Vol. 14 No. 1-text

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Journal of the
Volume 14, No. 1 September 1979

ISSN 0311-8150

Registered for Posting as a Periodical Category BTHE N.S.W. FIELD ORNITHOLOGISTS CLUB
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. 2857Volume 14, No. 1 September 1979
Edited by T.R. LINDSEY
This is the Ninth Annual Report and it is pleasing to note the continued involvement and
support of a growing number of observers. One new species, Yellow Chat, was added to the N.S.W.
list during the year, and there were records of other vagrants such as White -chinned Petrel, Western
Sandpiper, Grey Ternlet and White Tern; other records of interest include those for Grass Owl and
Pink Robin.
Most interesting of all, perhaps, was the widespread wrecks of Red-tailed and White-tailed
Tropicbirds in late March, but other notable developments include the large number of reports
indicating a much more extensive distribution of the Forest Raven than previously supposed (a
full report is in preparation), and the breeding records of Tawny Grassbirds around Lake Illawarra.
gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Arnold McGill, Alan Morris, Ernie Hoskin, and
John Hobbs, all of whom carefully examined the first draft; it is difficult to overemphasize the
contribution their wide experience of N.S.W. birds makes to the preparation of these reports. This
acknowledgment extends to Alan E. F. Rogers, who very kindly agreed to my request that he join
this panel of advisors, but who also gave freely of his time in lengthy discussions on various aspects
of this report. He also accepted the task of tidying up the loose ends in the final stages of prep-
aration while was away in New Guinea. am grateful also to John Disney, Curator of Birds at
the Australian Museum, Sydney for advice on several points and for access to specimens, and to
Ann Lindsey, who did most of the checking of the manuscript, and who undertook much of the
work of ‘posting’ records on to the species files.
T. Lindsey
J.M.Abbot B. Forest T. R. Lindsey D. I. Smedley
J. Alcock J. J. Francis G. Logan L. Smith
T. H. Alley P. Fullagar N. W. Longmore G. Stevens
P. Lucas -Smith D. Stewart (DSt)
M. Baldwin B. Gall (BGa) D. Stringfellow (DSS)
W. P. Barden A. Gibson P. M. Maher R. Swift (RSw)
C. A Bear J. D. Gibson P. N. Maher
M. Benjamin (MBe) M. Gillies B. Mannes J. Tar
C. Bennett B. Gilligan S. Marchant K. Theale
D. Best (DBe) D. Gosper P. Marcus E. Thomas
R. Bigg Gould League Camp R. Martin W. Thompson
D. Bird R. Graves N. Maxwell B. Thornhill
G. Blackwell D. F. Gray G. McAllan (GMcA) S. Townsend
W. Boles A. McBride (AMcB) J. W. Trudgeon
C. M. Bonser G. Haddon (GHa) A. McCutcheon (AMcC) D. Turner
T. Bonser L. J. Heeney A. McGill (AMcG)
P. Bourke N. Hermes J. McKean (JMcK) F. Van Gessel
J. Brickhill J. Hobbs B. McPhee (BMcP) E. Vaughan
W. J. Brooke G. Holmes J. McPhee (JMcP) G. Vincent
J. Buhr (JBu) N. Hooper INHol B. Miller (BMi)
B. Howie B. Moffat (RMo) J. Waugh
B. Catchpole (BCa) Hunter Bird Observers A. K. Morris C. Weld
A. G. Cairns Club (HBOC) A. Williams
A. S. Cartwright T. Nordstrom J. Willows (JWi)
G. P. Clancey E. Imber R. Noske J. D. Woodhouse
A. Coleman R. Imber
R. M. Cooper J. Izzard S. Parkes M. Yardy
J. Courtney D. Patrick (DPa) R. Yuswack
F. M. Crawford D. Johnston M. Paul
F. Crome F. Johnston J. M. Pegler J. Zealey
R. Johnstone B. Plessey
A. Dampney R. Poulton
P. Davies (PDa) M. Kaveney W. Poulton
S. Debus A. Keast E. Pratt
G. Dibley B. Keene A. Pritchard
M. Dibley T. G. Kendall T. Pritchard
P. Disher (PDi) J. Kershaw
J. Dixon N. L. Kirby T. Quested
L. Klumpes
A. D’Ombrain F. V. Knapp A. Rogers
P. Drummond (PDr) S. V. Knapp A. B. Rose
T. Dunlea Richmond Valley
J. Duranti (JDu) S. G. Lane Naturalists Club
G. N. Langfield
E. Eakins (EEal B. Larkins K. A. Schaefer
E. Edmondson D. Larkins N. Schrader
A. Elliot T. Lavis R. Schick
P. Lester R. Sharrock (RSh)
H. Ford A. G. Lindsey M. SinclairSeptember 1979 3
Emu Coastal records: one bird, occassionally two, seen at Iluka on several occasions from 21
April to the end of the year. Two at Woody Head near Iluka 29 April; one adult and 3 half-grown
young at Shark Creek 6km S of Maclean; 1 adult at the Mount White exit of the Newcastle
Expressway 19 Dec (GPC); the last observation probably of an escaped bird.
Great Crested Grebe Several coastal records for this essentially inland species: 1 at Sackville 15
Aug (CMB) 1 on the Hawkesbury River near Tizzana 15 Aug (RB, LS); 1 at Glenbrook Lagoon 8
July (PL); and one seen at sea 4km off Bellambi Point 30 July (see Aust. Birds 13:39). At Mac-
quarie Marshes NR in Oct -Nov a colony of 23 pairs with at least 7 nests; these were later deserted
when water receded (AKM, AP, GHa, TP).
Hoary -headed Grebe 12 at Gundarimba Swamp, Lismore during August (MK), not often report-
ed from North Coast localities. Breeding reported at Maquarie Marshes NR (3 pairs with young,
AKM, TP), and at New Cobar Reservoir, where 200+ present, with 43 nests counted, 6 Dec; most
nests deserted by 10 Dec due to drastic lowering of water level (RMo). Continues to be reported
commonly in the Sydney area, particularly during winter months; maximum 170+ at Warwick
Farm Sewerage Works 11 March; other reports were of much smaller numbers. Also 75 at Koora-
gang Island 4 March (FVG, WPB), and present in the Nowra area all year, Max. 300 at Sussex Inlet
4 June (JH).
Royal Albatross One, of the northern subspecies sanfordi, off Sydney Heads 20 May (AR,
JMcK, TR L).
Yellow -nosed Albatross One off Port Stephens 17 Sept (TGK).
Shy Albatross One, identified as the subspecies salvini, off Green Cape 2 Aug (KT).
Southern Fulmar One off Green Cape, Ben Boyd NP 13 Aug (KT).
Cape Petrel One off Kurnell Cliffs 1 Nov (JW); one off Green Cape, Ben Boyd NP 13 Aug (KT).
Great -winged Petrel 2+ off Sydney Heads 20 May (AR). One was washed up alive on Tallow
Beach, Byron Bay 30 August, died later; it was described as ‘dark phase’, and may have been of the
nominate subspecies macroptera (JWi per MK).
Gould’s Petrel One beach -washed on Wanda Beach 27 March (FJ).
White -chinned Petrel A female beach -washed at Watego Beach, Byron Bay in november (DB),
now AM (Australian Museum) 0.47247; one present at Byron Bay for 6 days from 16 Dec, feeding
adjacent to the effluent pipe from the abbattiors (MK, JWi). These appear to be the third and
fourth records for NSW (see Holmes 1969, Emu 69:244).
Little Shearwater 3 off Jervis Bay 30 Jan (JMcK, DST); 1 beachwashed at Long Reef 25 Nov;
the specimen has been sent to CSI RO Canberra for confirmation of the identification (AMcB).
Australian Pelican The relatively few reports received appear to suggest the death or dispersal of
the large influx reported last year (see 1977 Report) by about the middle of the year: numerous
birds found dead or dying in the Coonabarabran area during May (AKM); above normal numbers
near Barham until July, then very few (ET); 7 at Oatley Bay 15 July (GD, MD), 4 at Narrabeen4 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14) 1
Lagoon 5 August (LJH), and 34 at Centennial Park (Sydney) 12 August (GD, MD).
Brown Booby Reports of an adult off Jervis Bay 30 Jan (JMcK, DSt) and again 11-13 March
(FC) may of been of the same individual; an extreme southern record (see also 1976 Report). 1
found dead on Patch’s Beach, South Ballina 5 Nov (DG), now AM 0.47459.
Darter One found dying in Wamblong Creek, Warrumbungles NP 11 June appears to be the first
record for the park (AKM). 33+ nests recorded in Macquarie Marshes NR during Oct (AKM, TP).
Breeding also recorded at Maraylya 4 March (AC, RG).
Pied Cormorant Although fewer than last year (see 1977 report), reports submitted indicate
that this is now a much commoner species in the Sydney area than formerly; it remains to be seen
if the increase in reports reflects a temporary influx or a permanent extention of range: 1 at Wool-
ooware Swamp 2 Jan (GPC); 1 at Freshwater 24 Feb (LJH); 6 at Pelican Point 25 Feb and 6 at
Towra Point 22 April (GD, MD); 28 at Pelican Point 7 May (JW); 1 at Longneck Lagoon 24 June
(BP); 3 at Oatley Bay 12 July (GD, MD); 3 at Narabeen Lagoon 5 August (LJH); 2 at Boat Harb-
our 30 Dec (GD, MD).
Little Black Cormorant 136 nests in several colonies at Macquarie Marshes NR in Oct (AKM,
Little Pied Cormorant Breeding: 132 nests counted at several colonies in Maquarie Marshes NR
in Oct (AKM, TP); 700-800 birds counted at a colony with Little Black Cormorants and Cattle
Egrets near Murwillumbah in Dec (EP), and about 25 nests with well -grown chicks at a previously
unrecorded colony near Leppington 12 Nov (AMcG, NWL). Also a few pairs breeding at Maraylya
2 April (AC, RG) and Longneck Lagoon 9 Nov (EH).
Red-tailed Tropicbird In late March there was a remarkable wreck of this rare vagrant with 9 re-
ports from the following localities:- Baradine, Coonabarabran, Avoca Beach, Barraba, Dubbo
(2), Silverwater, Bourke, Armidale and Tamworth; see Aust. Birds 13:51-54 (Note that the spec-
imen number of the Coonabarabran bird is AM 0.46746 and not AM 0.46743 as quoted). A fur-
ther single bird seen at Maitland on or about 22 April (ADO).
White-tailed Tropicbird A dramatic wreck of this rare vagrant occurred in late March, largely
concurrent with that of the Red-tailed Tropicbird (see above). Five reports of 9 birds from the
following localities Warrumbungle NP, Tamworth (5), Griffith, Widden Valley and Garie Beach
Royal NP have already been documented, see Aust. Birds 13:51-54 (Note that the specimen num-
ber of the Warrumbungle bird is AM 0.46743 and not AM 0.467843 as quoted). In addition im-
mature birds were found dead on Fairy Meadow Beach near Wollongong 21 March (LW, NW per
JDG) and on Wanda Beach 8 April (FJ). An adult was seen in flight at Boat Harbour near Cronulla
27 Dec (JJF, AD, DL, BM).
Pacific Heron Large numbers in the Nowra area, with max. 82 at Terara 27 March and max. 58
at Yetteyattah 21 July, all birds leaving the area by mid -Sept (JH).
White-faced Heron 150+ at Pitt Town Lagoon 1 April (AGL, TRL) is a large concentration.
Cattle Egret Breeding: at the Murwillumbah colony (see 1976 and 1977 reports for details) no
birds present 28 Oct but colony visited again 1 Nov, when about 500 birds present and nesting
already under way (EP). 33 birds present, at least 3 active nests at Seaham, Newcastle 23 Dec
(RMC, BG, et al). Minimum 17 pairs breeding, possibly more, Macquarie Marshes NR during Nov;
first inland NSW breeding record (AKM, TP, AP). Non -breeding: several records from the Hawkes-September 1979
bury Swamps area, max. 250+ at Wilberforce 13 August. Seen regularly around Nowra 6 March -31
Oct, max. 800 on 31 March and 1600 on 24 June; also 23 at Kiama 30 Oct, 4 at Durras North 23
Nov and 4 at Worrigee 24 Nov (JH). Inland: near Finley up to 7 on 3 Sept -3 Oct, and 1 at Melrose
Swamp 16 Dec (JI); 5 at Murrami 10 April (BMi); 1 in breeding plumage at Cormindery 25km W
of Forbes 30 Oct (NS); 1 at Wanganella 55km N of Deniliquin 8 Oct (PNM, PMM); 16 about 10km
S of Tumut 16 July (RSh); 5 at Wagga Wagga 16 April (R. Sharrock, Bird Observer No. 564:69); 2
at Brindabella 9-12 Nov (H. Dowling, Bird Observer No. 568:14).
Little Egret c. 100 pairs nesting in a colony with other herons at Macquarie Marshes NR in Nov
(AKM, TP).
Intermediate Egret c. 500 nests in a colony with other herons at Macquarie Marshes NR in Nov
(AKM, TP).
Striated Heron One at Lake Wapengo near Bega 12 March (RP, WP), an extreme southerly re –
Rufous Night Heron 150+ nests in a colony with other herons at Macquarie Marshes NR in Nov
(AKM, TP).
Little Bittern Reported from the Deniliquin area (JI, PNM, PMM), Lake Wyangan (BT per
RMo), and Macquarie Marshes NR (GHa, AKM, AP), all during the expected months of Oct -Jan.
The earliest spring record was of one found dead near Gidgera 15 Oct (GHa); first heard calling in
the Deniliquin area 28 Nov (JI). Also an adult male at Lake Gillawarna near Sydney 3 Jan (DIS).
B pola rc tek d .B ittern One at Mangrove Creek near Spencer 4 Nov (RMC) was the only observation re –
Brown Bittern Reported from many localities , mostly eastern and Riverina. Spring and summer
months: 1 at Bakers Lagoon, Richmond 7-8 Jan (BP); up to 3 at Brundee Swamp, Nowra during
Jan -Feb (JH); 1 at Deepwater Park, East Hills 31 Jan (DIS); 1 at Woolooware Swamp, Cronulla 2
S S e op ft ( FA inM lecG y , 6 F SJ) e, p a t,n d 5 +31 aJ t an M o(G orP eC e ); S 1 w a8 mkm p N 1 5O f O C cto -3ll 1e ct Do er c2 , F 2 eb a t (L GS u) l; l ivin a rt h Se w F ai mnl pe y 2 a 9r e Na o: v1 , 1 90 +k am t
Melrose Swamp 9-31 Dec (JI). Several winter records, mostly coastal, none from west of the
Dividing Range.
Black -necked Stork Reports of 38 sightings received, far more than usual; many were from
North Coast Localities and are not detailed below. Reports by several observers from the Hawkes-
bury Swamps 3 Jan -3 May probably all relate to the same 2 individuals; an upper mandible was
found at McGraths Hill 9 Nov (LS). An immature was seen at Deepwater Park 2 May (AMcG,
TN), and 2 birds S of Penrith 8 June (WT). 1 at Griffith Sewerage Works 1 August (WT per RMo)
is an unusual inland locality.
Glossy Ibis Many more records than in recent years. Many records from the Hawkesbury
Swamps and a few other localities around Sydney April -May and Oct -Nov, max. 30 at Bakers Lag-
oon 7 May (AGL, TR L). 20 at Kooragang Island, Newcastle 7 Jan (DFG), and 40 at Minnni 12 May
(TL). 22 at Kembla Grange S of Wollongong 28 May (JDG, LS). 20 at Casino during July (RVNC).
15 at Dangars Lagoon, Uralla 16 Feb (GH), and 9 near the Hastings River Bridge on the Pacific
Highway near Port Macquarie 17 May (GPC). Estimated 400-500 pairs nesting in Macquarie
Marshes NR Oct -Nov (AKM, TP). Several inland records.6 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (13)
Sacred Ibis At least 994 pairs nesting in 4 colonies, with additional scattered smaller groups, at
Macquarie Marshes NR in Oct -Nov (AKM, TP).
Straw -necked Ibis At least 12,800 pairs nesting in 3 colonies at Macquarie Marshes NR in Nov
(AKM, TP).
Magpie Goose One at Woodville near Maitland remained in the area for about 2 weeks from 31
May; photographed, did not appear to be an aviary escapee (ADO); 2 on Cawndilla Channel, Kin-
chega NP during Feb (GV).
Wandering Whistling -Duck Several records of this vagrant to NSW: 1 at Griffith Sewerage Works
26 Jan and 2 on 31 Jan (RM0); 2 at Barrenbox 13 Feb (JB); 2 at Woolgoolga 27 Jan (GH), and 6
on the Clarence River at Grafton 6 Dec (GPC).
Plumed Whistling -Duck The large number of reports received tend to confirm the comments in
the 1977 report; two less usual localities were 9 at Euchareena 15 Jan (WJB), and 44 at Terara
near Nowra 30 March (JH).
Black Swan 3000+ on a temporary floodwater at Terara near Nowra 30 March (JH) appears an
unusual concentration, even for this gregarious species.
Freckled Duck An exeptional number of reports received, the majority from localities along the
line Parkes -Forbes -Lake Cowal-Griffith-Deniliquin, well within the normal distribution; most re-
cords fell in the period Jan -May, and the highest number mentioned was 25. Other records: a pair
with 8 young at Macquarie Marshes NR 27 Oct (GHal; 50-100 at Fort Grey Lake, Sturt NP 25
August (SD); 1 on temporary floodwaters at Terara near Nowra 7 April (JH), may be the first re-
cord for the South Coast. 3 at Pitt Town Lagoon 6 May (AC, NWL).
Chestnut Teal An exceptional number of inland records: an adult male at Ghooli near Coon-
abarabran 1 August (SVK per AKM); 2 at Forbes Sewage Farm 12 April and 2 at Parkes Sewer-
age Farm 24 May (NS); a pair near Adelaide Gate, far NW NSW 29 August (JW); 2 50km E of
Deniliquin 26 Dec and 2 at Deniliquin Sewage Farm 10 Oct (PNM, PMM). Many coastal records
at scattered localities from Lake Wollumboola near Nowra in the south to Iluka on the North
Australasian Shoveler A concentration at Pitt Town Lagoon near Sydney in April -May fluct-
uated as follows: 20 on 9 April (AGL, TR LI, 100+ on 3 May (RB), 30 on 6 May (MP, AMcG), and
150 on 7 May (AGL, TR L); not reported after that date, although 10 were seen at Luddenham 10
June (AMcG). Also 3 at Bakers Lagoon 16 Dec (ASC).
Pink -eared Duck More records than usual. A flock at Pitt Town Lagoon 30 April -7 May was re-
ported by many observers and on several dates; counts over the period ranged from 100-200 birds
(RB, MP, LS, GD, MD, AMcG, AGL, TR L et al). 2 at Bakers Lagoon 16 Dec (ASC). 4 at Terara
near Nowra 30 March and 3 same place 7 April (JH). 7 at Raglan near Bathurst 19 Sept (JDu). 2 at
Dangars Lagoon, Uralla 9 June and 6 same place 26 June; 4 at Guyra 23 August (GH). Seen in
small numbers throughout the winter 17km SE of Orange (WJB). Several breeding records from
Macquarie Marshes NR, (AKM, TP). Many inland records.
Blue -billed Duck Several records from Macquarie Marshes NR August -Dec, breeding indicated
by a female with 4 downy young 25 Oct (GHa, AP).September 1979 7
Musk Duck Far nothwestern record: a male displaying at Fort Grey Lake, Sturt NP 1 Sept (SD).
North Coast record: one at Cowans Pond, Grafton 9 April (GPC).
Osprey Southern records: one at Towra Point 29 April (JW), and one found beach -washed at
nearby Cronulla 26 Dec (FJ). Two pairs at Iluka were seen at or near their nests on many occass-
ions through the year; also one at the nest and another nearby at Urunga 7 August. Single birds
seen at Tweed Heads 31 July and 1 August (GPC).
Letter -winged Kite Only one observation reported during the year, in contrast to the massive
influx of 1976-77 (see 1977 report; also Aust Bird Watcher 8:1-18); one 16km E of Temora
4 Jan (RMol.
Pacific Baza 2 at the top of Bulli Pass 27 Dec were watched at close range for about 10 minutes
(JDG, LK); second record for the County of Camden (see Gibson, 1977, Aust. Birds 11:41-80).
1 at Thornleigh seen on several occasions 29 March -31 August (BH). 1 at Stewarts Brook about
55km E of Scone 1 Oct (BH) is an interesting inland locality. Many North Coast records. One
at the Forestry Commission, West Pennant Hills 3 April (BK per EH).
Black Kite An exceptional number of reports from coastal and near -coastal localities: 1 seen
at Bakers Lagoon, Sydney on several occasions 1-8 April (AGL, TRL, RB, GD, MD, LS); at
Moruya 11 Sept ISM); 2 at Cornwallis 1 April (ASC, EV); 1 15km S of Kyogle 22 March, 1 at
Mulbring 31 March, 1 near Uralla 12 April, and up to 5 seen on several occasionsnear Grafton 27
March -30 April (GPC); max. 50 at Armidale 26 March, from then common in area until August
(GH); numerous at Casino from May onwards (MK, RVNC). Also reported from numerous inland
localities, including Coonabarabran, Grenfell, Brewarrina, Finley and Barham.
Square -tailed Kite Reported from 3 coastal localities: 1 at Bondi SF S of Bombala 19 Jan (LS);
1 at Moruya seen on several occasions 17 Sept -12 Oct (PF, SM); 1 at South Grafton 5 Nov (GPC);
1 at Grafton 12 Dec and 2 the same day, 15km N of Grafton (GPC). Inland: 1 at Myall Park
15km NE of Griffith 14 May (RMo), and a single bird seen 1 and 8 Sept near Macquarie Marshes
NR (AP per AKM).
Black -breasted Buzzard One at Wanaaring 26 August (light phase or immature) (SD), and one
about 65km S of Menindee 30 Dec (ST).
Brahminy Kite Southern records: one adult and an immature at Sawtell 20 Dec (KAS), and one
at an island in the Manning River near Taree in Jan (PLS).
Wedge-tailed Eagle A pair accompanied by an immature near West Head 3 Feb, coupled with
the display flight reported the previous Nov (see 1977 report), raises the possibility of breeding
somewhere in Ku-ring-gai Chas?, NP (SD). 1 at Cronulla 29 April (FJ).
Australian Little Eagle Nested for the first time in the Sydney area near Oran Park during
Sept (PDr per EH).
Black Falcon An exceptional number of reports from the tablelands and western slopes of the
Great Dividing Range suggests a minor influx from the far west: 1 near Gilgai 23 April (MB),
1 at Oakwood in March (JC per RN), 1 at Mow Rock near Binnaway 27 March, a pair at Narrabri
5 June (see Morris, 1970, Birds 5:13-14), 1 at Dubbo 17 May, 1 near Gilgandra 19 May (AKM),
1 c. 10km W of Walcha 4 March (SD), 1 6km E of Mudgee 23 June (DIS), 4 at Mandagery 16
April (NS), 1 7km W of Cumnock 17 Jan (WJB), 1 10km S of Queanbeyan 2 Feb (LS), and 18 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14)
at Adaminaby 16 and 20 Jan (SD). Several inland records.
Peregrine Falcon At least a dozen records from the Sydney metropolitan area and surrounding
districts, many more than usual; single birds in each case, and scattered throughout the year.
Australian Brush -turkey Nesting in progress at Killarney Gap, Mount Kaputar NP in March
(PDa), confirms previous sight records from the area (see 1972 report).
Brown Quail Inland records: 4 at Parkes Sewage Farm 2 April and 2 about 20km E of Parkes 4
August (NS), and at New Cobar Reservoir 27 Dec (RMo).
Red -chested Button -quail An adult female at Coonabarabran 8 Feb (AKM).
Buff -banded Rail Breeding again recorded (see 1977 report) at Deepwater Creek, East Hills; 4
young raised during Sept -Oct (DIS, AMcG, TN). An immature along Wattamolla Road, Royal NP
24 July (DT). Inland record: fresh remains found at a Peregrine eyrie near Binnaway in May (EE).
Lewin’s Rail Several records from the Central Coast, including two winter reports: a road -kill,
male, found on Bundeena Road, Royal NP 25 August (DT), now AM 0.47109; 1+ seen and heard
calling several times through July -August at Dee Why (AGL, TRL), see Clancy, 1979, Corella
Marsh Crake 4 at Summerhill Creek, Orange 2-4 Jan (WJB); species not listed in Heron, 1973,
Emu 73:1-8.
Australian Crake 1 at Summerhill Creek, Orange 2 Jan (WJB); species not listed in Heron, Emu
Bush -hen First heard calling at Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 2 Oct; one also seen 4 March (EP).
Black -tailed Native -hen 40 at Horseshoe Lagoon, Eugowra 16 April (NS); 1 at Berida Station
near Gilgandra 4 Feb (AMcC). Coastal record: 1 at Cowans Pond, Grafton 2 Dec (GPC). Also one
9km NE of Orange 30 April; species not listed in Heron 1973, Emu 73:1-8.
Comb -crested Jacana Recorded breeding at Seaham swamp near Raymond Terrace in Feb (BG).
Bush Thick -knee Sydney records: 2 at Careel Bay 4 Nov (AGL, TRL, WB, et all, and same
place 18 Nov (GD, MD); behaviour on the first occasion suggested the possibility of breeding.
Beach Thick -knee 1 at Comerong Island 1 Jan (RI, El), probably the most southerly NSW re-
cord; full details supplied.
Painted Snipe A pair 28km W of Bundarra 17 June (RN), an unusual tableland locality.
Pied Oystercatcher Up to 19 seen regularly during April -May at Pelican Point and Towra Point
(BF, JW, GD, MD); also 2 at Cooks River near Tempe Railway Bridge 14 May (GD, MD). A pair
successfully raised 1 young at Comerong Island during Dec (JH). 3 at Clarenza near Grafton 8
July (GPC).
Sooty Oystercatcher 14 at Black Point near Gerringong 28 Feb (RP, WP). 7 at Kurnell Beach 7
June (BF). This species appears to breed almost exclusively on off -shore islands in NSW; its pop-September 1979
ulation on these has been estimated at 20 breeding pairs, see Corella 3:7-9. It is unlikely that the
total NSW breeding population is very much higher and mainland breeding records and regular
counts at known feeding areas would be of interest.
Masked Lapwing Pair at nest with 1 egg at Tamworth Airport 12 Sept were of the northern,
nominate subspecies miles (GPC).
Grey Plover Up to 3 at Comerong Island and Lake Wollumboola until 3 March (JH, RP), and
a Ng oa vi n ( Ffr Jo ),m a n1 d0 1 S ae tp t L oto n ge n Rd e eo ff 1t 8h e N oy ve a (r G ; DJ ,H ) M. D3 ) . at Towra Point 2 Dec (JW), 1 at Boat Harbour 26
Lesser Golden Plover 100+ at Pelican Point 25 Feb (GD, MD) is a large concentration for the
Sydney area.
Red -kneed Dotterel Present in good numbers at the Hawkesbury Swamps for much of the year
(CMB, RB, AMcG, LS et al). 12 at Brundee Swamp, Nowra 13 May (JH); 3 at Uralla 5 April (LJH);
6 2 2a Jt uC lyo o (Gp Per Cn )o ; o ak n dS w 7 a am t p C an me ba rr iaT a Sr te ae t io1 n2 nM ea ay r B(A arM hac mG ) d; uu rp in gto D 4 e ca t ( EC To )w . ans Pond, Grafton 6 May –
Hooded Dotterel A pair at nest with 3 eggs at Lake Barragoot S of Bermagui 6 March (RP, WP);
this date seems late; also standard references are vague as to the precise northern limits of breeding
in NSW. A pair bred on beach just N of Kioloa in Dec 1976 (FMC). Further records would be of
fi rn ete qr ue es nt. t lyO t oh ne r Br he ec ro er wd es r: e 3 B a et a cL ha , k Je e rC vio s n Bjo al ya (( Ja Hd )u . lts and 1 immature) 30 Jan (SD), and a pair seen
Mongolian Plover Present at Comerong Island all year except 7 April -13 July, maxima 52 on 14
March, 65 on 5 Dec (JH). 1-2 recorded several times at Pitt Town Lagoon 8-18 March (RB, ASC,
AMcG et al); first record for the Hawkesbury Swamps.
Double -banded Plover Recorded regularly at Comerong Island 9 Feb -10 Sept, maximum 54 on
24 August (JH). 1 at Pitt Town Lagoon 18 March (DL). 2 in breeding plumage at Boat Harbour 27
Dec (JJF, AD, DL, MB, JP).
Oriental Plover 6 present at Bankstown Aerodrome from early Nov 1977 (see 1977 report and
Aust. Birds 12:59-60) remained through Jan but were not seen after heavy rain at the end of the
month (BL, GD, MD, AG L, TR L).
Red -capped Plover Far NW record: seen near Adelaide Gate 29 August (JW).
Red- necked Avocet 8000+ on Papitta Lake S of Menindee 14 Feb (RMo), seems an unusually
high concentration.
Ruddy Turnstone Inland record: 1 at New Cobar Reservoir 8 Nov (RMo, OK).
Wood Sandpiper 1 at Bakers Lagoon 26 Dec (AMcG, RG); present April and Sept at Griffith
Sewerage Works, max. 6 on 23 Sept (RMo, JT).
G cor ney c e-t na ti rle ad ti oT na . ttler 150 at Bonna Point, Kurnell in full breeding plumage 7 April (BF); a large
Common Sandpiper Inland records: 1 at Menindee Lakes 12 April (PNM, PMM); 2 at ImperialAUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14)
10 1
Lake, Broken Hill 3 Jan (ST, MY), see Townsend, 1978, Aust. Bird Watcher7:278-279.
Greenshank Inland records: 6 about 40km E of Deniliquin in Dec (PNM, PMM); up to 3 at
Parkes Sewage Farm 18-21 Feb (NS); 20 at Griffith Sewerage Works 31 March(RMo, JT); 30 at
Lake Cowal 28-30 Jan (NS). Seen regularly in the Shoalhaven River area until 13 May and again
from 13 July, max. 18 at Comerong Island 14 March (JH). 1 at Cronulla 9 July (JJF).
Marsh Sandpiper Inland records: 1 at Parkes Sewage Farm 23 August (NS) and 3 Sept (JDW);
at Griffith Sewerage Works 23 Sept (RMo, JT); 12 at Lake Cowal 28-30 Jan (NS).
Terek Sandpiper One at Lake Wollumboola 24 Nov (JH); an uncommon species south of Syd-
ney; not listed in Gibson, 1977, Aust. Birds 11:41-80.
Black -tailed Godwit Inland record: 18 at Lake BuIlea 200km N of Broken Hill 29-30 August
(CAB), see Bird Observer No. 563:61.
Great Knot 14 at Comerong Island 19 Dec (JH), 3 at Swansea 19 Oct and 1 at Stockton 10
July (GH), and 2 at Kooragang Island 16 Sept (FVG).
eP te c at lo l;r a 1l S ata n Cd rp oi np ue lr l a in 1 Jaa nt K (Fo Jo )r ;a g 1 a an tg G Is ril fa fn itd h 1 S6 e wS ee rp at g ( eF WVG or) k; s 1 2a 0t JM anc G (Rra Mth os );H i 1l l a1 t 8 L aM ka er c Ch o w(A aM l 2c 8G –
30 Jan (JSt).
Western Sandpiper 1 at Homebush Bay 22-24 Nov (JMP, AD, AMcG), full details in press.
R 19e d S – en pec t k (e JDd WS )t i an nt d 24In Sla en pd t r (e Nc So )r ;d s 1 : a1 t Ba rt i P Ba rr ik e Ss o uS te hw a Sg te a tF ioa nr m n e1 a8 r GJa un n b(N arS ) 1, Oan cd t a (Jg Ta i en t a at l s pa em r e R p Mla oce l.
L Ho iln l g 1 -t 8o e Md aS rct hin t ( AMc1 G ,a t A P Ci ,t t JT Do Gw , n e t L aa lg );o o an lm 2 o5 s t F ce eb r t( aR inB ly, A thM e c sG a, m A e C in, dJ iD vi, d uR aG l ), a sa n md e n1 ta iot n M edcG inra t th hs e
1977 report.
Curlew Sandpiper Inland record: 3 at Bri Bri South Station near Gunbar 1 Oct (RMo, JT et al).
Seen regularly (max. 8 on 10 Sept) at Comerong Island near Nowra except from 9 Feb- 10 Sept
S Ma an rd che rli (n Gg P C); 1 1 sa et eS n to rec gk uto lan r ly2 6 a t F Ce ob m ( eR rJ o ne gt Ia sl l) a; n1 d a ut n tB ilo t 1a 4n y M aB ra chy , 2 36 sF eee nb s( aD mL e, A plD ac) e; 6 fr oat m W 1o 0o l Si e1 p2 t
until year-end (JH).
Broad -billed Sandpiper 1 at Homebush Bay 3 Nov (JMP) and 1 at Stockton 7 April (SGL),
were the only records received.
Ruff at McGraths Hill, Sydney 18 March (AMcG, JD, JDG, AC, et al).
Australian Pratincole 8+ at Myall Park 15km NE of Griffith during Jan, feigning injury, possibly
breeding (PM per RMo). 1 near Telford Well SW of Quirindi 6 Jan (RMC), an interesting eastern re-
Pomarine Jaeger One immature off Sydney Heads 20 May (AR); sightings after mid -May are rare
in NSW.September 1979
Pacific Gull Several immatures at Green Cape, Ben Boyd NP during July -Aug (KT).
Kelp Gull One at Stockton Beach 26 Feb (RJ et al).
White -winged Tern Regular over recent years at Kooragang Island; maximum count this year 73
on 4 March (FVG, WPB). Southern and inland records: 1 at Lake Wollumboola near Nowra 4 Dec
(JH), 1 at Gullivers Swamp SE of Finley 29 Nov (JI), and 1 at Griffith Sewage Works 25 June
(RMo); the last is an interesting winter record. Also several Sydney records.
Little Tern Breeding records: a pair with 2 chicks at Red Rock NP in Dec (GMcA per DL). A
gale destroyed the nests at Lake Wollumboola colony mentioned in 1977 report; the birds moved,
but the colony was again destroyed by rising water. Gales early in the year also destroyed nests at
the Comerong Island site; no young were hatched at either site. Late in 1978 3 pairs nested at
Comerong Island but no young were hatched (JH).
Common Noddy One off Jervis Bay 30 Jan (JMcK, DSt), and one beach -washed on Wollongong
Beach 20 March (MBe per JDG).
White -capped Noddy One caught alive and released at Toronto 20 March (per PB).
Grey Ternlet 1 was found alive at Awaba State Colliery near Newcastle 19 March, released next
day; 1, presumably the same bird seen again in the area a week later (ADO); see van Tets & Full –
agar, 1978, Aust. Seabird Group Newsletter 10:20.
White Tern One beachwashed on Windang Beach 24 April (RY, TD per JDG).
Rose -crowned Fruit -dove Seen regularly in small remnant rainforest patches at Eureka, Rose –
band and Box Hill, near Lismore during Jan -Feb (MK). Two southern records: an adult male found
injured at Rose Bay 11 June was taken to Taronga Park Zoo, later died, now AM 0.46906; a male
found dead at Roseville 31 July, now AM 0.47025.
White -headed Pidgeon 2 in the Wattagan Mountains 30km NW of Morisset 23 April (DFG), at
Macquarie Pass near Albion Park 29 Oct (RSw per JJF), and at Wahroonga 8 Nov (ABR).
Brown Cuckoo -dove An unusually large number of reports from the Sydney region: 1 at Port-
land Head Road 2 August and again 15 August (RB); 1 at Blackbutt Reserve Newcastle 8 August
(WPB), a pair at Warrimoo 31 Dec (PL), heard calving at Upper Cowan Creek, Ku-ring-gai Chase NP
11 Feb (DL, AD), 1 along Lane Cove River, Turramurra 4 June (DL), 1 at West Head in Sept (CB),
and 1-2 seen at Thornleigh 25 March, 25 July, 5 Sept and 19 Sept (BH); also recorded at Elouera
Bushland, Thornleigh 11 March (GD, MD). South Coast record: 1 at Moruya 10 and 28 Sept (SM).
Diamond Dove One at Pitt Town Road, Cattai 5 April (CMB, RB, TB, LS, AG), 2 in heathland
at Broadwater NP 14 May (RVNC).
Bar -shouldered Dove Inland and southern records: 4 at Cocoparra NP 5 Feb (RMo); 1 at Wong-
arbon NP near Dubbo 8 Feb (EE), and 3 at Comerong Island 13 July (JH). And breeding at Mac-
quarie Marshes NR (AKM, TP).
Common Bronzewing 180 near Ebenezer 6 May (AC, NWL) is probably the largest concen-
tration recorded in the Sydney area.12 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14)
Brush Bronzewing One at Mountain Lagoon Road near Bilpin 17 June (RB, AC, RG). One at
Barryrenie 30km W of Cowra 26 Sept is an unusual inland record (RG, LS, AG, CMB, TB).
Crested Pigeon An unusually large number of coastal and near -coastal reports: 24 at Tweed
Heads 31 July, and 35 at Waterview near Grafton 11 June (GPC); 4 at Raymond Terrace 24 March
(LJH); 5 at Maitland 24 Dec (GNU; 4 at Cessnock 27 Dec (GNL). Sydney region: one in a garden
at Oatley 3 Sept (JMcP, BMcP), 39 near Cobbity 18 June (AMcG), 4 at Westleigh 9-10 May (AW),
2-4 seen throughout the year at Leoney near Penrith (KAS), 1 at Londonderry 3 May (LS), 2 at
Campbelltown 25 June (PL), 9 at Clarendon 1 April and 1 at Agnes Banks 9 April (AGL, TR L).
Squatter Pigeon One seen on the Tingha Road 2km S of Gilgai 22 May (MB).
Glossy Black -Cockatoo 4 N of Cobbora and up to 100 E of Leadville 9 Feb (WJB); 4 at Wall-
angra, 60km N of Inverell 13 Jan (RN); 1 at Carramar Station 15km SE of Gilgandra in May
(AKM); 4 near Gilgandra in June (DPa); up to 3 seen on various occasions through the year at Mur-
willumbah (EP).
Musk Lorikeet A pair again nesting at the Forestry Commission West Pennant Hills 21 Oct (EH),
see report for 1977.
Pink Cockatoo Two Sydney records, probably of aviary escapees, and possibly of the same in-
dividual: one at Church Point 22 Nov (GS), and one at South Turramurra in Nov (GNL); in both
cases the bird was being mobbed by Magpies.
Galah Seen regularly in small numbers throughout the year at Grafton and South Grafton; one
near nest hollow at nearby Clarenza 5 August (GPC). Usually regarded as rare or absent on much
of the North Coast.
King Parrot Western records: seen at Wallangra 8 March and 27 Nov, and 35km W of Bundarra
17 June (RN); these places are in the general vicinity of Bingara, mentioned as a known locality
by Lendon (1973, Aust. parrots in field and aviary, p 133), but appear to define distribution in the
area more precisely. Also 2 at Mudgee 2 Sept and 21 Oct (MP), and 3 near Ophir 20km NNE of
Orange 14 Oct (WJB).
Superb Parrot The following records are all from localities not previously mentioned in the
annual reports: flocks totalling 22 (adults and immatures) at Wilga Downs 16km N of Hermidale
28 July (AKM); 5 between Tottenham and Nyngan 10 April (PNM, PMM); 1 at Jerilderie 12 July
(BMi); recorded at Rye Park 28km NW of Gunning 22 Nov (JW); a small flock 7km NE of Cano-
windra 8 July (WJB). Also a 1977 record from a new locality received too late to be incorporated
last year: 30+ at Mathoura 26 Dec 1977 (PNM, PMM). Two Sydney records, probably of aviary
escapees: 2 at Maianbar 3 Feb (DT), and a male at Towra Point 22 April (GD, MD).
Cockatiel Eastern records: 2 or 3 at Castle Hill 15 Oct and 1 same place 4-5 Nov (RB); a flock
at Tenterfield 11 Sept (RP).
Ground Parrot Two sightings at Broadwater NP 10 Sept (R VNC), and 1 at Diggers Camp near
Wooli 27 August (GPC).
Swift Parrot More records than usual, particularly from the Ebeneezer-Windsor-Sackville-Putty
Road area west of Sydney where a number of observers recorded the species at various dates be-
tween 6 May -11 Sept in numbers ranging up to 30 birds. Recorded at Coonabarabran from 14 JulySeptember 1979 13
(AKM, JZ); 12 at Abington on the Armidale-Bundarra road 1 July (GH), and 6+ near Bundarra 16
July (RN) are unusual northern localities. Late records: 3 flying Sat Oatley Bay 10 Oct (GD, MD);
1 at Bumberry Dam E of Parkes 2 Nov, appeared sick (NS).
Crimson Rosella One, of the subspecies flaveolus (“Yellow Rosella”), in a flock of the nominate
sub -species near Tai alga 1 Oct (CWT).
Eaitern Rosella Frequently recorded N and S of Condobolin 11-13 Dec (WJB).
Pale -headed Rosella One at Copeton Dam 4 June (GH); hybrids (Pale -headed x Eastern Rosellas)
common between Wallangra and Ashford (RN).
Mulga Parrot Two at Tullamore 4 Oct (NS), were close to the eastern limits of the known dist-
ribution in NSW.
Blue -winged Parrot A flock of 14 about 50km SW of Walgett 18 July (FVK).
Turquoise Parrot Many reports from known localities, some with evidence of breeding, suggest
continuing good population levels. New localities not previously mentioned in these reports:
2 at Silent Grove about 20km W of Tenterfield 18 Dec and 1 at Emmaville 19 Dec (GH): 4 im-
matures 14km E of Barraba 15 April, 1 16km NW of Wallangra 14 May, and a pair at Wallangra
27 Nov (RN); 10+ at Bullawa Creek and 9 at Eula Creek NE of Narrabri 3 June (AKM); at
Donglemah 28 Dec (RMC); 2 at Mookerana 11 June and 1 at Long Point (both localities on the
Macquarie River near Orange) 3 Sept (WJB).
Oriental Cuckoo One, in adult brown phase, on edge of rainforest at Eureka about 15km E of
Lismore 4 March (MK); one at Meroo Meadow 7km N of Nowra 18 Jan (AE per JH).
Pallid Cuckoo Spring arrivals: 1 at Cobbity 5 August (AMcG), 1 at Mudgee 12 August (MP),
Gilgandra 18 August (AMcC), and Moruya 5 Oct (SM). Winter records: at Boundary Road near
Red Gables 25 and 27 June (RB, LS); 1 during June, 15km N of Barham (ET). Last seen at
Gulargambone 13 March (DBe).
Brush Cuckoo Departure dates: Moruya 7 Jan (SM), Oatley Bay 18 Jan (GD, MD), and Reserve
Creek, Murwillumbah 27 Feb (EP). Arrival dates: Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 2 Oct (EP),
Moruya 13 Oct ISM), and Wollomombi Falls 17 Oct (RN). Inland records: 1 at Leadville 9 Feb,
1 at Mullion Range near Orange 24 March (note late date), and 1 same place 22 Nov (WJB); not in
Heron, 1973, Emu 73:1-8. A late record was of 1 at Wattamolla, Royal NP 3 May (DT).
Horsefield’s Bronze -Cuckoo Several observers commented on the rarity of this species during
1978: one at Coonabarabran 21 Oct (AKM) and one at Shoalhaven Heads 27 Nov (JH) were these
observers’ only records for the year in their respective areas.
Shining Bronze -Cuckoo Spring arrivals (subspecies plagosus): Warrumbungle NP 12 August
(AKM), Moruya 5 Sept (SM); last seen Moruya 24 March (SM). New Zealand subspecies lucidus:
one found dead at Beecroft 20 Feb, now AM 0.46669, and one found dead at Alstonville 3 Oct
(THA), now AM 0.47099.
Common Koel Several observers commented that this species seemed more common than usual
in the Sydney area during the summer of 1978-79, an impression strengthened by a large number
of public enquiries received at the Australian Museum; several instances of breeding reported,14 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14)
involving Noisy Friarbirds or Red Wattlebirds as foster -parents. Departure dates: Oatley Bay 22
March (GD, MD), Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 30 March (EP). Arrival dates: Reserve Creek,
Murwillumbah 18 Sept (EP), Grafton 19 Sept (GPC), Hornsby Heights 17 Sept (RMC), Church
Point and Warrimoo 30 Sept (GS, PL), Dee Why 1 Oct (AGL, TRL), Thornleigh 5 Oct (BH),
Nowra 21 Oct (JH), and Moruya 22 Nov (SM).
Channel -billed Cuckoo Departure dates: Nowra 1 Jan (JH), Colo Bridge 13 Jan (RP),
Coonabarabran 2 Jan (AKM), Iluka NP 25 Feb (GPC), and Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 13
April (EP). Arrival dates: Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 18 Sept (EP), Winmalee 22 Sept (NLK),
Appin 23 Sept (MP), Springwood 24 Sept (KAS), Warrimoo 29 Sept (PL), Paterson 3 Oct (WM),
Nowra 1 Nov (JH), Moruya 9 Oct (SM), Rocky Glen 10 Dec (BCa).
Pheasant Coucal Western records: seen at Wallangra 14 Nov (RN), and at Phragmites Swamp
10 km E of Bellata 16 Nov (PDa).
Powerful Owl An adult and an immature were seen on several occasions in a remote gulley
in the upper reaches of the Lane Cove River, Nov -Dec 1977; the immature assumed adult plumage
by the end of the year. One bird remained in the area and was seen on numerous occasions during
the first six months of 1978; this individual was joined by a second on 20 May, and both birds
were seen together 4 June plus a third individual about 3 km distant (BL’ DL, TA).
Barking Owl One heard calling regularly July -August at Bittangabee, Ben Boyd NP (KT).
Eastern Grass Owl 2 at Pallamallawa about 20 km E of Moree 2 Jan were observed for more
than 10 minutes at a distance of about 15 metres (RMC).
Masked Owl 1 found dead by the roadside at Lisarow near Gosford 23 Dec (DSS).
White -throated Nightjar Recorded in Dec at Lorne and Lower Portland (SD), in the Kalang
Valley near Bellingen during Jan and Sept (RB), and at Moruya departed 9 March, arrived 27
Sept (SM).
Spotted Nightjar Eastern record: one at Woodsreef 14 km E of Barraba 15 April (RN, GH,
White -throated Needletail Departure dates: Warrimoo 26 March (PL), Thornleigh 30 March
(BH), Gilgandra 30 March (AKM), and Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 9 April (EP). Arrival dates:
Reserve Creek Murwillumbah 1 Oct (EP), Dee Why 31 Oct (c. 100) (AGL, TRL), Warrimoo 8
Nov (PL), Thornleigh 14 Nov (BH), and Mendooran 10 Dec (AKM).
Fork -tailed Swift The latest departure date was a large flock near Cookamidgera 30 March
(WJB); earliest arrival recorded, with flocks of White -throated Needletails at Tooloom Scrub
25 Nov (AGL, TRL, et al).
Azure Kingfisher Inland records: a pair 20 km W of Armidale 3 Dec, seen at Wallangra 10
Feb and at Woodsreef 15 April (RN).
Forest Kingfisher 1 at Longneck Lagoon 16 Oct 1977 (GB), and 2 at Casula near Sydney 15
Jan 1978 (JMA), full details submitted. These appear to be the third and fourth records for
the Sydney region (see Hindwood & McGill 1958, The birds of Sydney, pp 64-65; also one near
Longneck Lagoon 26 Dec 1963 seen by C. Cammeron per EH).September 1979 15
Sacred Kingfisher Arrival dates: Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 18 Oct (EP), Thornleigh 8 Oct
(BH), Warrimoo 15 Oct (PL), Moruya 5 Oct (SM), 15 km N of Barham 16 Sept (ET), and Coona-
barabran 7 Oct (AKM). Departure dates: Moruya 19 Feb (SM), Penrith 7 March (PL), Coonabara-
bran 22 Feb (AKM), and Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 30 Dec (EP). Winter records:1 at Rylstone
13 May, and 1 at Warwick Farm 18 May (MP).
Rainbow Bee -eater Departure dates: Coonabarabran 11 March (AKM), Bumberry Dam E of
Parkes 30 March (NS). Arrival dates: Coraki 1 August, Iluka 26 August, South Grafton 18 Sept
(GPC), Emu Plains 15 Sept (PL), Wallacia 23 Sept (PL). Winter record: 20+ at Knapsack Gorge
near Lapstone 28 June (AGC).
Dollarbird Departure dates: Warrimoo 21 Jan (PL), Maianbar 5 Feb (DT), Parkes 21 Feb (NS),
Moruya 22 Feb (SM), Mitchell Park, Cattai 8 March (CMB), Round Hill NR 2 March (NS),
Coonabarabran 21 March (AKM), Turramurra 11 April (SD), and Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah
13 April (EP). Arrival dates: Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 23 Sept (EP), Yowie Bay 28 Sept
(JJF), Stewarts Brook 40 km E of Scone 1 Oct (BH), Iluka 2 Oct (GPC), Maianbar 4 Oct (DT),
Warrimoo 5 Oct (PL), Marsfield 5 Oct (GNL), Church Point 6 Oct (GS), Coonabarabran 8 Oct
(AKM), Moruya 16 Oct (SM), Nundle and Berrigamil Dam near Parkes 19 Oct (LJH, NS), and
Wollomombi Falls 30 Oct (RN). 1 seen 22 km S of Bourke 25 Oct (RMo) is an interesting inland
Noisy Pitta One caught and banded at Dudley 7 May (FVG, SP); one seen and heard several
times at Iluka 5 June -26 August (GPC), and one at Sea Acres, Port Macquarie 17 June (GH).
Glen Holmes (pers. comm.) suggests that this species occurs in coastal lowlands on the NSW
North Coast only in winter; sightings on file over the past several years tend to support this hyp-
othesis. Further records would be of interest.
Albert’s Lyrebird 1-2 (male and female) seen or heard on 4 occasions (24 Sept, 7-10 Dec)
at Gradys Creek Flora Reserve, Wiangaree SF (GPC); seldom reported in NSW.
Rufous Scrub -bird One about 2 km W of Raspberry Lookout, Gibraltar Range SF 20 August
(GH); 4 calling, 2 seen at Point Lookout, New England NP 31 Aug (GD, MD).
Singing Bushlark 2 at Clifton Grove near Orange 11 Dec (WJB), not listed in Heron, 1973,
Emu 73:1-8.
Skylark Abundant at the Shaolhaven River estuary, contra Readers’ Digest Complete Book
Australian Birds (JH).
Tree Marlin Not seen after 27 May at Gulargambone (DBe), but recorded throughout the
year at Coonabarabran (AKM). Two winter records from the Sydney region: 2 at Stannix Park
Road 13 June and 4 at Glossodia 11 July (LS).
Fairy Martin Spring arrival dates: Spring Ridge 7 August (GH), 15 km N of Barham 7 Sept
(ET), and Warrumbungle NP 12 Oct (AKM). Sydney winter record: 1 at Bringelly 10 June (LS).
Cicadabird Arrival dates: Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 29 Sept (EP), Thornleigh 8 Oct (BH),
Moruya 10 Oct ISM), Wollomombi Falls 17 Oct (RN), Warrumbungle NP 21 Oct (AKM). Dep-
arture dates: Moruya 21 Jan (SM), Warrumbungle NP 25 March (AKM), Warrimoo 14 April
(PL), and Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 21 April (EP). Inland records: one (a female or immature)
at Bimbi SF, Weddin Range, and another at Caragabal SF 29 Jan (NS, WJB).16 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14)
White- winged Triller A female at Bull Creek, Ben Boyd NP 7 August (KT) appears to be the first
record for the park. Several winter records in the Sydney area.
Red -whiskered Bulbul Seen frequently at Kiama (JH), see Gibson, 1977, Aust. Birds 11:64.
White’s Thrush One at The Rock NR near Wagga Wagga 4 July (ABR, BGa). Western range
limits of this species in NSW do not appear to be well -documented (but see Hobbs, 1954, Emu
Rose Robin Western records: 2 at Curembenya NR near Eugowra 11-20 July (NS); male at
Mullion Range 11km NE of Orange 8 April and 1 male at Turondale 31 July (WJB), not in Heron,
1973, Emu 73:1-8; 1 male near Dawson Springs in Mount Kaputar NP 3 June (PDa).
Pink Robin One male on 1 Jan and 2 males on 3 Jan at Bondi SF near Eden (WB).
Flame Robin 1 about 20km N of Barham 3 May (ET); 2 at Jemalong Weir 25km W of Forbes 15
May (NS), and a female at Grono Farm Road, Sydney 30 May (RB).
Red -capped Robin Sydney records: up to 3 were seen at Thornley Street, Windsor, and 2 (in
female plumage) at Marsden Park on several occasions through the year (TQ, RB, LS); at least 3
males at Greendale 10 June (GD, MD, LS, EH et al).
Pale -yellow Robin 2-3 at Macleods Creek NE of Tenterfield 10 June (GH).
Crested Shrike -tit Inland record: 1 at Tallimba 40km E of Rankins Springs (RMo).
Golden Whistler Wintering in northern NSW 6 March – late Sept at Reserve Creek, Murwill-
umbah (EP), and 29 April -12 August at Coonabarabran (AKM).
Rufous Whistler Arrival dates: Coonabarabran 6 August (AKM), Warrimoo 25 Sept (PL), and
Moruya 28 Sept (SM). Departure dates: Warrimoo 25 Feb (PL), Penrith 29 March (PL), Moruya
6 April (SM). Several winter records in the Sydney area, and 1 at Mudgee 13 May (MP).
Little Shrike -thrush Southern record: 1 at Barrington Tops on or about 25 March (TQ, BH).
Crested Bellbird Seen several times during the year at the following localities, which are close to
the eastern limits of range in northern NSW: Tingha, Bundarra, Abington, and 20km N of Ben-
demeer (GH); also 2 pairs 12km N of Binnaway 24 Sept (AKM).
Black -faced Monarch Arrival dates: Iluka NR 16 Sept (GPC), and Moruya 30 Sept ISM). Dep-
arture dates: Moruya 6 Feb (SM), Mitchell Park, Cattai 8 March (CMB). Also one about 20km W
of Armidale 6 April (GH).
Spectacled Monarch 1 at Barrington Tops 17 Feb (HBOG). Spring arrival: 2 Oct at Iluka NP
Leaden Flycatcher Departure dates: Moruya 13 March (SM), Warrimoo 2 April (PL), Grono
Farm Road, Sydney 11 April (RB), Coonabarabran 8 March (AKM), Goonumbla 16km N of
Parkes 26 March (NS), and Reserve Creek, Murwillumbah 9 April (EP). Arrival dates: Reserve
Creek Murwillumbah 12 Sept (EP), Wollomombi Falls 26 Sept (RN), Moruya 6 Oct (SM), Warr-
imoo 27 Oct (PL), Coonabarabran 7 Oct (AKM), and Tichborne 27 Oct (NS).September 1979 17
Satin Flycatcher Recorded at Warrumbungles NP 10 Oct- 3 Nov (LJH, AKM); first arrival at
Wollomombi Falls 10 Oct (RN).
Rufous Fantail Absent from Moruya 7 April -4 Oct (SM), and reported on northward passage at
Yowie Bay 8 March -5 April (JJF); departed Warrimoo 2 April (PL). First arrivals at Reserve Creek,
Murwillumbah 5 Feb, departed late Sept (EP). Inland record: at Back Creek SF near West
Wyalong 26 March (RMo).
Willie Wagtail 14 feeding together over an area of ’50 square yards’ in Centennial Park, Sydney
12 August (GD, MD).
Longrunner 2 at Maria Forest Walk on the Pacific Highway just S of Kempsey 1 August (RP).
Chirruping Wedgebill Recorded about 36km W of Cobar 30 May (JW); within the range shown
by Ford & Parker 1973, Emu 73:113-118, but not recorded by Schmidt 1978, Aust. Birds 12:
Spotted Quail -thrush Nest with one young and one egg at Scutts Ridge, Mount Kaputar NP 6
Sept (PDa).
Hall’s Babbler 2 about 45km N of Bourke 8 Sept (GH) is an extreme eastern record.
Clamorous Reed -Warbler One N of Vittoria 2 May (WJB), a late date.
Tawny Grassbird 2 at Guyra (at 1300 m asl) seen regularly throughout the year (GH); also 3 at
North Maquarie Marshes 25 August and 2 at Southern Maquarie Marshes 1 Sept (AP). In NSW this
is mainly a bird of the coastal lowlands. Coastal records: 1 at Forster 25 Oct (AMcG); 3 pairs
breeding at Kooragang Island Oct -Nov (FVG); 2 pairs breeding on the western side of Lake Illaw-
arra Jan -Feb (JDG, JK).
Golden -headed Cisticola Recorded again, several times, at Parkes Sewage Farm (JDW). 6 about
60km NE of Moree 30 April (GH); recorded at Wallangra and W of Rocky Dam 8 March and 13
May (RN); at Warrumbungles NP a pair 26 May (AKM) and a male in display flight 20 Dec (JA).
1 at Rawdon Station W of Gloucester 23 and 29 Dec. 1+ at Branga Plains Station 25km S of
Walcha 29 Dec (RMC).
Rufous Songlark First seen at Coonabarabran 22 Oct (AKM), and at Mudgee 31 August (MP).
Up to 6 seen all through the winter in the Cobbity area, but not seen after Sept (AMcG).
Brown Songlark The 1977 influx in the Nowra area (see 1977 report) apparently had dispersed
by the beginning of 1978; none was seen in the area after 12 Jan (JH).
Variegated Fairy -wren The following records were identified as the subspecies assimilis, and
were close to the eastern limits of distribution in this region: a party on the Armidale-Bundarra
Road 10km NW of Mount Yarrowyck 27 April; a party 10km N of Wallabadah 26 Oct; and 3 part-
ies at Torrington 18 Dec IGH).
Red -backed Wren One male at Kia-ora Lookout, Gloucester 8 Dec (MG), and one near Kauthi
NW of Gloucester 24 Dec (RMC).
Eastern Bristlebird Common on the Bherwerre Peninsula, Jervis Bay; seen and heard on all visits,18 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14)
with 11 sightings on 4km walk 15 April. Also recorded on a number of occasions during the year
on the Beecroft Peninsula on the northern side of Jervis Bay (JH).
White-browed Scrubwren Inland record: 5 at Croobie NE of Moree 30 April (GH).
Chestnut-rumped Hylacola 2 about 20km SW of Dubbo 12 Sept (GH). 2 pairs 10km W of
Wyalong 12-13 and 18-19 March (JMcK, DSt); studied at close range on several occasions, lacked
white patch at ‘shoulder’ and were considered to be of this species. Both records are at the western
limits of distribution.
Redthroat Eastern record: seen at Balranald 30 Sept (JJF, AD, DL, BM, JP). Seldom reported in
Weebill North coast record: One at Grafton 14 Feb (GPC).
Mangrove Gerygone The following records, all from Lake Macquarie, extend the known southern
limits of the species’ range: 2-4 at Fennell Bay 21 Nov, 1 at Teralba 29 Dec, 3-4 at Black Neds
Bay, Swansea 31 Dec, 1 at Blacksmiths 31 Dec (GH).
Western Gerygone 1 at Cobbity 5 August (AMcG); 2 at Gooloogang 19 July (NS).
White -throated Gerygone One at Grono Farm Road near Sydney 15 August (LS, AG, CMB, TB,
RB), an exceptionally early date. Other arrival dates: Warrimoo 16 Sept (PL), Coonabarabran 21
Sept (AKM), Moruya 10 Oct (SM). Departure dates: Moruya 5 Jan (SM), Warwick Farm 23 March
(MP), Wilberforce 11 April (RB), Warrimoo 5 April (PL), Pilliga NR 27 March (AKM).
Chestnut-rumped Thornbill 4 at Breeza SF 7 August (GH) were close to the eastern range limits
in the area.
White -throated Treecreeper 2 at Blowclear SF, Bogan Gate 22 Oct (NS).
Red-browed Treecreeper Western records: 2 groups at Moonbi Range 15km NW of Benriemeer
18 May; several groups between Torrington -Bismuth 16-20 Feb (GH); seen at Vittoria 2 May
Striped Honeyeater Seen regularly at Mudgee from 2 Oct nested twice, see 1975 report for
status in the area (MP). 1 at Macquarie River, Long Point, near Orange 3 Sept (WJB); not in Heron,
1973, Emu 73:1-8. 3 at Buff Point, Budgewoi in Oct (GL per DIS).
Yellow -throated Miner The following localities are close to the eastern limits of distribution in
northern NSW: a party 12km N of Bingara 16 MAY (GH); out -numbered Noisy Miners at Oak-
wood, Wallangra, and Rocky Dam 25km NW of Wallangra 23 June (RN); recorded at 4 localities
between Coolatai and Gunyawarilda 12 August (RN).
Singing Honeyeater Eastern records: 1 at Tallimba 40km E of Rankins Springs 29 Jan (RM0);
2 at Lake Cowal 28-30 Jan (NS); a pair at Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo 17 May (AKM); 3 about
40km N of Warialda 29-30 April (GH); recorded 30km NE of Warialda 12 August, but not found
at nearby Wallangra (RN).September 1979 19
Mangrove Honeyeater 8-10 at Hickey Island, Yamba 28 May (GH); this is within the species’
known range, but reports are few.
White -eared Honeyeater Winter visitor on the South Coast; recorded 6 April -18 Sept at Moruya
Yellow -tufted Honeyeater Reported again at Temora (see 1977 report); 2 on 29 March (RSh).
Fuscous Honeyeater A flock of 30 near Nowra 7 May -27 July (JH), normal winter status
(see 1977 report); present at Moruya 24 April -30 Sept (SM).
Black -chinned Honeyeater North Coast records: 1-2 about 10km NE of Tullymorgan 29 May,
and about 4-5 about 20km SW of Coraki (GH). Also 2 at Macquarie Marshes NR 25 Nov (AKM).
New Holland Honeyeater Abundant between Torrington -Bismuth 16-20 Feb (GH), on the west-
ern fringes of the species’ range.
White-cheeked Honeyeater Southern record: 2 at Boolijah Creek near Sassafras 6 March (JH).
Yellow Chat One at Kinchega NP with 20+ Orange Chats mid -Feb (GV per RMo); adult male,
black breast crescent noted. This appears to be the first record for NSW, although there is a
somewhat dubious and apparently overlooked record of ‘Yellow -fronted Chats’ (scientific name
not given) at Iduna Park, 120 miles N of Broken Hill (Chenery, 1921, Sth. Aust. Ornith. 6:38).
Red-browed Pardalote Recorded at Olive Downs Homestead 28 August and Wompah Home-
stead 29 August (JW).
Straited Pardalote One flew into a window at Coonabarabran 29 June, identified as the sub-
species ornatus (AKM). Subspecies striatus (Yellow -tipped Pardalote): several records received
(see 1977 report), present at Coonabarabran 25 April -23 July (AKM, JZ); 10 at Bumberry Dam
E of Parkes 30 March (NS); 20+ at Stannix Park Road near Sydney 11 April (RB); 4 10km NE
of Quirindi 24 May, abundant at Spring Ridge SF 6 August, and 1 at Breeza SF 7 August (GH);
20+ at Wollomombi Falls 25 April, and 2 at Swan Vale 9 May (RN).
Tree Sparrow 4 at Parkes 20 June (NS).
Red-browed Firetail Inland records: a pair with 5 young at Deniliquin 1 Dec (PNM, PMM),
and 30-40 about 45km S of Cootamundra 29 March (RSh, see Bird Observer No. 559:23).
Diamond Firetail 3+ S of Grafton 18 Sept and 1 at South Grafton 2 Nov (GPC); records from
the far North Coast are rare (see 1977 report).
Double -barred Finch Southern and western records: recorded 25km NE of Cootamundra 17
April, 3 at Wagga Wagga 18 March, recorded 10km E of Wagga Wagga 7 July, and 10km S of
Tumut 15 July (RSh); breeding at Albury 16 Nov (RMa), and about 15 at Cocoparra NP 5-7 Feb
Plum -headed Finch Nesting at Nyngan 1 Jan (NHo); a pair feeding 3 young at Warkton 30
April (AKM); flocks of 82 at Borah, Rocky Glen 22 Jan (BCa), 10 at Warkton 30 Jan (AKM),
and 8 at Lake Liddell 7 Jan (RMC).20 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14)
Chestnut -breasted Mannikin Further records from the Nowra area (see 1977 report): small
flocks at Worrigee Swamp, Nowra 9 Sept, at Bomaderry Sewage Farm 9 Nov, and near Toolijooa
27 Nov (JH).
C ato Nm om wo rn a M foy r n 3a h w eeks3 fa rt o mPe a 2t 1s OR cid tg , e a n3 d1 2A -u 3 g su as mt e( G pC laP c) e; l1 a ta et F Do ecx g (r Jo Hu )n , d s en ee a Hr oB ne er ,r y 1 93 70 8 ,O c Et m, a un 7d 81 :
Figbird Southern record: 5+ seen regularly in the Nowra-Bomaderry area from 21 Oct (JH).
Bird Observer No. 565/6:84 contains a note by G.M. and D.M. O’Grady concerning several birds
of the northern subspecies flaviventris at Grafton.
Spangled Drongo More reports than in other recent years, mostly from the Sydney area with at
least 10 records. 2 at Brundee Swamp, Nowra 16 April (JH). Sydney records: single birds at
Forestville 31 July (EEa), Yeramba Lagoon 30 April, Oatley Bay 4 April, 8 May, 29 June (GD,
MD), Yowie Bay 2 April (JJF), Gymea 3 August and Caringbah 20 May -17 June (FJ), Warwick
Farm 4-5 May (MP), Riverstone 11 April (ASC, EV), and Castle Hill 31 July and 11 Sept (RB):
4 at Jibbon Beach near Bundeena 21 May and 1 same place 10 June (JJF); 1 at Eastwood 3
June -23 Sept (EH). Also recorded several times in the Grafton area 20 April -28 August (GPC).
Other records: 3 near Uki 10 Dec (GPC), 1 at Apsley Falls near Walcha 12 March (SD).
Satin Bowerbird 2 at Torrington 17-19 Dec (GH); western limits of distribution of this species
do not appear to be well documented, see also 1977 report.
Spotted Bowerbird 1 about N of Warialda 1 at Yetman 15 May;
3 July (GH). Reported breeding near Pibbon SW of Coonabarabran (AKM). These localities are
close to eastern limits of distribution in the region.
Paradise Riflebird 2 females at Barrington Tops 17 Feb (HBOG), and heard calling (observers
familiar with call) at Wingen Maid NR near Scone 6 Dec (ABR, JWT).
Apostlebird Coastal record: 2 at Seaham 23 Dec (RMC).
White -breasted Woodswallow Southern breeding record: 2 pairs nesting at Kooragang Island
during Nov -Dec (FVG, WPB, TGK).
White-browed Woodswallow There was no repetition of the massive influx to the New England
Tablelands of 1977 (see 1977 report); in fact only a few scattered reports received from the whole
of the state. Last seen at Pilliga NR 30 March, first seen at Warkton near Coonabarabran 28 Oct
(AKM). 1 at Cobbity 30 August (GB).
Little Woodswallow Seen NE of Brewarrina (29 25’S 147 25’E) 11 Dec (JW); reported as
common breeding migrant Oct -April at Wallangra, also recorded at Graman, Cherry Tree Hill,
Ashford, Bukhulla and Nullamanna (RN); 4 at Fairview Station 16km W of Bingara 1 Jan (RMC).
Pied Currawong Inland records: 1 about 10km N of Wakool 11 July, and several seen at Barham
July -August (ET).
Forest Raven and Little Raven Numerous otservations by SD, JW, TQ, RMC, GH, BH et al
during 1977-78 have significantly extended the known distribution of these species in NSW asSeptember 1979 21
given by Rowley 1970, CSIRO Wildl. Res. 15:27-71. These data are far too comprehensive to sum-
marize effectively here, but it now appears that Little Ravens are resident in small numbers in the
Barrington Tops area and that Forest Ravens occur over much of the eastern tablelands and in
some coastal localities approximately from Port Stephens to Taree. A full report is in preparation.
Little Raven Present in the Shoalhaven River area 9 Jan -7 August, max. 64 on 9 Jan (JH).
Little Crow 3 at Narrabri Rubbish Tip 3 Jan (RMC); seldom reported in NSW.
Torresian Crow Inland and southern records: present at Armidale 5 March. Stroud 2 March and
14 April, 6 at Barrington 15 April (SD); 80 flying Sat South Grafton 15 July (GPC).
Appendix A
The editor apologizes for the following errors in the 1977 Report:

  1. List of contributors, page 2; Russil should be spelled Russill.
  2. Those records of seabirds listed on pages 3-4 were submitted by M. J. Carter, not M. J.
    Cochrane as implied in the list of contributors.
  3. The observation of Blue -billed Duck at Dangars Lagoon, Uralla (page 6) was submitted by
    RC (= RMC this report), not RD as shown.
    Appendix B
    Australasian Bittern Seen on six occasions during Sept -Oct at Berkley Downs Station near Cryon
    (MS per AKM).
    Letter -winged Kite Up to 6 at Berkley Downs Station near Cryon Sept -Oct (MS), and 5 about
    8km W of Burraboi near Wakool Oct -Nov (PDi) are additional records relating to the massive
    influx of,1976-77 (see 1977 report).
    Black -breasted Buzzard Seen 65km S of Menindee 30 Dec (ST, see Bird Observer No. 562:51);
    species not often reported in NSW.
    Common Sandpiper Additional inland record: at Moama near Echuca 22 Dec (PNM, PMM).
    Greenshank Additional inland record: 16 about 40km E of Deniliquin Dec (PNM, PMM).
    Marsh Sandpiper Additional inland record: 1 about 40km E of Deniliquin, Dec (PNM, PMM).22 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14) 1
    White’s Thrush Western record: recorded at Goodnight 17 April (N. Best, see Bird Observer No.
    Rufous Fantail Inland record: 1 remained in a garden at Berkley Downs Station near Cryon
    through Oct -Nov (MS).
    Yellow -faced Honeyeater Riverina records: numerous at Moama 19 June (PNM, PMM); 2 at
    Barham 23 May (PM), see Bird Observer No. 559:23. Seen at Deniliquin 19 August (V. Robb, see
    Bird Observer No. 553/4:97).
    Fuscous Honeyeater 6 at Caldwell near Barham 10 August (Nell Robb, see Bird Observer No.
    553/4:97), refer 1977 report for discussion.
    Black -chinned Honeyeater Present 13km N of Barham during June (P01), see Bird Observer No.
    559:23; appears to be rare or local in the Riverina.
    Black -faced Woodswallow 2 about 16km S of Walcha 29 Dec. One an adult, the other immature,
    apparently just out of the nest; adult seen feeding the young bird (RMC). An unusual eastern local-
    ity, particularly with the additional implication of breeding in the area.
    Appendix C
    The following records are based on information obtained during visits by John Waugh (3-15
    April) and Norma Maxwell (19 July -3 August).
    Great Cormorant Recorded regularly on both visits; max. 4 in April (JW).
    Little Black Cormorant Max. 2 birds in April (JW), seen singly or in groups of 2+ in August
    Little Pied Cormorant Max. 7 during April (JW), seen singly during August (NM).
    Pied Cormorant 2 during April (JW); first record.
    Cattle Egret 10 during April (JW).
    Banded Plover 1 seen daily 26 July -3 August near Jims Point (NM); first record.SEPTEMBER 1979 23
    During November 1966, in an area a little south of the lower Clarence River, NSW, Goddard detected call –
    notes similar to those he had heard given by bronze -cuckoos earlier in central -eastern Queensland. These notes
    consisted of a prolonged, high-pitched, rippling whistle, emitted in the same pitch as though the caller had inhaled
    deeply, then exhaled very gradually to produce a trilling sound. However, the bird was extremely difficult to locate
    and when the calling ceased further attempts o find it were abandoned. On 25 November 1967, he was again, in
    that area and located a similar call coming from an Ironbark Eucalyptus sp., close to a swamp. When the rippling
    whistle ceased the bird gave a down -scale trill of four notes, which was already familiar from previous experience.
    It was eventually observed perched high in the tree. Later a nest of the White -throated Warbler Gerygone olivacea
    was located, some 400m distant, which was found to contain two eggs of the warbler and one of a bronze -cuckoo,
    closely similar to those he had previously examined in Queensland.
    Goddard forwarded these notes to K. A. Hindwood, who said no bronze -cuckoo giving such calls was known
    from New South Wales and suggested that specimens were probably necessary to be sure of identity. After the death
    of Keith Hindwood in March 1971, McGill co-operated with Goddard in the matter and later in 1971 specimens
    were received and these were lodged i-n the Australian Museum, Sydney.
    Details of these are as follows:
    0.43972, near Tucabia, 19/12/71. 0; gonads 00; iris bright red; eye ring bright red; bill blackish; feet dark
    greyish; length 154mm; wing 101mm; tail 64mm; culmen 15.6mm; barring about face distinct.
    0.43973, near Tucabia, 3/12/71. 0; “still being tended away from the nest by G. olivacea”; barring in-
    complete; very pale throat and face; iris dark; bill dark greyish; gape pale yellowish; feet greyish; length
    149mm; wing 98mm; tail 62mm; culmen 11.3mm.
    0.43974, near Tucabia, chick taken from the egg (in spirits).
    H. J. de S. Disney, Curator of Birds at the Australian Museum, who had previously (1965) published helpful
    information on the Little Bronze -Cuckoo, including diagnostic differences between it and the Rufous -breasted
    Bronze- Cuckoo Chrysococcyx russatus, identified these specimens as those of the Little Bronze -Cuckoo C.
    minutillus. Nowadays this bird is usually treated as a subspecies of Chrysococcyx malayanus, whose distribution
    extends northwest as far as Malaysia. Shane Parker, now Curator of Birds at the South Australian Museum, Adelaide,
    also inspected these skins and believes they belong to the race bamardi Mathews 1912, which was first secured at
    the Dawson River, central -eastern Queensland.
    H. T. Condon (1975) placed bamardi in the synonymy of C. malayanus minutillus, although Parker considers
    that it is a distinct race. Condon gave the range of minutillus somewhat vaguely as ” northern Queensland
    west of the range of C. russatus”. He further erred noticeably when stating the distribution of C. malayanus as a
    species that it extends east no further than the Leichardt River in northwestern Queensland, but that is over 1,000
    km west of the type locality of barnardi.
    The Checklist Committee (1962) simply recorded C. minutillus as occurring in “northern Australia”, with its
    two synonymised names both coastal northwest; whilst C. russatus was to occur in Australia in “northern and east-
    ern Queensland”. The form bamardi was included in the synonymy of the latter. Published records of these
    bronze -cuckoos from south-eastern Queensland were earlier listed under C. russatus cf. Elks, (1970), and Jack
    (1963), but a number of more recent records refer only to C. minutillus for that area. As well as the few known
    observations in near- coastal northeast New South Wales, Goddard has also recorded it 48km west of Tenterfield.
    A noted authority on cuckoos, H. Friedmann, concurred with information given by J. L. Peters (1940)
    that russatus was confined only to Cape York Peninsular (in Australia) and that minutillus (both regarded as races
    of malayanusl was found south and west of that area. Neither, however, mentioned southeastern Queensland nor
    New South Wales in its range. Friedmann apparently was correct when he stated that all races of malayanus strongly
    favours species of Gerygone as foster -parents, but could have erred when he said that all races of malayanus were
    non -migratory, as there is no indication as yet that m. minutillus remains in the south-eastern part of its Australian
    range after breeeding.

  • Whilst the malayanus minutillus russatus bronze -cuckoo complex is clearly distinct from other species
    of Chryrococcyx found in Australia there has been and still is some uncertainty on the validity of species and sub-
    species. Parker is inclined to the belief that they are all conspecific, but our field observations tend to support
    Condon’s arrangement in keeping russatus a separate species, despite the fact that on specimen evidence there is
    no breeding overlap with any of the forms. McGill had extended observations in the field with the Little Bronze –
    Cuckoo in the Rockhampton area in September, 1968 and later, on a number of occasions, saw the Rufous -breasted24 AUSTRALIAN BIRDS (14)
    in the Cairns – Ingham area of Queensland. Both in appearance and call -notes there appeared diagnostic diff-
    Goddard in late 1978 gathered added information in north Queensland that may be helpful. The favoured
    foster -parent there is the Large -billed Warbler Gerygone magnirostris, and nestlings of C. russatus closely
    examined were black -skinned, with four white tufts on the rear of the crown and no other down elsewhere,
    while the nestling Large -billed Warbler is also black and had four white forehead tufts, two single hind -crown
    wisps, and white down on the back. A striking nestling characteristic of C.m. minutillus in north-eastern N.S.W.
    is the pale pinkish skin colour and distribution of down, which consists of pale yellowish plumules on the crown
    and along the back. This to a remarkable degree simulates that of the nestlings of G. olivacea. With no other
    Australian parasitic cuckoo with which Goddard has had field experience has early nestling down been noted,
    and yet rudimentary plumuled are obvious even on unhatched chicks of C.m. minutillus. If the nestlings of the
    Little and Rufous -breasted Bronze -Cuckoos are light and dark respectively as these observations indicate then
    specific distinctness seems feasible. However, such may be merely localised adaption by the cuckoos to different
    foster -parents. In song also Goddard found some degree of difference for the down -scale notes of russatus
    extended from four to eight, whilst those given by m. minutillus on the Clarence River were usually four and
    never more than six.
    An example of a typical Little Bronze -Cuckoo egg is elongate oval with a slight taper towards the smaller
    end, brownish -bronze and sparingly peppered about the larger end with minute blackish specks, with the shell
    surface glazed slightly metallic, and in size 16 x 12mm. Eggs vary in colour from pale greenish -bronze through to
    brownish -bronze and occasionally dark bronzy -brown, variously dusted, but particularly over the larger end,
    with blackish specks. Pigmentation is superficial, as with eggs of all other Australian bronze -cuckoos and can be
    removed with a damp finger to reveal the underlying matt white shell. They are larger than those of the Golden
    Bronze -Cuckoo C. lucidus, mostly darker in general coloration with a slight metallic lustre and dust -like blackish
    markings. Eggs believed to pertain to the Rufous -breasted Bronze -Cuckoo are generally slightly larger and usually
    darker than those of C.m. minutillus, with similar dust- like markings but less glossy on the shell. However,
    the variations would make it difficult to reliably separate the eggs in areas where possibly the two species may be
    .We wish to acknowledge the assistance throughout of John Disney and Shane Parker.
    Anon, 1926, The official Checklist of the Birds of Australia. RAOU: Melbourne.
    Condon, H. T. 1975, “Birds in the Hand” Series: Aust. Bird Bander, 3, 56-57.
    Elks, R. 1970, Field List of Birds of Queensland’s South-east Corner,
    Author: Brisbane.
    Freidmann, Herbert 1968, The Evolutionary History of the Avian Genus Chrysococcyx.
    U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull., 265.
    Jack, N. 1963 A list of the Birds of Brisbane.
    Author: Brisbane.
    Peters, J. L. 1940, Checklist of Birds of the World Vol. 4,
    Harvard University Press.
    A. R. McGILL 95 Nuwarra Road, Moorebank, N.S.W.
    M. T. GODDARD 180 Manners Street, Tenterfield, N.S.W.-
    Lindsey, T.R. N.S.W. Bird Report for 1978
    Contributors 2
    Systematic List 3
    McGill, A.R. and M.T. Goddard
    The Little Bronze Cuckoo in New South Wales 23
    Registered for Posting as a Periodical -Category B
    Printed by R. V. Byers Pty. Ltd., 138 Stiverwater Road, Lidcombe, 2141, N.S.W.