Vol. 9 No. 4-text

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Journal of the

Volume 9 No. 4 June 1975

Registered for Posting as a Periodical, Category B Price $1.00.THE N.S.W. FIELD ORNITHOLOGISTS CLUB
PATRON A.H. Chisholm, O.B.E.
R. Cooke
Dr. R. Mason
The object of the Club is to promote the study and conservation of Australian birds and their
Annual subscription rates to the Club are
Ordinary Member $4.00
Family Member $5.00
Junior Member (under 17) $1.00
All members receive a quarterly newsletter and a copy of the quarterly journal, Australian Birds.
The price of the journal is $1.00 per issue to non-members. The Club holds a general meeting and
a field excursion each month.
All correspondence, including membership fees, should be addressed to the Secretary. The Club’s
address is:
18 Russell St., Oatley, 2223.
Manuscripts should be sent to the Editor at:
P.O. Box 39, Coonabarabran, 2857.NAOS
Volume 9, No. 4 June, 1975
Edited by ALAN E. F. ROGERS
The number of contributors to this Fifth Annual Report, although marginally less than
last year, has maintained a satisfactory level. In general the year was less eventful than 1973
but spiced with some notable highlights. Inland, abnormal rains produced much suitable habitat
for water species and may have been responsible for the unlikely occurrence near Ivanhoe of
a Western Sandpiper, the only species added to the N.S.W. list during the year. Although pop-
ular opinion associates such rains with ideal breeding conditions the heavy ground cover clearly
adversely affected some species such as Australian Dotterel and Gibber Bird and perhaps less
obviously others like the White -winged Triller which was markedly scarce; further information
on these aspects would be of interest. On the coast the early part of the year was characterised
by cyclonic conditions which produced a spate of unusual seabird records, one particular storm
on the north coast being responsible for the second state records of Kermadec Petrel and
Masked Booby (excluding Lord Howe Island) and Long-tailed Skua. On the Sydney scene the
Western Warbler was conclusively added to the County of Cumberland list and Darters bred
for the first time.
During the preparation of this year’s report Ernie Hoskin and Alan Morris again supplied
many additional records and helpful comments, Arnold McGill and John Hobbs vetted the
final draft paying particular attention to the more unusual records, Brian Finch and Terry
Lindsey assisted with clerical effort and advice and my wife Margaret typed the first draft.
gratefully acknowledge their assistance and the co-operation of the many contributors who
submitted their records promptly as requested.78. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Australian Bird Atlas H. B. Gill N. Nicholson
K. Avery D. Gosper R. Noske
R. Gray
M. Baldwyn J. Gurn R. Poulton
J. H. Benham M. Price
C. Bennett J. Hansen J. Purnell
K. Bigg J. Hobbs
R. Bigg G. Holmes G. Reidy
P. Bourke E. Hoskin M. Reidy
C. 0. Boyd B. Howie P. Roberts
B. Brown A. Rogers
M. R. Brown J. Izzard A. B. Rose
J. Burfoot
F. Johnston D. Sawyer
M. A. Cameron G. Johnstone K. Schaefer
G. Clancy R. Johnstone N. Schrader
M. J. Cochrane A. Sefton
A. Colemane T. G. Kendall D. I. Smedley
P. Cooper N. L Kirby E. Smith
R. Cooper H. van der Kley R. Smith
L. Corben W. van der Kley C. Sonter
F. M. Crawford N. Kurtz D. M. Stenhouse
B. Crossley G. Stevens
C. Crouch S. G. Lane
S. Lansdown R. C. Taylor
G. Dibley B. Larkins E. Thomas
M. Dibley D. Larkins M. Thomas
P. Disher I. Lees P. Thomas
J. Disney A. Leishman R. Turner
J. F. Dixon A. G. Lindsey
A. D’ombrain T. Lindsey G. Vincent
P. Lucas -Smith
B. Finch W. Watson
A. Fox A. McGill J. Waugh
J. Francis S. Marchant V. Weir -Wilson
P. Fullagar D. Milledge E. Wheeler
R. Miller (RM) K. Wicks
B. Gall R. Moffat (RMo) H. Wilton
F. van Gessel A. MorrisJune, 1975 79.
Emu Adults with young seen at Iluka 22 Sept (DIS) and near Wooli 20 Dec (GH).
Little Penguin Northerly records: one in a burrow on South Solitary Island 28 April (AM).
One at sea off Coffs Harbour 16 June (GH).
Wandering Albatross Present off Coffs Harbour mid July-Dec, max 4 (GH, AM).
Black-browed Albatross Recorded off Coffs Harbour 31 May -5 Nov, max 5+ (GH).
Shy Albatross Present off Coffs Harbour 8 July -2 Oct, max 5-10 (GH).
Bullers Albatross An adult well seen off Coffs Harbour 19 June (GH) was the fifth
recorded occurrence for N.S.W. Two albatrosses well described by fisherman Robert Smith off

Coffs Harbour 6 July were almost certainly this species (per GH).

Yellow -nosed Albatross The most abundant albatross off Coffs Harbour, present 10 May
26 Aug with max up to 20 (GH). 20-30 off Sydney Heads 22 June (AR, MAC, MP et al).
About 5 off Eden 14 Dec (GJ), a late date.
Grey -headed Albatross An immature beach washed at Collaroy 27 Aug was the fifth
N.S.W. record (DS).
Silver-grey Petrel Beach washed: at Steamers Beach Jervis Bay 22 Sept (CS) and 2 at
Mystery Bay near Narooma 22 Oct (VW). Sixth -eighth N.S.W. records.
Cape Petrel Early record: 20-30 off Sydney Heads 22 June (AR, MAC, BF et al).
c.300 off Sydney Heads 17 Aug (AR et al). Up to 50 off Coffs Harbour 25 June -17 Nov (GH).
Great -winged Petrel Beach washed Sydney to Ballina: 30 Jan-May mostly in April and
May and 1 in Nov (GH, DS, WW, PR). At sea about 25 km off Sydney Heads: c.40+ on 8
May (DM) and 20+ on 22 June (AR, MAC, MP, BF et al). Small numbers at sea off Woolgoolga
14 Aug (GH).
White -headed Petrel 4 beach washed Sydney-Ballina in March, June and Nov (DS, WW).
Kermadec Petrel One beach washed at Kingscliff 27 Jan (DS) was the second N.S.W. and
Australian record excluding Lord Howe Island. Remains now at Aust. Museum where identif-
ication was confirmed (AR, PF).
Kerguelen Petrel Beach washed at Rushcutters Bay Sydney on 25 Aug (KW per JD), at
Collaroy on 27 Aug (DS), at Woody Head near Iluka on 29 Aug and at Woolgoolga on 15
Sept (GH). The first bird found alive later died, now Aust. Museum (AM) no. 0.45083; the
last was judged at least 10 days dead. These records are the first for this species since 1954
and are exceptional in that they occurred almost at the same time at widely spaced localities.
Fifth -eighth N.S.W. records.
Gould Petrel 7 beach washed Sydney-Ballina Jan-April (GH, DS, JHB, JG, WW).
Brown -headed Petrel 7 beach washed Port Macquarie-Ballina in April and Nov (GH, WW).
Fleshy -footed Shearwater Early arrivals: 2 off Coffs Harbour 4 Sept (GH), 1 off Sydney
Heads 7 Sept (TL, AGL, BF et al). Small numbers off Eden 14 Dec mostly towards the edge
of the continental shelf (GJ); this is well south of the normally accepted range.80. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater First arrivals: 11 Aug at Mutton Bird Island, Coffs Harbour (GH),
22 Aug off Sydney Heads (MP, JH et al) and 26 Aug off Burrewarra Point near Batemans Bay
(SM). Breeding: a newly discovered colony on Green Island off Smoky Cape had at least 44
pairs on 18 Dec; the colony begun at Bonville Head near Sawtell in 1973 had 5 pairs on 5 Dec;
the colony on Little Mutton Bird Island Coffs Harbour had 13 pairs in Dec (GH). Late record
for the Sydney area: 30 off Long Reef 15 May (AGL).
Bullers Shearwater One beach washed near Moruya 6 Feb (SM). One watched for 10 min-
utes off Long Reef feeding with Wedge-tailed Shearwaters 19 Feb (DS). 7 off Coffs Harbour
4 April and 3 a few days later (GH). One watched in the surf close to shore at Ballina 2 June
was probably the bird found beach washed on 8 June (WW). One beach washed at Woolgoolga
4 Nov (GH). Single birds sighted separately on 4 occasions off Eden on 14 Dec (GJ) constitute
the most southerly record for Australian waters. One at sea near North Solitary Island 31 Dec
(GH). Further details in press. See Aust Birds 9:98-99
Sooty Shearwater One flying N off Coffs Harbour 27 June (GH), an unusual date.
Short -tailed Shearwater One off Sydney Heads on the unusual date of 22 Aug (MP, JH
et al) was thought to be sick. Intensive watching at Coffs Harbour (GH) and Burrewarra Point
near Batemans Bay (SM) showed a close coincidence in recording the peak passage; millions
being observed at both localities in the last week of Sept.
Huttons Shearwater Beach washed at Urunga 5 June (GH) and Collaroy 27 Aug (DS).
Several birds seen in a flock of Fluttering Shearwaters off Sydney Heads 7 Sept were judged
to be this species (TL, AGL, BF et al).
Little Shearwater 9 beach washed Ulladulla-Ballina, March-Dec (DS, GH, DM, WW).
Wilsons Storm Petrel Off Coffs Harbour: seen moving N in late April and S from early
Sept-early Nov, max c.37 on 21 Oct (GH). About 25 km off Sydney Heads: 15+ seen on
8 May (DM) and 2+ on 22 June (AR, MAC, BF, RC et al), the latter an unusual date for
passage birds.
White-faced Storm Petrel 1-2 at sea off Sydney Heads 9 Feb, 8 May and 22 Aug
(DM, AR et al).
Diving Petrel sp Observed on 7 occasions late June-late Sept off Burrewarra Point 15 km
SE of Batemans Bay, max 8+ on 24 June (SM).
Masked Booby An adult beach washed at Evans Head on 29 Jan (DS) was the second
record for mainland N.S.W.
Darter At least 3 pairs nested at Greendale from late Oct onwards, probably all success-
fully (EH). First breeding record for the County of Cumberland.
Little Black Cormorant 3 pairs nested at Greendale Oct-Dec (EH).
Pied Cormorant Single birds at Bakers Lagoon, Richmond 2 Feb (AC) and Quibray Bay,
Botany Bay 24 Oct (EH).
Lesser Frigate Bird Observed at Evans Head 25-28 Jan, max 4 on 27 Jan (LC) see Bird
Observer 508. One near Kingscliff 27 Jan (DS).June, 1975 81.
Red-tailed Tropic Bird Beach washed: one near Ballina in Jan (WW) and an adult on Bundagen
Beach near Sawtell on 21 March (PR).
White-tailed Tropic Bird Beach washed: immatures at Manly 1 Jan (RG) and Palm Beach
25 April (DS) and an adult at Brunswick Heads 28 Jan (DS).
Great Crested Grebe Adults with young recorded at Dangars Lagoon near Uralla on 3
March (RN) and 27 Dec (RC), probably the first breeding record for this locality. 11 nests at
Melrose Swamp near Finley Dec (JI). Again nested abundantly on Willandra Creek near Moss-
giel which can now be accepted as a regular breeding site (JH). 50+ on Fletchers Lake near
Dareton 26 July (CS).
White -necked Heron Estimates in excess of 1,000 birds at Fletchers Lake near Dareton
in late August (PB). Nested abundantly at most flooded depressions in the Ivanhoe area
Nov-Dec (JH).
White-faced Heron Coastal movements both N and S noted off Burrewarra Point near Bate –
mans Bay throughout the year but mainly Feb -April (SM) and between the Macleay and Clarence
Rivers on the north coast 6 March -2 April, max flock 46 birds (GH). One about 5 km off Syd-
ney Heads 22 June (AR, MAC et al).
Cattle Egret Four nests found at Campbell Island on the Murray River near Barham during
Dec were the first N.S.W. breeding record for this area and may be the first for the Murray Valley.
All four species of Egrets nested in the one colony at this locality (PD, ET). 10 seen from 24
April-mid May in the Bowral-Moss Vale area appear to be the first record for this district (CS).
Up to 800 seen in the Kinchela area of the Lower Macleay 10 July (AM). 3 on Comerong Island
on 14 March (AM, GD, MD) were an early return date for this area where later up to 140 were
present at Bomaderry 4 May (BF et al). Returned to the Richmond-Windsor area on 12 April
then present to Dec with max 140 at Bushells Lagoon on 17 Aug (KS, EH, AC, AM). 4 in a
cattle paddock atMilperra 13 July (AMcG). Single birds seen at sea off Burrewarra Point near
Batemans Bay 1 and 2 April, the latter accompanying a coasting flock of 18 White-faced Herons
Plumed Egret A few at Lake Bancannia c130 km N of Broken Hill 30 Aug -2 Sept (RN).
Little Bittern 4 nests at Kanowa property 3 km NE of Barham Jan-Feb (PD). A male at
Dangars Lagoon near Uralla 20 Oct (RN). Heard calling at Cambria property 24 km N of
Barham 11 Oct and one seen 25 Nov (ET). One at Lalalty near Finley 9 Nov (JI). At least
2 pairs at Barrenbox Swamp near Griffith 13-14 Dec (ABM.
Brown Bittern 5 at Kooragang 8 Nov (FG, TGK). 3+ at Wet Lagoon Breadalbane 19 Nov
(AM). Several birds in the Mossgiel area Nov-Dec (NS, JH).
Jabiru Again present and nest building at Commonderry Swamp Shoalhaven Heads (AS,
CS et al). A pair nest building near Hat Head 10 July (AM).
Glossy Ibis 200+ nests, and possibly many more, at Tom’s Lake 10 km from the well known
ibis rookery on Booligal Station in Dec (BC). Nested at Morrisons Lake near Ivanhoe and gener-
ally abundant in the area from Oct onwards. This species may be considered a regular summer
visitor and breeder at Ivanhoe provided conditions are suitable (JH).82. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Royal Spoonbill Bred successfully at Morpeth Nov-Dec, 55 nests counted (PB, AD).
First breeding record for the County of Northumberland.
Freckled Duck Present on most flooded depressions in the Ivanhoe area throughout the
year with small flocks up to 20 from Oct. Some breeding took place in Oct-Nov, no nests
found but courtship and young birds seen (JH, NS). One found dead at Barrenbox Swamp
near Griffith 27Jan (BF et al) and up to 3 there 13-14 Dec (ABR, AM). A pair on Mt Wood
Homestead Tank, Sturt NP 30 Jan (BG). A pair observed twice in June on a swamp at Dora
Creek (ABR), a rare record for the County of Northumberland. Up to 2 at Lake Bancannia
c.130 km N of Broken Hill 1 and 3 Sept (AMcG, EW).
Whistling Tree Duck One shot c.40 km NE of Barham 28 March (per PD, ET). One at
Tatham 18 km E of Casino from 13 May -3 Nov (DG).
Plumed Tree Duck The explosion of this species within the state appears to have stabilised.
Good numbers were still recorded but at fewer localities than last year. Sydney area: recorded
in the Richmond area mainly at the Hawkesbury Agricultural College Grounds Jan-Nov with
max 135 on 8 May (KS). North Coast: present on various dates Jan-Aug at Cowans Creek
near Grafton with max 500 on 14 July (EW). Riverina: up to 20 around Finley in Jan, March
and Nov (JI c.1,000 reported 10 km SW of Finley in early Oct (per JI). 2,000+ at Lake Wyangan
near Griffith 19 Aug (GD, MD et al), 14 at Barrenbox Swamp near Griffith 11 Dec (ABR).
Small numbers present around Barham Oct-Nov (ET). Forbes area: present at Gum Swamp
March-Sept with evidence of breeding, main counts were 28 on 20 March (AMcG), 66 and 5
ducklings on 16 May (RN, RJ), 200+ on 2 July (PT, MT), 350 on 19 Aug (COB) and 100 on
22 Sept (RT). 1 near Gooloogong 6 Jan (AC). 38 on the Newell Highway near Lake Cowal
27 Nov (RT).
Chestnut Teal At Armidale Sewerage Farm: on 10 July and 1-2 from 3 Oct -4 Nov. A
pair at Racecourse Lagoon near Uralla 20 Oct (RN). Records of this species in the New Eng-
land area are scarce. 20+ in mangroves near Yamba 2 Oct (AM). Richmond River area: 2 at
Tatham2l April and 4 and 3 at Bungawalbin on 15 April and 16 June respectively (DG).
2 pairs bred on Camden Park Estate near Menangle in Oct (AM et al).
Blue -winged Shoveler This species appears to be going through a phase of marked
increase in western N.S.W. as evidenced by counts in the Ivanhoe area and the percentages
taken in shooting bags in the Darling area (JH). Very scarce during the year in the Sydney
area with 6+ at Pitt Town on 23 June (MAC) the only record.
Blue- billed Duck Present and breeding at Gum Swamp Forbes from March probably to
the end of the year. First seen: one on 20 March (AMcG) then 7 on 16 May including 2
breeding plumaged males (RN, RJ), 27+ on 19 Aug (COB), adults with 4 young seen 22 Sept
(RT), 2 on 19 Oct (RT) and 6 on 16 Nov (JF). These constitute the most easterly breeding and
sight records for N.S.W. in recent years.
Black -shouldered Kite A very large influx occurred in the Ivanhoe area about July as a
mouse plague built up and breeding was widespread through to Dec. Normally absent from
this area (JH).June, 1975 83.
Crested Hawk An immature present at Thornleigh 27-30 July and then infrequently to
24 Nov (BH et al) was only the third recorded occurrence for the County of Cumberland. One
at Murphys Glen Blue Mountains NP 23-24 Nov (GD, MD, BH et al).
Fork -tailed Kite Coastal records: single birds at Kincumber 25 May (BF) and scavenging on
the beach near Wooli 22 Sept (GH).
Square -tailed Kite One at Finley 20-23 Jan (JI I. An adult and an immature about 40 km N
of Mount Hope 15 June (TL, AGL, BF, MAC). One near Sassafras 20 Sept (ABA). A pair in
courtship display near Baradine 14 Nov (AMcG).
Black -breasted Buzzard Single birds in the Paroo River area 28 May and 31 July (RM) and
about 50 km W of Hillston 9 Dec (NS).
Red -backed Sea Eagle Regular patrolling along the coast from Evans Head south to Crowdy
Head indicates that the Nambucca River is the present southern limit of distribution (GH).
Grey Goshawk Western records: a white phase female caught near Coonabarabran 7 March
and one on Stornaway property 40 km W of Coonabarabran 25 March (NN per AM). Sydney
area: single birds at Royal NP 25 April (MAC), at Oatley being mobbed by a Drongo 21 May
(BF) and at Northmead 19-21 Aug and 2 Oct (AC).
White -breasted Sea Eagle Single birds at Dangars Lagoon near Uralla on 29 Sept and 27
Dec (RC).
Spotted Harrier Coastal record: one at Red Rock State Park 19 Oct (GH).
Osprey Regular coastal patrolling from Evans Head south to Crowdy Head revealed only
two observations of this species: pairs at Urunga on 26 April and at Sawtell on 24 Dec (GH).
2 at Harwood on the Clarence River 17 July (PT, MT). One at Tea Gardens 18 Sept (DIS).
Grey Falcon An immature at Finley 21 April (JI). 3 about 25 km S of Milparinka 13
May and a pair at Perrie Creek in the Paroo River Area 31 July (RM).
Mallee Fowl One observed between Fifield and Wilmatha on 16 Oct (RT) Associated
tree species were Mugga Ironbark, White Cypress Pine, Western Grey Box, Tumbledown Gum,
Buddha and Spearwood (Acacia doratoxylon) but no mallee.
Brown Quail Single birds at Finley 25 Feb and 12 April (JI). 4 in Warrumbungle NP 6
Oct (RN), the 1972 park checklist states “no recent records”.
King Quail Recorded at Cooyal 17 Jan Feb, max seen together 2 but possibly more
present (NK). A female flushed near Bushells Lagoon Wilberforce 13 Jan (AC). One beach
washed at Sawtell 14 Sept (GH).
Red -chested Quail Recorded at Finley from 6 Jan, when 9 adults and 5 young were
seen, throughout the month. On 26 Jan 12 adults and 16 young were counted and on 28
Jan when the paddock was mown it was estimated that about 60 birds were flushed to
other areas. Smaller numbers seen less regularly until 24 March. 2 seen in three different

areas near Finley 12-15 Dec and 20 at South Coree about 25 km W of Jerilderie 16 Dec

(JI). Present in the Ivanhoe area from April Dec with some breeding (JH, NS). One found
dead on Curl Curl Beach 5 Dec (DS, TL, AGL).84. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Little Quail Present in paddocks of oats at Finley with Red -chested Quail see above, max
20 adults and 15 young seen during mowing operations 28 Jan (JI).
Plains Wanderer Single birds recorded near Ivanhoe on 11 and 13 Feb and 15 March (NS).
Brolga North Coast: 3 and 2 near Bungwalbin on the Richmond River on 23 March and
15 June respectively (DG); small numbers continue to be seen in the Clarence River area (EW)
where there is clearly a small resident population and records will no longer be listed. 3 about
25 km N of Barham 23 March (PD).
Lewin Water Rail One found dead at McMasters Beach on 7 Jan now AM no.0.44945
(per JD). Single birds seen at Kincumber 17 Feb (RC) and at Narrabeen Lake on 27 Oct (SL)
and 11 Nov (DS).
Banded Landrail Present throughout the year near Barham with young birds seen from
March-Dec indicating a breeding period of nine months (ET). Seen frequently at Willandra
Creek Mossgiel Aug-Dec with evidence of breeding (JH, NS). A pair seen at Deepwater Creek
East Hills during Nov had 3 chicks on 19 Dec (DIS). One at Narrabeen Lake 26 Nov (DS, TL).
One at Dangars Lagoon near Uralla 27 Dec (RC).
Marsh Crake One at Lake Bancannia about 130 km N of Broken Hill 31 Aug (RN). Present
throughout the year in the Ivanhoe area being common in late summer and early spring (JH).
Spotted Crake Common to abundant in the Ivanhoe area throughout the year (JH).
Spotless Crake One dead near Oberon 13 Oct (per AM). Up to 2 pairs seen or heard at
Finley Sewerage Farm 3 Nov -4 Dec, young sighted 17 Nov (JI).
Bush Hen One at East Ballina on 28 Feb (DS) and 7 May (JI) was presumably the bird
reported from this locality in 1973.
Jacana 2 at Pitt Town Lagoon April-May (AC, EH) and one at Long Neck Lagoon 13
Oct (AC) were the only Sydney area records.
Painted Snipe Frequently seen in the Ivanhoe area throughout the year at times in parties
of up to 7 (JH). A nest with 3 eggs found about 25 km N of Barham 19 Dec and a further
pair nearby 22-23 Dec (ET, TL, AGL). One at Barrenbox Swamp near Griffith 13 Dec (AM).
Sooty Oystercatcher Recorded at Boat Harbour near Kurnell from 25 Aug to the end of
the year, max 5 on 11 Oct (JF, DS, EH, AM). First record of this species at this locality
since Dec 1969 (per EH).
Pied Oystercatcher 44 at Morna Point, Port Stephens 4 Jan (HW), a large number for the
lower north coast. One observed at Botany Bay on 16 Jan at Towra Point (EH, AC, KA) and
at Old Cooks River Mouth on 20 Jan (GD, MD, JF et al) was probably the same individual.
Banded Plover 2 and one at Grafton on 11 and 22 Aug respectively (EW) and 2 at
Gloucester 7 Sept (ABR) were unusual area records. Up to 3 at Macquarie University Campus
mid Sept (MAC).
Red -kneed Dotterel A nest with 3 eggs at Kooragang 14 Dec (FG, TGK).
Hooded Dotterel A flock of 16 on Cudmirrah Beach within the nature reserve 6 June (RMo).
This is a large gathering for N.S.W.June, 1975 85.
Double -banded Dotterel One at Lake Illawarra Entrance on 21 May was in full breeding
plumage, an unusually early date for this dress (AMcG).
Mongolian Dotterel 250+ at Comerong Island 13 Jan (DM).
Large Sand Dotterel At Ballina: 20 on 2 March (DS) and 23 on 3 Nov (GH). 87 between
Iluka and Woody Head 31 Dec (GH). Several observations of up to 3 from the Bellingen River
Entrance south to Shoalhaven Heads March-April and Oct-Dec.
Australian Dotterel Appears to have been practically driven away from the Ivanhoe district
by the lush growth brought on by about 90 cm of rainfall in 1974. Only records were on 10
March, 2 in Nov and 2 on 23 Dec (NS, JH).
Grey Plover 2 at Old Cooks River Mouth, Botany Bay 4 Jan (AC) and 1 on 1 Oct (BF). 5
at Towra Point 16 Jan (KA, EH, AC). 2 at Wallaga Lake near Bermagui 20 Jan (DM). Single
birds at Lake Brow 10 km S of Tuross Head 25 Sept (DM) and at the Macleay River Entrance
30 Sept (GH). at Kooragang 23 Nov and 15 Dec (FG, TGK).
Japanese Snipe Gatherings of over 40 birds seen at various places near Ivanhoe Feb-March
showing that this species will visit inland areas in numbers if conditions are suitable(JH). 80+
at Kooragang 2 Nov (FG, TGK). 1 at Kiandra 9 Dec at 1350 m (PT, MT).
Little Whimbrel 3 feeding in damp grass on an unused runway at Bankstown Aerodrome
7-14 Nov. Identity checked at ranges down to 6m from a vehicle. Groundstaff at the airport
report that the birds come each year at this time and stay about a week (BL per DL).
Whimbrel 181 counted in a flock of mixed waders at the Hastings River Estuary 25 Jan
(AM). Other large parties were 57 at Kooragang 7 Sept (FG, TGK), 14 at the Macleay River
Entrance 30 Sept and 35 at the Bellingen River Entrance 30 Dec (GH).
Eastern Curlew c212 at Towra Point Botany Bay 10 Jan (BF).
Marsh Sandpiper Inland record: 1 at Lake Bancannia c130 km N of Broken Hill 31 Aug
(RN). 160+ at Kooragang 14 Dec (FG, TGK).
Greenshank Inland record: 1 at Abbotsford Station near Ivanhoe 11 and 13 Feb (NS).
at Pitt Town Lagoon 28 July (MAC) appears to be the first July record for the Sydney area.
200+ at Kooragang 23 Nov (FG, TGK).
Wood Sandpiper Single birds at Kooragang 23 Feb and 24 Aug (FG, TGK).
Common Sandpiper Inland records: one at Ticehurst Swamp near Ivanhoe 12 Oct -3 Dec
(JH, JP). One at Keepit Dam NE of Gunnedah 7 Oct (RN). South Coast: 1-2 recorded at 5
localities from Minnamurra River south to Tuross River Feb-March, Sept-Dec, (DM,RCT, GD,
MD, AM). The pair at Gore Creek Northwood (see 1973 report) remained until 21 Feb (RN).
7 at Kooragang 29 Dec (FG, TGK).
Wandering Tattler Up to 5 in the Coffs Harbour area 1 Jan -28 March (GH). 1 at Ballina
14 and 17 May (DG, WW, JI), 15 Nov and 19 Dec (DG). 1 at Norries Head near Hastings
Point 28 Jan (DS). 1 at Kooragang 21 Sept (FG, TGK) appears to be the first for this area.
Great Knot 7 at Windang 10 Jan (AC). At Old Cooks River Mouth, Botany Bay: 5 on
4 Jan (AC), 4 on 17 Jan (AGL, BF) and 2 on 23 April (DIS). 9 at Stockton Bridge, Kooragang
29 Dec (RC).86. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Pectoral Sandpiper 2 at Kooragang 2 Nov and 1 caught and banded there 14 Dec
Curlew Sandpiper Winter records: 1 at Coraki on a freshwater swamp 15 June (DG), see
1973 report. 1 at Armidale Sewerage Farm 16 June (RN) may be the first record for this area.
5 at Bakers Lagoon 17 Aug (EH et al).
Western Sandpiper One at Ticehurst Swamp 10 km NE of Ivanhoe on 11 May (JH) was the
first definite record for N.S.W. and the second for Australia see Aust Birds 9:21-24.
Sanderling Up to 4 at Ballina 1 Jan -6 May (DG, JI) and one there 3 Nov (GH). 30+ at
Comerong Island 13 Jan (DM), one in full breeding plumage. 2 at Old Cooks River Mouth
Botany Bay 20 Jan (GD, MD, JF et al). 4 at Evans Head 28 Jan (DS). One at Woolgoolga
15 March (GH). 15 at Shoalhaven Heads 24 March (BF). One at the Macleay River Entrance
30 Sept (GH).
Bar -tailed Godwit c.750 at Towra Point 10 Jan (BF).
Ruff A reeve caught and banded at Kooragang 5 Jan (FG, TGK); a further reeve at the
same locality 30 Nov (EH, KA) and 15 Dec (FG, TGK).
Australian Pratincole 1 about 10 km N of Booligal 24 Oct (JP). None seen at Ivanhoe,
the species apparently totally avoiding the district owing to the verdant conditions (JH).
Southern Skua 1-2 off Sydney Heads 22 June (AR, MP, MAC et al) and 1 on 7 Sept
(TL, AGL, BF). off Coffs Harbour 12 Aug (GH). caught at Bulli Beach 29 Aug recovered
1 1
and was released next day (AS).
Pomarine Skua Winter records: single birds off Coffs Harbour 21 June and 26 Aug other-
wise absent 1 June -23 Sept (GH). 100+ about 2 km off Sydney Heads 21 Jan (DM).
Arctic Skua Winter record: off Coffs Harbour 26 Aug (GH).
Long-tailed Skua One adult found beach washed and at least one further adult seen alive
between Brunswick Heads and Cape Byron 28 Jan (DS). The identity of two further Skuas
both immatures found beach washed on the same patrol requires further confirmation but
it seems likely that they will prove referable to this species.
Southern Black -backed Gull One at Woolgoolga 25 Nov (GH).
Whiskered Tern Nested commonly in the Ivanhoe area after the Jan rains and did not
leave until late May, returning to nest again in Oct (JH). 10+ at Lake Victoria about 60 km W
of Wentworth 13 Aug (CS). Up to 5 birds recorded at three lagoons in the Windsor -Richmond
area 2 and 10 Nov (AC).
White -winged Black Tern at Morna Point, Port Stephens 4 Jan (HW). 20 at Stockton 23
Feb (BF et al). At least 4, one in full breeding plumage, amongst hundreds of Whiskered Terns
at Ticehurst Swamp near Ivanhoe 14-21 April (JH) were an unusual inland record. Single birds
at Broomes Head 29 Oct (GH) and at Ballina 3 Nov (GH) and 16 Nov (DG). 2 at the Bellingen
River Entrance 14 Nov (GH). 4+ at Stockton 23 Nov (AR). 4 about 4 km N of Scotts Head
29 Nov and 3 at Sawtell 16 Dec (GH). 48 at Stockton Bridge on 27 Dec (GH) and 26 on 29
Dec (RC).June, 1975 87.
Caspian Tern 36+ at the entrance to Lake Illawarra 29 May (CS). at Old Cooks River
Mouth, Botany Bay 24 Oct (EH).
Gull -billed Tern 10+ at Lake Victoria about 60 km W of Wentworth 13 Aug (CS), this
species is normally only a summer visitor to this area. 6 at Cobham Lake near Milparinka 3
Sept (AMcG). Abundant in the Ivanhoe area Sept-Dec often ranging far from water in pursuit
of mice. 80 pairs nested at Ticehurst Swamp and the presence of other colonies was evident
from the number of young birds seen in the area (JH).
Common Tern Absent from north coast beaches between Tweed Heads and Crowdy Head
13 May -5 Oct; thereafter seen at many beaches until the end of the year, max 165 at Broomes
Head on 29 Oct (GH).
White -fronted Tern Not recorded on the north coast from Evans Head to Crowdy Head
despite regular observations throughout the winter (GH).
Sooty Tern 7 beach washed Coffs Harbour-Byron Bay Jan and Dec (GH, DS). 29 adults
in 10 groups of 2-6 birds seen off Coffs Harbour on 26 Aug and 2, 5 and 3 on 22-24 Sept
respectively (GH, RS). An adult picked up alive at Coffs Harbour Aerodrome 23 April (PR).
Little Tern Nesting reported from Lake Wollumboola Entrance (CS), North Botany Bay

(GD, MD et al), Hat Head, Macleay River, Nambucca River, Sawtell, Red Rock and Broomes

Head (GH). Absent from north coast beaches between Evans Head and Crowdy Head 13 May
29 Sept except for 10 at Woody Head on 27 July. 20 seen in Newcastle Bight 17 June, some
in breeding plumage (GH). 200+ at Windang 10 Jan (AC).
Noddy One found exhausted at Waverton 12 Jan during bad weather following a period
of strong NE winds (SGL). An adult beach washed at Kingscliff 27 Jan (DS).
Wompoo Pigeon One in coastal scrub at Sea Acres, Port Macquarie 28 Nov (AR).
Top -knot Pigeon 46 at Mt. Keira Scout Camp 3 Feb (DIS). 12+ at Ourimbah 24 April
(AM, SGL). 50+ at The Entrance North on 13 Sept (AF, COB). Sydney suburban records: up
to 7 in the Church Point area 28 Sept -3 Oct (GS), one at Oatley 27 Oct (BF) and 15-20 along
Middle Creek near Narrabeen Lake 27 Oct (SL). 200+ at Wallingat State Forest Myall Lakes
16-17 Nov (DM).
White -headed Pigeon One seen in sub -tropical rain forest at Mount Dromedary near Berm-
agui on 14 Sept was well south of the normal distribution (ABA). Sydney area: one identified
among the remains of several birds found in a gully at Normanhurst on 1 Aug, probably a hawk
or owl kill (ABR). Records of a pair at Wahroonga 16 Aug (JP) and at Waitara 29 Aug (IL)
may refer to the same birds.
Brown Pigeon Records at Normanhurst Aug (ABR), Annangrove Sept (EH) and Spring
1 1
Gully below Asquith 4 Dec (ABR) were unusual for the Sydney area.
Bar -shouldered Dove One at Shoplands Road Annangrove June-Aug (AC, AMcG, RB et al)
may have been an escape as it had no tail when first observed.
Peaceful Dove Recorded for the first time at Nadgee NR 28-31 Jan when up to 8 were
recorded near freshwater creeks in burnt out forest areas (AM).88. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Green -winged Pigeon One about 15 km S of Bulga 4 May (RB, KB). One seen several times
Sept -23 Oct at Shoplands Road Annangrove (RB, EH) was unusual for the County of
Brush Bronzewing One seen in bush at Thornleigh in Feb (BH) and 2 by a heathy track at
Balmoral near Picton 17 Feb (AC).
Crested Pigeon 31 in one flock at Greendale 2 June (AMcG).
Flock Pigeon Small parties throughout Sturt NP Jan-May (BG).
Wonga Pigeon A pair heard calling at Munghorn Gap NR 22-25 Oct, the latest date this
species has been recorded there (AM).
Scaly -breasted Lorikeet 20-30 about 22 km S of Bingara and 15-20 about 12 km W of
Manilla both on 12 May (CB) were close to the western edge of this species range.
Swift Parrot The complete absence of records for this species is in sharp contrast to last
year. Perhaps the birds wintered further south than usual in view of the unusually mild
Glossy Black Cockatoo Inland records: one about 32 km W of Rankin Springs 15 May;
a pair near Backwater 30 km NE of Guyra 23 June (RN); 2 at Havilah near Mudgee 19 Dec with
up to 3 reported during the previous three months (NK).
Gang Gang Cockatoo Northern records: 2 about 22 km N of Moonan Flat NE of Scone
15-16 Jan (PB); 3 at Munghorn Gap NR 13 July (AM) and 10-12 on 4-8 Oct (GD, MD, RC
et al). A pair at a nest site at Mitchell Park Cattai 16 Feb may have been breeding (AMcG, AC).
Major Mitchell Cockatoo Eastern record: one in Backyamma State Forest 25 km NE of
Forbes 6 June (RT).
Little Corella A pair near Barham 16 Jan (ET).
Long -billed Corella Small flocks around rice paddocks near Barham April, May and Oct (ET).
Cockatiel A pair in lightly timbered country at Stratheden 15 km NW of Casino 8 Feb were
an unusual coastal plain record (DG).
Red -winged Parrot 6 between Tambar Springs and Coolah on 5 June (AM) were on the
extreme SE edge of this species range.
Ringneck Parrot One recorded in a garden at Gilgai 24 Oct -17 Nov often feeding with
Eastern Rosellas (MB). First record for this area which is east of the normal distribution.
Red-rumped Parrot 140+ in one flock in cultivated land near Cobbity 11 June (AMcG et al)
was a large number for the Sydney area.
Bourke Parrot A pair raised 3 young from a nest found with fresh eggs on 28 Sept 8 km W
of Ivanhoe (JH, JP). Also recorded in the same area at Bapaume Station 2 on 16 Feb, 2 on
Woolahra Station 24 March and 10 on Ivandale Station 15 Dec (NS). 3 at Tongo Station
Paroo River Area 31 July (RM). 3 at Flowlers Gap, 110 km N of Broken Hill 30 Aug
(MJC et al).June, 1975 89.
Blue -winged Parrot Small flocks identified in the Crowl Creek-Gilgunnia area about 100 km
S of Cobar 15-16 May (RB, KB). 14 near Milparinka 17 May (RM, CC). 3 at Round Hill 17 June
(TL). 20+ at Hatfield 17-20 Aug (JP). 1 at Barham on 3 Nov (ET) was the latest recorded date
for spring passage in this area.
Turquoise Parrot New localities not previously recorded in these reports: a pair flushed from
the roadside near Brundee about 10 km E of Nowra 16 March (CS, RMo), 40-50 near Eugowra
11 July (RJ), 3 at Bimbi State Forest near Weddin NP 1 Aug and 3 at Backyamma State Forest
25 km NE of Forbes 26 Nov (RT). Again reported from Munghorn Gap (GD, MD, AM et al),
breeding near Inverell (MB), Warrumbungle NP (EW, MJC) and Annangrove (RB, AR, MAC, AC
et al).
Ground Parrot One on upland heath about 5 km S of Sassafras 11 May (AR, BF, AGL, MAC
et al). About 9 flushed at the Barren Grounds Nature Reserve 2 Aug (AMcG, GD, MD et al).
Oriental Cuckoo One at Beecroft 7-11 March (GR, MR).
Fan -tailed Cuckoo Far western record: one at the Bogan River Crossing between Brewarrina
and Bourke 11 May (RB, KB).
Black -eared Cuckoo One at Longneck Lagoon near Cattai 2 March (GD, MD). One at the
Bogan River Crossing between Brewarrina and Bourke 12 May (RB, KB). A pair in Yanga NR
32 km E of Balranald 3 Sept (AM). A pair near Bulga 16-20 Dec (JP).
Shining Bronze Cuckoo One caught and banded at Kooragang 20 Oct (FG, TGK).
Koel First Sydney area record for the year, one at Hornsby Heights 23 Sept (RC).
Channel -billed Cuckoo First reported arrivals, single birds at Lower Portland 21 Sept (BB,
MRB) and 4 Oct at Gilgai (MB). Also observed singly near Wyong 26 Oct (AM), at Appin 13
Dec (AL) and near Wallacia 14 Dec (JF). 2 at Yarramundi 2 Dec and 3 at Wimmalee North
Springwood 17-31 Dec (KS).
Pheasant Coucal More reports from the Sydney area than usual with the following definite
records: one seen several times at Mount Colah 30 Sept -11 Nov (ABR), one at Curra Moors
Royal NP 1 Dec (TL, AGL, BF) and one seen from a train as it was flushed between Pymble
and Turramurra Stations 13 Dec (SL).
Powerful Owl One found dead Nadgee NR 19 Sept (per JD).
Barking Owl The bird present at Hornsby from Aug-Dec 1973 was again heard calling
during 1974, fairly regularly in the first half of the year and irregularly in the latter half
(WK, HK). One seen at the rangers residence above Bobbin Head on 16 May was heard calling
for about two months prior to this and again later on 17 June (PL -S, GV per ABR). These
reports may refer to the same individual in view of the proximity of the localities. Reports
of one heard calling and being sighted in the Bantry Bay area during Aug-Sept (per SL).
Boobook Owl Observed in all months on journeys between Ivanhoe and Menindee (NS).
Barn Owl Observed in invasion proportions Feb-May between Broken Hill and Menindee
and between Kaleentha and Ivanhoe, the invasion coinciding with that of the Little Quail (NS).90. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Masked Owl All reports listed. Breeding records: a pair present at Warriewood throughout
the year were watched almost daily and certainly attempted nesting, evidently without
success. They were observed mating and repeatedly entering a nest hole but no young birds
were seen (ES). Third breeding record for the County of Cumberland and the first for over
60 years; previous records being near Lindfield in 1906 and at Roseville in 1911 (per EH).
A pair seen at a nest at Fowlers Gap about 110 km N of Broken Hill 31 Aug. (AMcG).
Other records: one found dead 2 km N of The Entrance 3 Jan (AL) now AM no. 0.44898;
one about 12 km E of Tenterfield 5 May (JI), an adult female killed by a car at Booral near
Stroud 14 June (ABR), and a male at Appin 3 Aug (SGL, DIS,AL). A very dark specimen
found dead on the Pacific Highway about 25 km S of Buladelah on 21 Oct (FJ) emphasized
the close similarity of certain individuals of this species to the Sooty Owl.
Grass Owl One freshly beach washed 10 km N of Woody Head 29 Aug (GH). A second
species of owl present between Broken Hill and Menindee March -April during the owl
invasion mentioned above (see Barn Owl) was judged to be this species. When taking off this
species legs hung down like the Barn Owls but were longer, the breast was not white but
appeared speckled or dirtier white while the brown wings and steel grey edgings to the
feathers gave it a considerably darker appearance. Up to 6 birds were counted in April and
it may be of note that all records of this species were made near swampy areas (NS).
Tawny Frogmouth Observed throughout the year between Ivanhoe and Menindee being
most numerous on the eastern sector where a max of 14 were counted in May over a
distance of 84 km between Ivanhoe and Manara (NS).
Owlet Nightjar One seen irregularly throughout the year at Annangrove with 2 on
13 Jan (EH, AC et al). One near Bulga 20 Jan (AR, EH, KA, JP et al). One at Coffs
Harbour 30 April (GH).
Spotted Nightjar Winter record: one, a road casualty, collected about 50 km E of
Wanaaring 15 May (RB, KB). One found dead near Tooraweenah 21 March (AMcG) was
close to this species eastern limit.
White -throated Nightjar One flushed twice at Nadgee NR on 31 Jan was the first record
for the reserve (AM). One observed at night around a farm at Vineyard during March -April
(CB). One about 8 km N of Evans Head 16 May (JI). One at Munghorn Gap NR 5 Oct
(GD, MD et al). One about 15 km S of Bulga mid Nov (JP).
Spine -tailed Swift Late Sydney area record at Londonderry 7 April (KS).
Kookaburra Far inland records: single birds at the Warrego River Crossing about 55 km
W of Bourke 12 May and at Louth 14 May (RB, KB).June, 1975 91.
Sacred Kingfisher Winter records inland: observed at 4 widely spaced localities in the
NW 8-14 May (RB, KB); fair numbers in the Ivanhoe area throughout the winter, often seen
feeding on mice (JH).
Forest Kingfisher Resident throughout the year at Coffs Harbour (GH). A pair 10 km S
of Port Macquarie 25-29 Nov and one at Harrington Dec were close to the southern limit
for this species (AR).
Red -backed Kingfisher Winter records: one present at Tatham near Casino 15 May -21 July
in exactly the same location as previous winter (DG). Wintering in this area is now well
established and will no longer be reported. Single birds 15 km W of Tenterfield 3 May (JI)
and at the Warrego River Crossing 55 km W of Bourke 13 May (RB, KB). Wintered in the
Ivanhoe area in fair numbers, often feeding on mice (JH).
Rainbow Bird 2 pairs nested at Annangrove late Oct -Dec (EH).
Dollar Bird One recorded on Wyoming Station at Tilpa in the far west on 27 Feb was
an exceptional record (RM). Early records: at Sawtell 14 Sept (GH), Hornsby 29 Sept
(WK,HK) and Thornleigh 1 Oct (BH). Riverina: near Barham one on 1 Jan (PD) and 2 on
7 Dec (ET).
Rufous Scrub Bird One seen and others heard calling on 30 March in New England NP,
again heard calling and tape recorded on 30 June (RN). Although this rare species is known
to occur in the park there have been few actual sightings.
Lyrebird One on Roseville Golf Course 20 Oct (PC).
Little Cuckoo Shrike Several small flocks of up to 20 birds in mallee at Dareton 30 July
in company with Black -faced Cuckoo Shrikes (CS).
Cicada Bird Tablelands records: a male at Munghorn Gap NR 22-25 Oct (AM), one at
Gilgai 15 and 17 Dec (MB). Many records from the Sydney area and Lower Blue Mountains
from 23 Oct at Thornleigh (BH) to 24 March at Hornsby Heights (FMC).
White -winged Triller Very few in the Ivanhoe area and only 2 nests found compared
with last year, see 1973 report, apparently being driven away by the verdant conditions (JH).
Red -whiskered Bulbul Observed throughout the year at Tumbi Umbi (GC per AM).
Ground Thrush Watched feeding young out of the nest at Church Point 30 Sept (GS).
Spotted Quail Thrush Observed on a sandstone ridge at Shoplands Road, Annangrove:
one on 12 May (EH) and 2 on 10 Aug (AC).92. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Chestnut Quail Thrush A pair watched on an acacia clad hillside with no mallee at
Mootwingee Historic Site 130 km NE of Broken Hill 3 Sept (RN). This record considerably
extends the NW limit of this species range and is notable in that the habitat described is
unusual for this species. The observer is familiar with both the Chestnut -breasted and
Cinnamon Quail Thrushes.
Chestnut -breasted Quail Thrush The following records are close to the southern limit of
this species distribution. A pair at Perrie Lake Hills 50 km E of White Cliffs 29 May and a
party of 5 in the same area 4 Aug (RM). About 6 present near Louth 6 Oct (TL, AGL,BF,
Golden -headed Fantail Warbler 5 seen in rice crops 15 km E of Griffith in mid Jan may
be the first record for the M.I.A. (RM). Several near Marsden 12 Dec (AMcG, JFD).
Tawny Grassbird A male singing near Narrabeen Lake 9 Nov about 2 km N of the old
stronghold at Dee Why West (DS).
Rufous Songlark One on Mutton Bird Island Coffs Harbour on 13 Sept (GH), an unusual
Variegated Wren At least 4, including a fully plumaged male, at Munghorn Gap NR 6 Oct
(GD, MD, RC et al).
Southern Emu -wren Again recorded in the Tinda Creek area on the Putty Road (DIS)
where it is clearly resident. One about 8 km N of Evans Head 16 May (JI).
White -throated Warbler One at ngalba NR near Temora 8 Oct (MJC) where the Western
Warbler is the normally recorded species.
Western Warbler One at Greendale on 16 Jan (AMcG, HBG) was the first definite
record for the County of Cumberland – see Aust. Birds 9:19.
Chestnut- tailed Heath Wren One at Shoplands Road Annangrove 16 Feb (AC) and
7 April (MAC).
Rufous Field Wren About 12 seen and many more heard in open plains country to the
south and west of the Koonenberry Ranges about 80 km NW of White Cliffs 28 July. At this
time nesting was commencing and the birds were particularly vocal, often singing well after
dark (RM). Observed in small numbers in the area around Fowlers Gap 110 km N of Broken
Hill 3-4 Sept (RN, AMcG, MJC).June, 1975 93.
Whiteface One near Bullio on the Wombeyan Caves Road 17 April was the first
record in the area after many years observation (CS).
Speckled Warbler A pair about 20 km E of Cobar 27 Aug (RN) and one on the
Hermidale to Nymagee road about 80 km SE of Cobar 8 Sept (JF, NLK) were west
of the normal range, see McGill: Australian Warblers.
Striated Grass Wren A further important extension in the range of this species, only
recently rediscovered in N.S.W. (see 1972, 1973 reports), was made on 24 Aug when 8 birds
were seen on Redtank Station about 80 km NE of Ivanhoe (NS). 14 were counted in the
same area on 12 Sept (NS, JF, NLK) and about another 20 were seen at intervals up to 27 km
E of Redtank on 13 Sept (JF, NLK). This whole area along with the strongholds at Yathong
and Glenlea were severely burnt out in the Dec bushfires and although 18 birds were
recorded on Redtank Station early in 1975 (JH, NS) further information on the species sur-
vival would be of particular interest.
Red -capped Robin A male at Greendale 13 July (AC, EH, KA).
Flame Robin A male at Finley 10 April (JI) was an earlier than usual arrival for this
area. Several sightings of single birds and small parties in the Ivanhoe area 29 April -mid
August. Previously known only from odd records it is now apparent that this species will
occur in larger numbers in this area if conditions are suitable (JH, NS). 5 near Pulletop
Reserve 16 May (RN). Several records for the Sydney area 6 July -24 Aug (AMcG, AC).
Rose Robin A male at Warrumbungle NP 23 Aug (GD, MD) was west of this species
normal range.
Hooded Robin A male first reported at Shoplands Road Annangrove 9 Dec 1973 was
seen regularly throughout the year (many obs).
Yellow Robin Western records: one in mallee near Crowl Creek about 80 km SSE of
Cobar 16 May (RB, KB) and one in callitris-grassland association on the Hermidale to
Nymagee road about 80 km SE of Cobar 8 Sept (JF, NLK).
Leaden Flycatcher Western records: a female at Ingalba NR near Temora 23 Feb (MJC)
and a male present in a garden at Ivanhoe on 17 Dec (NS). The latter was exceptionally far
inland for this species.
Satin Flycatcher One at Junee 27 Oct and 6 Nov (MJC). Recorded in the Sydney area
19-30 Oct at Thornleigh (BH), Northmead (AC), Centennial Park (EH), West Pymble (DMS)
and Menangle (AM et al). A male at Avoca Lookout 24 Feb (AC).94. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Golden Whistler One in tall grass on Mutton Bird Island Coffs Harbour 13 Sept (GH),
an unusual locality.
Red-lored Whistler Recorded at Pulletop NR on 19 Aug (GD, MD), 22 Aug (RP) and
13 Dec (AMcG, JFD). Although this is a known locality for this rare species there have been
very few sightings in recent years.
Olive Whistler 4 observed in rain forest near Myrtle Scrub about 65 km E of Walcha
on the Oxley Highway 23 Dec (RC).
Shrike Tit Western record: 2 pairs along with 2 flying young near the River Darling at
Tilpa 4 Feb (RM).
Orange -winged Sittella 10 at Round Hill 15 June (BF, TL, AGL, MAC) were on the
western edge of this species range.
White-browed Tree Creeper Parties recorded during late Aug -early Sept in several
localities between Buronga and Wentworth, on the Wentworth to Broken Hill road and
between Broken Hill and Wilcannia; most easterly sighting was one about 30 km W of Cobar
(PB). Single birds seen at the Warrego River Crossing 55 km W of Bourke 13 May (RB, KB)
and about 70 km W of Wilcannia 15 Sept (RP).
Yellow -tailed Pardalote Again observed at Ingalba NR near Temora 29 Sept (MJC)
where it is apparently resident.
Yellow -tipped Pardalote Present at Oatley Park 28 July -11 Oct with about 50 on the
first date, up to 35 until 28 Sept then gradually reducing (BF).
Eastern Silvereye Abundant around Ivanhoe late March -Aug with all races apparently
present. Normally only a few Tasmanian types reach Ivanhoe each winter, however, this year
bright yellow Sydney types, Canberra and Victoria types and even some of the dull coloured
birds normally found along the Murray River, and which were previously thought to be
sedentary, were seen. Lush growth and profuse berrying were probably the cause of this
invasion (JH, NS). 18 at Sandy Creek about 125 km N of Broken Hill 1 Sept (RN).
Scarlet Honeyeater 3 at 1600 m at Point Lookout New England N P 23 March (RN).
2 males drinking at a soak at Munghorn Gap NR 12 Dec were the first record for the Reserve
and for the Mudgee-Dubbo region (NLK).
Black Honeyeater In the Paroo River area: a male at Goorimpa Station 3 Aug and
2 males at Perrie Station 4 Aug (RM).
Yellow -fronted Honeyeater About 12 in mallee just S of Crowl Creek 80 km SSE of
Cobar 16 May (RB, KB).June, 1975 95.
Blue -faced Honeyeater 5, probably a family party, just S of the Putty turnoff on the
Windsor -Singleton road 20 Jan (AR, EH, KA, AC et al) and 6 at Tinda Creek on the same
road 17 June (DIS). 2 at Myall Lakes NP 29 June (MAC).
White-cheeked Honeyeater 2 at 1500 m in New England NP 29 June (RN). One in shale
country at Scheyville 6 July (DIS, JFD, AC).
Tawny -crowned Honeyeater 4 about 8 km W of Orange on 5 May (KA) were well to the
west of the known range in this area. Northern record: 4 about 8 km N of Evans Head
16 May (JI).
Painted Honeyeater At least 3 pairs in the Bulga area 20 Jan, one of which had almost
completed nest building (JP, EH, AR et al); also present in the same locality in mid Dec (JP).
One at Ingalba NR near Temora 12 May (RN).
Regent Honeyeater Up to 4 present at Kurnell 12 May -6 July (BF, AMcG).
Beautiful Firetail 2 at Thirlmere Lakes SP 11 May (GD, MD) appears to be a new
locality record.
Red-browed Finch 9 at Barooga 10 July (JI); this species is rare in the Riverina area.
Plum -headed Finch Large numbers: 80+ at Capertee 28 April (AGL, BF, MAC) and c.200
Bourke 12 May (RB, KB). 2 about 12 km NW of
Cobar 7 Oct (TL, AGL, BF, MAC) were outside the accepted range which is not well under-
stood in this area.
Chestnut -breasted Finch 7 at Scarborough Park Ramsgate 30 Oct (JW).
House Sparrow Far inland record: common at Nundora homestead 200 km N of
Broken Hill 2 Sept (AMcG).
Tree Sparrow One at Mangrove Mountain 21 Dec (JB) was the first record for the
County of Northumberland.
Olive -backed Oriole Winter record inland: one at Ivanhoe 11 July (NS). Recorded at
Condobolin Caravan Park 17 May (RB, KB).
Spangled Drongo One at Cronulla 5 March (per SGL).
Apostle Bird One at Northmead 15 Jan (AC). Up to 8 seen at Shoplands Road
Annangrove 25 April – 6 June (EH, AC, AMcG, KA, RB).
White-browed and Masked Wood Swallow Observed at several localities in the far NW
9-15 May (RB, KB).96. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9(4).
Dusky Wood Swallow Far inland records: observed between Bourke and the Warrego
River Crossing 12 May (RB, KB); 14 on Monivea Station near Ivanhoe 17 June (NS).
Pied Currawong 5 at Finley on 14 April and about 20 on 4 Oct (JI) were early arrival
and late departure dates respectively for this species which is a winter visitor to this area.
White -backed Magpie Single birds 30 km S of Cowra 17 Feb (MAC) and at Forbes 2 July
(PT, MT).
Green Catbird One seen in sub -tropical rain forest at Mount Dromedary near Bermagui
on 14 Sept (ABA) appears to extend the southern limit of this species range by about 80 km.
Previous southerly occurrences were one seen by S. Wilson near Batemans Bay on 18 Jan 1961
and records by C. Humphries and the late K. Hindwood near Conjola in 1963 and 1964 (per
EH). One in rain forest at Bunkers Hill, Kangaroo Valley 3 March (CS).
Forest Raven Records of 2 about 18 km N of Guyra 21 May (JI) and 2 at Backwater
30 km NE of Guyra 22 June (RN) were slightly to the N of the normal range, see Rowley:
CSIRO Wildl. Res. 15:27-71.
The record of a Cicada Bird at Hornsby Heights on 5 Oct 1973 was submitted in error
and should be deleted.
This year’s report comprises information obtained during visits by Peter Fullagar and
John Disney (13-26 Feb), Bruce Knight (16-23 Oct) and former resident Dean Retmock
returning on holiday (late Dec). Islander Clive Wilson supplied detailed information on Sooty
Tern colonies.
Brown -headed Petrel The following records may refer to the first birds returning for the
winter breeding season: none seen 15 Feb, one on 16 Feb and a few present from 17 Feb
onwards (PF).
Black -winged Petrel The colony on North Head appears to be increasing in size as judged
by the number of nests found and the area being prospected by courting birds. 23 birds
including 2 chicks were banded on 23 February when young in various stages from just hatch-
ing to pin feathers showing were found (PF, JD).
White -bellied Storm Petrel 17 banded and one recaptured (from early 1971) on Roach
Island on 25 Feb, all birds on eggs (PF, JD).June, 1975 97.
Red -footed Booby The dried up skin of an adult, at least six weeks dead, was found on
Roach Island on 25 Feb. First record for Lord Howe, now AM no. 0.44948 (PF, JD).
Mallard Four males seen on a pond near the airport 19 Oct. Two males seen several
times on the creek behind Old Settlement Beach 16-23 Oct (BK).
Swamp Harrier One seen at Malabar 19 Oct (BK)
Woodhen The population of the top of Mount Gower was 19 in late Feb; a single
bird on top of Mount Lidgbird was the first recorded there by the official survey party (JD,
Sharp -tailed Sandpiper Two seen near the airport and one behind Kings Beach 19 Oct
Black -tailed Godwit One seen with Whimbrels 17 and 21 Oct behind Old Settlement
Beach (BK).
Sooty Tern Nesting continued at the new areas south of Neds Beach (see 1973 report)
but in greatly reduced numbers. However, in late Sept -early Oct birds began colonising Neds
Beach Common and by 17 Oct were well established over about 1.5 hectares with an estimated
6000 nests. By 23 Oct this area had doubled, though nest density was low in the new area,
and extended approximately 400 metres from the coast (BK). By mid Nov the colony
numbering “countless thousands” had virtually taken over the upper half of
grazing slopes from the Neds Beach boundary around to the Catalina plane crash area, at
times extending down to within 20 metres of tanks and outbuildings. The first chicks
hatched in early Nov (CW).
White Tern 5 seen in flight over the Post Office on 19 Oct were early arrivals. The
wings of a freshly killed bird were found in the same area 22 Oct (BK).
Green -winged Pigeon One seen near the campsite on Mount Gower 20 Feb was the
first record for the top of the mountain (PF).
Shining Bronze Cuckoo One found dead by a resident 26 Feb., now AM no.0.44939
Welcome Swallow Now well established over large areas of the island (DR, BK).98. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Observations of the Grey -backed Shearwater Puffinus bulleri in south-eastern Queens-
land were implied to be the sixth and seventh known occurrences in Australia (Greensmith
1973; Corben, Ingram and Roberts 1974), but they were preceded by at least ten published
occurrences in New South Wales (Hindwood 1970; Holmes 1971; Morris 1971; and Greensmith
1973). About five other occurrences in New South Wales were unpublished. Further observ-
ations of P. bulleri were also obtained recently in the Coffs Harbour – Ballina area.
On 4 April 1974 between 07.20 and 10.35 hours I observed seven birds, three singly
and two twice, in 30 to 40 fathoms off Coffs Harbour. A few days later three were feeding
on fish offal in the same area (R. S. Smith, fisherman, pers. comm.). Another was observed
in a weakened condition in the surf at South Ballina on 2 June 1974, probably the same bird
that was found beach -washed there on 8 June (W. Watson, pers. comm.). On 4 November
1974 found another, at Woolgoolga, beach -washed about ten days previously. Between
Woolgoolga and North Solitary Island R. Smith observed one on 31 December 1974, two on
5 January 1975 and one on 13 February 1975.
Elsewhere in New South Wales during 1974 a dried specimen was found beach -washed
near Moruya on 6 February by S. Marchant, one was observed Reef, Sydney
for about ten minutes on 19 February by D. Sawyer and four seen separately off Eden on
14 December by G. Johnstone were the southernmost Australian record (Rogers 1975).
The Australian status of P. bulleri would now seem to be that of a regular visitor, the
presence of a few individuals in south-eastern Queensland and New South Wales, and perhaps
Bass Strait, coinciding with its New Zealand breeding season from early September to mid
May (Falla, Sibson and Turbott, 1966). It has now been observed in Australia in all months
from October to April and in June. It is perhaps more abundant in warmer surface waters, as
in New Zealand. Bourne (1962) states that it has a restricted distribution across the north and
south Pacific Ocean in the immediate vicinity of the subtropical convergences, and he
anticipates the Australian distribution as it is now known. As it was not observed in Australia
before 1954 (Hindwood 1955) it is tempting to suggest that its increasing abundance in New
Zealand in recent years (Jenkins 1974) is at least partly responsible for an increase in its
numbers in south-eastern Australia.June, 1975 99.
Bourne, W. R. P. 1962 In Handbook of North American Birds (ed. R. S. Palmer)
vol. 1. Yale University Press, New Haven.
Corben, C. J., G. J. 1974 Further observations of Buller’s Shearwater in Queensland.
Ingram & G. J. Roberts Sunbird 5; 27-28
Falla, R. A., R. B. 1966 A Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand.
Sibson & E. G. Turbott Collins, London.
Greensmith, A. 1973 A sight record of Butlers Shearwater in Queensland.
Sunbird 4: 87-89.
Hindwood, K. A. 1955 Buller’s Shearwater : a new bird for Australia. Emu 55 :
Hindwood, K. A. 1970 Buller’s Shearwater in eastern Australia.
Birds 4 35
Holmes, G. 1971 Buller’s Shearwater in Australia. Aust. Bird Watcher
4 30
Jenkins, J. A. F. 1974 Local distribution and feeding habits of Buller’s Shearwater
(Puffinus bulleri). Notornis 21 : 109-120.
Morris, A. K. 1971 Ornithological beachcombing. Birds 5 : 57
Rogers, A. E. F. 1975 N.S.W. Bird Report for 1974. Aust. Birds 9 : 77-97
GLENN HOLMES, P.O. Box 795 Coffs Harbour, 2450100. AUSTRALIAN BIRDS 9 (4)
Bowen Island, at the entrance to Jervis Bay, is geographically within New South Wales
but is Australian Capital Territory. The island is currently under private lease and landing is
prohibited without authority.
Little has been recorded of it ornithologically. In 1922, A. F. Basset Hull (1922) wrote
the haunt of the Wedge-tailed Shearwater. visited this island but discovered
nothing worth recording”. No further details were given, nor can find any record of another
visit, although Hull’s statement implies that he had some information on the status of the
shearwaters prior to his visit.
The following are details of a visit to Bowen Island on 19 April 1975 with my wife,
H. Battam and A. J. Leishman. During this visit three species of shearwaters were found
nesting in a small colony on the south-west end of the island. More than three hours was
spent searching a comparatively small area of Mat -rush Lomandra longifolia which was grow-
ing in rather deep, sandy soil on the slope above the shore -line rocks. From where an almost –
separated, rocky outcrop joins the main island at the south end, this area extends for about
150 m along the western side and some 30 m above the rocks. Tracks led from the rocks
into the Mat -rush; burrows and numerous cavities under the vegetation were obviously breed-
ing places of the Little Penguin Eudyptula minor. Some of the burrows contained recently –
moulted feathers of these birds. Other burrows with smaller entrances appeared to be those
of shearwaters and the first examined contained a well -developed nestling Wedge-tailed Shear –
water Puffinus pacificus.
Some 130 burrows were examined; most were too deep to determine the contents. In
some instances burrows were occupied but the bird moved out of reach before it could be
captured. In all, 8 Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, 14 Short -tailed Shearwaters P, tenuirostris and
1 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus were caught and banded. All were nestlings.
Bowen Island is now the sixth island off the coast of N.S.W. on which these three
shearwater species have been recorded nesting. The other five are Broughton, Little Broughton,
Bird, Boondelbah and Montagu Islands.
Hull, A. F. Basset 1922 “The Islands of New South Wales and their Birds”,
Aust. Mus. Mag. 1: 139-146.
S. G. LANE, 65 Wood Street, Lane Cove, N.S.W. 2066V 1
Rogers, Alan E. F. N.S.W. Bird Report for 1974 .. 77
Contributors .. .. 78
Systematic List 79
Holmes, Glenn The Australian Status of the Grey -backed Shearwater .. 98

Lane, S. G. Breeding Shearwaters on Bowen Island, Jervis Bay N.S.W. .. 100

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