976 report) may reflect a significant
change in status in inland N.S.W. Apparently established in the Orange area with sightings at local
reservoirs on 6 Aug, 23 Oct, and 27 Nov, and a pair near Spring Hill (JBr). Not recorded by Heron,
Emu 73:1-8. 6 at Parkes Seepage Farm 9-12 June (NS); 14 in undergrowth created by overflow of
an irrigation channel 15 km NE of Tottenham 22 Dec (NS), 4 on Onion Big Plain 46 km W of
Forbes 3 April (NS), and 2 at Quandialla 20 km S of Caragabal in wheat crop 14 Dec (NS).
Tawny Grassbird Single birds flushed frequently throughout April at Worrigee near Nowra and
in August and Sept on Comerong Island (JH); these sightings represent a significant southward
extension of the known range. 3 in swamp opposite Wooloware High School 30 Oct (JW, FJ).
Australian Reed Warbler Arrival dates: “Cambria” 22 km N of Barham 18 Sept (ET), Nyngan
27 Aug (AM), and Pitt Town Bottoms 13 Aug (RBI.
Brown Songlark Sydney area: one caught and banded at Woolooware Swamp 15 Oct (PW per
GC). Widespread during Jan in the Nowra area, E to Comerong Island and N through Farmeadow
and Berry to Omega; reappeared in good numbers in the Numbaa and Garmeadow areas from 13
Oct (JH), see Gibson, Aust Birds 11:67. Overwintered in small numbers at Willandra NP (RMo).
Blue and White Wren Eastern records: single male and 2-3 other birds near Derriwong Lagoon
20 km E of Condobolin 23 Nov (JBr); two 17 km NW of Tomingley 4 Dec (NS), and a party
40 km W of Warialda 20 March (RN, SN).
Variegated Wren Two parties at Warrabah 60 km W of Armidale 25 April (GH).
Black -backed Wren 8 on 8 Nov, 24 km NW of Tullamore (NS).16 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13) 1
White -throated Warbler Departure dates: Moruya 25 Jan (SM), Warrimoo 17 April (PL), Coona-
barabran 3 April (AM). Arrivals: Gilgai 25 Aug (MB), Coonabarabran 10 Sept (AM), Warrimoo
18 Sept (PL), Hornsby Heights 29 Sept (RC), and Moruya 28 Sept (SM). Also seen at Trangie
5-6 Sept where reported to be a frequent visitor (BH).
Brown Warbler Present all year at Narrow Neck 35 km SE of Armidale (GH).
Western Warbler near Cobbity 15 April (AMcG, J. Wheeler).
Little Thornbill One 126 km W of Cobar 7 Sept (GH); see 1976 report.
Brown Thornbill see Red-tailed Thornbill.
Red-tailed Thornbill Distribution of this and the Brown Thornbill appear to come close along a
ine about 35 km W of Armidale, although both species seen together only at Mt. Gemini 20 km
W of Uralla and at a locality 3 km NE of Moonbi (GH)..
Chestnut -tailed Thornbill One seen 40 km SW of Coonabarabran 8 Sept (GH), and resident on
the western side of the Warrumbungle NP (AM).
Yellow -throated Scrub -wren One in Tanja SF about 15 km E of Bega (PS). Mt Dromedary,
about 35 km N, is usually given as the southern limit of this species. Seen at Narrow Neck 35 km
SE of Armidale 8 July (GH).
Large -billed Scrub -wren Present all year at Narrow Neck 35 km SE of Armidale (GH).
Striated Fieldwren 5 in montane heath at Tianjara 7 Dec (JH, AMcG) and 3 in low bushes at the
edge of paddocks about 2 km N of Bermagui 13 Feb (RP).
Speckled Warbler Several further reports confirm the Cobar region as a significant westward
extension of the known range (see 1976 Report and McGill, 1970, Aust Warblers): seen in pine
and mallee 1 km SE of Nurri Trig (30 km SE of Cobar), in pine 2 km SW of Ghost Tank (35 km
SSW of Cobar), and 6 km N of Buckambool Homestead (40 km SSW of Cobar)(BLS, OK); also
2 km E of Nymagee (BLS, NCo).
Orange Chat Several reports from the Willandra area: 14 on 23-24 April (RMo), 12 near Hall’s
Creek in Willandra NP 10-16 July (DSS), and a male with Crimson -C hats at Little Billabong
Creek Sept (DL). Up to 12 present about 32 km N of Barham 16 Oct 27 Dec (ET).
Gibberbird Up to 12 present on “Clifton Downs” property at Cuttaburra Creek about 35 km W
of Yantabulla 19-21 Jan (RMo).
Flame Robin One “brown” bird 18 km ENE of Inverell 20 May (RN, SN) was outside the normal
range of this species. First winter arrival at “Cambria” 22 km N of Barham was on 2 May (ET).
Rose Robin Arrival dates of wintering populations: Coonabarabran 20 April (AM), Swan Vale 30 km
W of Glen Innes May (RN) Warrimoo 27 March (PL), and Murwillumbah 14 April (EP). Departure
Dates: Coonabarabran 14 Aug (AM), Swan Vale Aug (RN), Warrimoo 26 Sept and Murwillumbah late
Aug (EP). Also one at Munghorn Gap NR 24 April (AM), one at Bumberry SF 23 km E of Parkes 8 Aug
(NS) and 2 at Gingham Gap 15 km NE of Alectown 21 May and 22 Aug (NS).
Hooded Robin 2 at Myrtle SF 50 km S of Casino 6 Aug and 9 Sept (DG), an easterly record for
the far North Coast.
Eastern Yellow Robin Two Riverina reports: 2 in Buckinbong SF about 35 km S of Narrandera
10 April (PD), and one 10 km W of Tocumwal 11 Aug (J1). The species is known to occur at scat-
tered locations in the Riverina, but a more precise assesment of its status in the area would be of
Pale -yellow Robin Individuals seen near Barrington House, Barrington Tops NP 22 Nov and at
Main Creek, Dungog 6 Nov (DRW, DBa per FG) were close to the southern limits of the known
RangeNovember, 1978 17
Grey Fantail First record for winter in the Murwillumbah area 29 March, departed late Sept
(EP). Large numbers reported passing through Thornleigh area 13-16 Sept (BH).
Rufous Fantail Reported on northward passage at Yowie Bay from 26 Feb until April (JF); firsi
winter arrival in Murwiilumbah area 12 March, departed mid -Sept (EP). 1 at Bilpin 2 Oct (BH);
absent from Moruya 21 March -28 Oct (SM).
Leaden Flycatcher Departure dates: Murwillumbah 13 April (EP), Warrimoo 20 Feb (PL). Arrival
dates: Warrimoo 9 Oct (PL), Murwillumbah 28 Aug (EP), and Coonabarabran 9 Oct (AM). Other
records of interest: Gilgai near Inverell 9 Feb (MB, see also 1976 report), one female in Weddin
Range SF 13 April (RT, MJC), one female in the Conimbla Ranges near Bumbaldry 4 Oct (RT),
and one at Thornleigh 25 Sept (BH).
Satin Flycatcher First arrivals: Baroone property, Gulargambone 9 Oct (D. Best), Warrumbungle
NP 10 Oct (AM), and Wollomombi 20 Oct (RN). Several records, all of ,single males, in the Sydney
area around the third week of Nov: Deepwater Park, East Hills 9 Nov (AMcG, TN), Bulli 12 Nov
(AMcG, AS, DG, NWL), Boat Harbour 19 Nov (AMcG, NWL), and Cooleys Creek near Baker’s
Lagoon, Richmond 12 Nov (JR, NR). A male at Forest Glen near Maroota 22 March (RB). A.pair
again nested 16 km S of Walcha (RC), see 1976 report. Western record: a pair at “Wandsworth”
25 km NW of Guyra 13 Nov.
Black -faced Flycatcher Departure dates: Moruya 12 March (SM), and an immature at South Tur-
ramurra 13 March (DL). Arrivals: Vincentia 28 Sept (JSt), South Turramurra (one adult male)
2 Oct (DL), and Moruya 2 Oct (SM).
Spectacled Flycatcher Southern record: one near Barrington House, Barrington Tops NP 22 Nov
(GD, MD).
Golden Whistler Apparently a winter visitor in northern N.S.W. (see 1976 report): Murwillumbah
12 March -late Sept (EP), Coonabarabran 15 April -10 Sept (AM). First arrivals at Yowie Bay 26
March (JF). Several inland records from Kinchega, Willandra and Barham.
Rufous Whistler Spring arrivals noted: Coonabarabran 23 Aug (AM), Warrimoo 22 Sept (PL), and
Moruya 18 Sept (SM). A few winter records from the Sydney area.
Gilbert Whistler Recorded again (3 July) at Berida property near Gilgandra (RMcC per AM)
and around Cobar (OK); also a further report from Weddin SF, a female, 14 Aug (RMo). See 1975
and 1976 reports.
Olive Whistler Several reports from Barrington Tops area: 2 near Barrington House 20-25 Nov
(GD, MD), 2 in beech forest at summit of Mt. Royal about 20 km W of Barrington House 30 Dec
(GH). This appears to be a new locality. One at Allyn Mountain 2 July (FG). One about 5 km NW
of Moruya 29 Sept (SM), and one on Cambewarra Mountain near Nowra 22 Sept (JH); the latter
report is the first from this location since 1881 (see Aust Birds 11:65). Further records from the
area between Barrington Tops and the south coast would be of interest.
Eastern Shrike -Tit One at Lake Brewster 2 July (SD).
Red-browed Treecreeper Regularly seen and apparently established at Mt. Canobolas 12 km SW
of Orange (JBr); not recorded by Heron (Emu 73:1-8). A few seen 16 and 26 km SE of Tingha
30 Oct and 11 Nov (GH, RN). These reports are west of the known range.
White-browed Treecreeper nested in belah near Bina’ homestead 65 km SW of Cobar; also noted
in pine 18 km WSW and in mulga 40 km NNW of Cobar (BLS, OK). One in mulga 79 km N of
Bourke 14 June, but not recorded between Byrock and Brewarrina despite intensive search in
likely habitat (RN, SN).
Spotted Pardalote Inland records: 1-3 July present along the Lachlan River W to Mt Hope turn-
off (limit of observation), and a pair at Lake Brewster 2 July (SD).18 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13)
Yellow -tipped Pardalote The only report received was one identified with other pardalotes 10 km
W of Tocumwal 22 July (JI).
Eastern Striated Pardalote Western records: one 5 km W of Cobar 25 Aug (GH), and 6, 10 km W
of Tocumwal 22 July, some still present 17 Sept (JI).
Red-browed Pardalote One in the Gunderbooka Ranges 60 km SSW of Bourke 30 July (OK).
Records of this species in NSW are rare and should all be reported.
Brown Honeyeater Further inland records: 6 near “Goorimpa” homestead about 65 km S of
Wanaaring 3 July (RM, AA). Seen in Warrumbungle NP 20 Aug and subsequently found to be
common in the western part of the park (AM); see also Chick, Bird Observer 556:119 and 1976
report. Sydney records: one in mangroves at Woolooware Swamp 22 Oct (AC et all and one at
Pelican Point, Botany Bay 16 April (GD, MD).
Scarlet Honeyeater Several 5 km NW of Moruya 25 Sept -7 Nov, one nest found (SM). A pair
bred successfully in Oct at Warwick Farm following a small influx into the area Sept -Nov (MP).
Common Oct -Dec along callistemon-lined Maclntyre River at Wallangra 60 km N of Inverell;
not recorded by Baldwin (Emu 75:119) but regular to Swan Vale 40 km E of Inverell (RN, SN).
Black Honeyeater Eastern records: 2 pairs 6 and 12 km N of Sandy Camp Station near Quam-
bone 1-6 Oct (EFS per AM) 26 feeding in emu -bush at Milbridge 25 km SW of Tottenham 8 Nov
(NS). A female in heathland in Maroota SF 23 April (AC, RG; see Aust Birds 12:16), was an
exceptional record for the County of Cumberland.
Singing Honeyeater One at the tip of Green Cape 24 km SE of Eden 24 Sept (MJC); the observer
has extensive field experience of the species in Victoria.
Fuscous Honeyeater Several observers reported unusual numbers during the winter. These reports
are difficult to interpret, but indicate large-scale movements in southern N.S.W. Reported as
present in sclerophyll forest on the coast at Warrah Trig, between Pearl Beach and Patonga 30
March -31 July, 10-20 birds on per day (DM). First seen at Hyams Beach 8 May, numbers -rose until
this was the commonest honeyeater in the Nowra district, with flocks “Far in excess of 150”,
and outnumbering both Yellow -faced and White-naped Honeyeaters. Near -coastal areas most
favoured, birds recorded even at Beecroft Head. Last seen Brundee 31 July (JH), although 3 seen
in coastal heath at Jervis Bay 25 Sept (DSS). Present in the Moruya area 30 July -22 Sept (SM).
Several on 22 July and about 10 on 11 Aug 10 km W of Tocumwal (JI). 20+, probably many more
(5 caught and banded) at Cambria property 22 km N of Barham 29 July -8 Aug were the observer’s
first record for this locality (ET).
Yellow -fronted Honeyeater 4, 21 km SW of Condobolin 16 April (NS), and reported 10 km ENE
of Cobar (BLS); these records are slightly E and N, respectively, of the known range (see 1976
Yellow -faced Honeyeater Winter migrants first arrived in the Murwillumbah area 25 April and
remained in the largest numbers for years until early July, perhaps because of abundant flowering
Blackbutts; last seen early Sept (EP).
Yellow -plumed Honeyeater Several records further clarify the eastern and northern limits of
distribution: 10 at Adava -l e West 20 km E of Trundle 25 April (NS), seen at a number of locations
W of a line Bogan Gate Tottenham (NS), and noted in non-mallee woodland up to 70 km NNW
of Cobar (BLS). See 1976 report.
Yellow -tufted Honeyeater Recorded at Temora 8 April (R. Sharrock, see Bird Observer 550:71).
White-naped Honeyeater A pair present at “Cambria” property 22 km N of Barham 4-8 Aug (ET)
were the observer’s first record for this location.
White -throated Honeyeater A party feeding in melaleucas in swampy country at Corindi 30 km
N of Coffs Harbour 22 June (JBr).November, 1978
Black -chinned Honeyeater 2+ at Royal Camp SF about 25 km SW of Casino 8 Oct, an eastery
record for the far north coast (DG). A pair feeding a young bird near Black Hill, Newcastle 22
Oct (DRW).
Little Friarbird One at Penrith Primary School 22 June -10 Aug; description given indicates an
immature (R Le). Seldom reported in the Sydney area.
Noisy Friarbird Absent from Moruya area 1 April -9 Aug except for one on 30 June (SM). 400+
feeding in flowering Eremophila at Millbridge 25 km SW of Tottenham 8 Nov (NS), an unusually
large flock.
White-cheeked Honeyeater One probably 2 present about 5 km NW of Moruya between 25 Sept
and 29 Nov, possibly bred (SM). This is south of the species’ known range.
Painted Honeyeater An unusual number of reports from widely scattered localites was received
for this species, usually considered rare and nomadic. Areas mentioned were Bulga (AC, RG et al),
Yarrabandai, Tomingley, Caragabal, and Trangie (NS), Jingellic (see Bird Observer 543:12), Tingha
(GH), Bylong (JFD, TD), and Jerilderie (JI). Most records were for the period Nov -Jan, and most
specified breeding.
Regent Honeyeater Coastal and Sydney area reports: a pair bred near Moruya Oct -Nov (SM); a
pair at Deepwater Park, East Hills 15 Se.pt-10 Nov possibly bred as a third bird was seen on 8 Nov;
max 2 at Warwick Farm 30 Set 8 Oct (MP).
Eastern Spinebill Single bird in Barham town gardens 5 August (ET). Rarely reported in south-
western N.S.W., and this is observer’s first record for the area.
Bell Miner Large colony reported near The Oaks 12 km W of Camden (N.A. Phillips, Bird
Observer 549:65). Has colonized
last 10 years, and is now widespread in the area; absent in the 1940’s and 1950’s (DFG). Colony
present at Narrow Neck 35 km SE of Armidale (GH); this appears to be a new locality (see
Gannon, Emu 62:162-163).
Yellow -throated Miner Eastern records: common in the Pont() area 10 km NW of Wellington 24
Oct (JBr), and many present with Noisy Miners 42 km VV of ,Warialda 20 March (RN, SN).
Spiny-cheeked Honeyeater One near the Bobbin Head Road entrance to Kuring-gai Chase NP
18 June (LS). Full description submitted.
Beautiful Firetail Several reports from scattered localities in the Blue Mountains: one at Mt.
Banks 19 March (LS), 2 at Hartley Vale 26 Feb (AC, KS, RG, RB), and 1 at Springwood 8 Oct
(AC). Also reported again near Thirimere (one, 19 April, AMcG, JWh), see 1974 report.
Diamond Firetail 2 at Myrtle SF c. 50 km S of Casino, 9 Sept and 22 Oct (DG). This is close to
the eastern limits of distribution in far northern N.S.W.
Crimson Finch A flock of c. 16 seen 16 Jan about 42 km N of Taree and about 3 km from Johns
River. The flock consisted of 3 or 4 mature birds and the rest flying young. It was assumed at the
time that these birds were probably escapes, but enquiries to local residents failed to uncover any
nearby aviculturist (JL per JMcK). If these were wild birds then this would appear to be the first
NSW record of this species.
Red-browed Finch 6 about 27 km S of Cootamundra 30 March (R. Sharrock, Bird Observer
547:47), and 2 at The Rock NR 5 June (RMo).
Black- throated Finch Flock of 11 seen 10 km S of Boggabilla, 2 Sept (PB per EH). This sighting
is within the known range of the species, but it is seldom reported and may be declining in N.S.W.
(see also Aust Birds 1 1 :13-14).
Banded Finch Further records for the Cobar area (see 1976 report) with a minor range extension
to 60 km SW of the town (BLS, RMol. Also recorded throughout the year at Willandra NP, max.20 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13)
60+ on 16 April (RMo), and at Cocoparra NP (RMo). See also Bird Observer 543:12, 547:47,
550:71, and 556:118-119 for additional records not detailed above.
Plum -headed Finch Sydney record: at Pitt Town Bottoms 13 Aug (RB).
Spice Finch 8 at Boronia Park, Hunters Hill 7 Feb (CMB), c. 50 at McGrath’s Hill, Windsor 26
Feb (LS), and 70+ at Wilberforce 10 Sept (AC, RG).
Black -headed Mannikin One seen close to Worrigee Swamp near Nowra on 20 Aug was in excel-
lent condition showing no signs of having been in captivity. The area is now residential with
numerous reed -filled creeks leading into what was, until recently, a large swamp. Enquiries to local
residents indicate the presence of a small colony in the area but this has not, so far, been
confirmed (JH).
Chestnut -breasted Mannikin Small flocks recorded 17 April -17 July at a number of places near
Nowra, either in reed -beds or in sorghum crops; max. 66 at Broughton Creek, Coolangatta on 4
July (JH). Not previously recorded on the coast south of Kiama (see Aust Birds 11:72).
Tree Sparrow 2 at Narromine exploring holes in an isolated large tree, 8 Sept (RB).
Goldfinch One seen on “Cambria” property 22 km N of Barham 10 Sept (ET).
Indian Mynah One seen by the roadside at Meadow Flat 20 km W of Lithgow 13 May (BH).
Olive- backed Oriole Absent from Moruya area 30 May -24 Aug (SM), and from Coonabarabran
24 Feb -28 July, except for one on 25 May (AM). Inland winter record: one at Willandra NP
10-16 July (DSS).
Southern Figbird Several on Cabbage Tree Island off Port Stephens on 20 March; this appears to
be the first record for the island (AR, BF, WBa et al).
Spangled Drongo Absent from the Murwillumbah area 19 April -22 Sept (EP). An unusual number
of winter sightings in the Sydney area, with reports from Collaroy Plateau 6 March (DS), Hornsby
6 March (WK). Oatley Bay 27 March (GD, MD), Vineyard and McGrath’s Hill, Windsor 5 March
(AC, RG, RB et al), Peakhurst early Aug (JR, NR), Merewether Heights mid -May -25 July (MDo),
and Bexley 31 May -15 Oct (BM). Also one at Maitland 25 April (RB), Those reports from scat-
tered localities on 5-6 March are of particular interest, suggesting a distinct migratory movement
on those days.
Magpie -Lark Several observers have noted a decrease in numbers in the Sydney area over the past
few years; particularly in such inner-city areas as Hyde Park and Taronga Zoo Park (LC per TL).
Further data would be of value.
White -winged Chough Several coastal and near -coastal records: 5 on 1 Oct near Coombell about
15 km S of Casino; 8 on sand dunes in Myall Lakes NP 12 Dec (ABR), and one at Warwick Farm
30 Dec (MP).
Apostlebird Two near -coastal records: 6 about 10 km SW of Windsor on the main Parramatta-
Windsor road 2 Nov (BM, JSt), and 2 present opposite Richardson’s Waste Dump at Richmond
Road, Marsden Park from mid -Nov to 24 Dec (LH, JAH).
Masked Woodswallow First noted around Coonabarabran 2 Sept (AM) and reported as
“abundant” in Macquarie Marsh NR 1-6 Oct in a ratio of 1:5 relative to the White-browed Wood –
swallow (EFS per AM). A few at Wollomombi Falls 28-30 Sept, and a pair bred at Swan Vale
Dec -Jan (RN, SN). 50+ with c. 200 White-browed Woodswallows 10 km S of Finley 13 Oct was
observer’s largest flock for the area (JI). Several Sydney records: 3 at Greendale 22 Oct (RB,
AC, NWL et al), “a few” in Wallacia area 22 Oct (AMcG) and one at Cobbity 6 Nov (GB).
White-browed Woodswallow First seen for the year at Wollomombi Falls 28 Sept, followed by a
2 -day passage of flocks of 30+ with a few Masked Woodswallows. Reappeared 16 Dec and bred,
part of a widespread irruption on the New England Tablelands; breeding confirmed at variousNovember, 1978
localities E to Wollomombia, N to Bundarra and Swan Vale 30 km W of Glen Innes (GH, RN, SN),
and S to 16 km S of Walcha towards the end of December. First seen at Nyngan 27 Aug (AM),
and reported as abundant in the Macquarie Marshes NR early Oct, “nesting everywhere” (EFS
per AM). First noted in the Sydney area 10 Oct, 6 at Cobbity (AMcG), followed by many records
from Cobbity, Greendale and Wallacia over the next three months (max 30 at one time), with
extensive breeding (RB, AC, NWL et al). 6 pairs nested at Lower Numbaa near the Comerong
Island ferry 29 Nov -31 Dec (JH). First record for season 29 Sept at Cambria property 22 km N
of Barham (ET). Also reported in significant numbers throughout the winter in the Cobar area
Little Woodswallow Recorded at Haddon Rig 30 Sept (EFS per AM) and one at Coronga Tank
35 km N of Cobar 9 Jan (BLS).
Green Catbird Present all year at Narrow Neck 35 km SE of Armidale (GH).
Regent Bowerbird On 27 Feb a male in almost full adult plumage fed for about 4 minutes with
Satin Bowerbirds at a bird table at Thirroul (JDG). First record for County of Camden.
Satin Bowerbird Present all year at Narrow Neck 351cm SE of Armidale (GH). One in the Liver-
pool Range on the Merriwa-Willow Tree road 20 Oct (GH).
Paradise Riflebird Southern record: 3 near Barrington House, Barrington Tops NP 20-25 Nov
(GD, MD). Also 2 in sub -tropical rainforest at Snows Creek, Whian Whian SF 26 April (DM).
Forest Raven Two groups of about 30 and 5 seen near Riamukka about 13 km S of Walcha
27 Dec, and 3 (not together) about 25 km E of Walcha 30 Dec (RC).
Crow Southern record: 2 in the extreme south of Myall Lakes NP near Mungo Brush 3 Oct (SD).
Little Raven A flock of about 50 frequently seen throughout the year on the Shoalhaven River
flats near Nowra, particularly in the Numbaa, Terara and Pyree areas. Possibly winter visitors
and non -breeders as no evidence of breeding yet obtained (JH).
Westland Black Petrel The specimen beach -washed at Boambee Beach 14 Dec 1976 was wrongly
referred to as the third Australian record. It was in fact the fourth, the third being a bird picked
up at Kingscliffe, northern NSW 1 Jan 1976 and now a specimen in the Queensland Museum
(Vernon, 1977, Austr. Bird Watcher 7:44-46).
The following records result from information obtained during visits by C.N. Smithers (2-8 Feb),
Margaret Cameron and party (6-13 Feb), P. Poulton and party (12-22 April), and M. Price (7-17
Nov). A valuable specimen record was provided by islander Ray Schick.
Great -winged Petrel One on lagoon beach below flagstaff in Nov; photo taken (MP).
Kermadec Petrel Approx. 20 birds at Ball’s Pyramid, Feb. (MAC et al).
Brown Booby One at Ball’s Pyramid, Feb. (MAC et al).
Black Cormorant Recorded in good numbers by all visitors; max. 40 around the lagoon plus a few
at Ball’s Pyramid in February (MAC et al).
Little Black Cormorant Ten near Old Settlement in Feb (MAC et al), and a single bird seen on
three occasions in April (PP et al).
Little Pied Cormorant Reported by all visitors, max. 9 seen near the golf course in April (PP et
Frigate -bird Two seen at Malabar and near Roach Island in April; species not certainly identified
(PP et al).
Cattle Egret Seen several times with cattle near the airport 12-22 April, max 14 together on 18
April (PP et al); also one near airport in Nov (MP).
Canada Goose One seen daily from 3-8 Feb was apparently the first recorded from the island
(Smithers, see Aust Birds 12:36); presumably the same individual was still present in April (PP
et at).
Mallard Reported by all visitors; recorded breeding, apparently for the first time, in Nov (MP).
Mongolian Dotterel Up to four recorded 18-20 April (PP et al).
Marsh Sandpiper One seen and photographed at North Beach on 18 April (PP et al); first record
for the island.
Terek Sandpiper A female found dead by Ray Schick and deposited in the Australian Museum
Collection (No. 0.46470) was the first specimen and second record from the island.
Red -necked Stint One seen near the jetty 13 Nov (MP).
White -capped Noddy c. 10 at Ball’s Pyramid and 2+ at Old Gulch in Feb (MAC et al).
Welcome Swallow Reported as common by all visitors, with max. 40 recorded at one time
(Smithers, Aust Birds 12:36); breeding recorded for the first time in April (PP et al). Now well
established on Lord Howe Island (see 1974 report).
Black -faced Cuckoo -shrike One seen in April (PP et al).
Frith (1976 Readers’ Digest Complete Book of Australian Birds), states that the Nankeen Kestrel
Falco cenchnoides uses a diversity of nesting sites including the old nests of ‘Australian Ravens
Corvus coronoides and other species. An interesting example of this was observed last year when a
Nankeen Kestrel was found to be nesting in the old nest of a Chestnut -crowned Babbler Pomatostomus
On 6 October 1977, during a University of New England Ecofest School in the Macquarie
Marshes, A. R. McGill reported that a Nankeen Kestrel was seen leaving the nest of a Chestnut -crowned
Babbler. The location was on the east side of the Warren-Carinda road, some 5 km north of the
Willi-Quambone Road junction. The habitat was saltbush plain country with a scattered Wilga Geijra
parviflora and Leopardwood Flindersia maculosa. A number of Chestnut -crowned Babblers’ nests were
observed in the area. It is interesting to note that while the Chestnut -crowned Babbler is a slightly
smaller bird than the more common Grey -crowned Babbler Pomatostomus temporalis it builds a much
bulkier nest. This is a large domed structure made of small sticks with a side entrance usually facing
away from the tree in which it is built.November, 1978 23
On 7 October 1977, I accompanied a group to re -investigate the area. Guided by R. Bigg the
Nankeen Kestrel was again flushed from the nest which was situated six metres from the ground in a
Wilga tree. On examination I found that the old nest had become a bulky platform with a dome of light
sticks and twigs over the top. Although the entrance was inaccessible, four eggs were clearly visible
through the dome. By parting the twigs a little I was able to get a good photograph of them. The eggs
were round in shape, and closely matched the colour description as recorded in the Readers’ Digest
While the nest was being examined both birds stayed in the vicinity and about five minutes after
we departed one of them returned to the nest.
I would like to thank A. R. McGill who found the nest and R. Bigg for her assistance in
relocating it.
DAVID M. JOHNSTON, Bilambil, Baradine, 2858.
R.M. Cooper
A male Cicadabird Coracina tenuirostris, was observed for approximately 80 minutes at Hornsby Heights on
31 January 1977. The presence of the bird was first noted when the cicada -like “Kee-kee-kee-kee…” call
was heard at about 1120 hours. The bird’s feeding pattern and calls are discussed.
Feeding Behaviour
the outer foliage. From this point, a search of the foliage in the immediate vicinity was made. If the search
proved unsuccessful, the bird hopped or half flew to the next available branch and repeated the process.
When an insect was seen, the bird moved outwards along the branch and plucked the insect from its position.
If the prey could not be taken in this manner, the bird took flight, hovering not unlike a wattle -bird, whilst
the insect was collected. In either case, the bird returned to the original position 700-1000cm inside the
outer foliage before proceeding to eat its catch.
the bird placed its beak on the branch so as to use the branch as a support. This enabled the bird to re-
position the insect without actually completely loosening its hold; the insect was then consumed.
During the observation period, five insects were seen to be eaten. Each was about three centimetres in
length, either green or brown in colour and had lace -like wings, these appearing to be about as long as
each insect’s body. They appeared not unlike Mantis Lacewings Family Mantispidae, or Golden Eyes Family
Chrysopidae. Finally, the bird appeared to confine its feeding to a zone within the tree equivalent to the
middle stratum i.e. that area where the branches run roughly parallel to the ground. This meant that the
bird remained primarily in a natural position as it conducted its search for food.24 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13)
Originally the bird was located in a small stringybark encircled by low casuarinas, but shortly after flew to
a large Sydney Red Gum Angophora costara nearby. Here, it engaged in a quiet sequence of calls signi-
ficantly different from the primary song. Such calls are referred to by Frith (1976. Reader’s Digest Complete
Book of Australian Birds) and reminded me very much of the subsong of the Olive -backed Oriole Oriolus
sagittatus. I immediately collected a tape recorder, but, on return the calls had stopped even though the
bird remained feeding in the same tree. A recording was obtained later.
During the period of observation, the bird emitted only five of the cicada -like calls. These appeared to be
a form of emotional release for there did not appear to be a particular reason for them nor was there any
consistency in the timing of their release. In fact, they were emitted on a random basis, being noted at
approximately 1120 hours, 1135 hours, 1200 hours, 1210 hours and 1213 hours.
The possibilities that this call may have had some territorial or contact significance is difficult to reconcile
for Cicadabirds were not frequently heard in the area during January 1977; no other members of the
species were seen or hear on that day; and this bird was only heard once after this period on that day, at
about 1315 hours.
The quieter call did however appear to be emitted for a purpose. For on each occasion that the bird
landed in a new feeding tree, it emitted this sequence of calls for between one and two minutes, moving
towards the outer foliage as it did so. The calls ceased when the bird had taken up its position of surveil-
lance, 700-1000cms in from the outer foliage.
The recorded call was replayed on three separate occasions. In each case, the bird immediately flew from
the feed tree to an exposed situation nearby. Here, the bird could obtain a clear view of its surrounding
and when satisfied that no danger existed, it recommenced the feeding activity. It would therefore seem
that this call does serve a communicatory function and it is my opinion that in the species’ post -breeding
period, the call probably allows males, at least, to avoid contact with each other.
The bird’s reaction to the recorded call seems to preclude reference to it as a subsong, as defined by
J. Landsborough-Thomson (1967. Dict. of Birds pp. 746-7). Unfortunately the more commonly known
call was not re -played to assess the bird’s reaction.
R.M. COOPER, 2 Rofe Crescent, Hornsby Heights, 2077-4;141k
Rogers, Alan E.F. N.S.W. Bird Report for 1977 … 1
and Lindsey, T.R.
Contributors … … 2
Systematic List 3
Johnston, David M. A Nankeen Kestrel in the nest of a Chestnut -Crowned Babbler .. 22
Cooper, R.M. Notes on the feeding behaviour and calls of the Cicadabird … 23
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