Saturday 30 April 2011

Wot a Wongan

I spent ALL DAY birding Sydney and the Southern Highlands from Eastlakes Golf Course to Royal National Park to Barren Grounds and Budderoo Plateau.

Eastlakes didn't turn up much at all, RNP was closed because of floods and Budderoo was rained off.

The highlights amidst a lot of fog and rain were being woken up by a Eastern Bristlebird at Budderoo after a three-hour power-nap, a Grey Goshwak at RNP's Bungoona track and this Wonga Pig which was mooching around the RNP office.

Wonga Pigeon

Friday 29 April 2011

Vange and back (on foot!)

I'm all for the royal family, but given the choice between the wedding and a full day birding there was only going to be one winner. I had some pent up energy so decided to do it by foot....all the way to Vange Marsh and back via Two Tree Island (about 18 miles round trip from my house in Leigh I reckon).
I had a good start with a cuckoo singing just south on Leigh Broadway at 5.30am. Strange to hear it there. I thought it must be coming from down by the train line but it sounded much closer than that. I didn't stop to investigate. I went on to Two Tree and had my best ever views of a Nightingale in full voice (shame the light was still quite dull). I hopped over to the west side of Two Tree where I saw a female Stonechat before linking up with the coastal path to Benfleet where I saw a glowing Yellow Wag and nice, near summer plumage, Greenshank. I added Chiffchaff and Long -tailed Tit to my day list on the walk that follows the train line all the way to Pitsea. I spent the next 3 and a half hours on Vange Marsh with the biggest highlight being my first Wood Sandpiper. My good fortune wasn't over though. On the way home I decided to take the low path between Benfleet and Leigh and flushed a Jack Snipe from one of the reed pool banks. All in all one of my most enjoyable local days out. For full listing for the day please visit the SOG site.

Tuesday 26 April 2011

Bell Miner, RNP

I found this Bell Miner along Lady Carrington Drive today. Although this species' range includes territories around Sydney I've never heard of them being reported in RNP. There is also no mention of them in Steve Anyon-Smith's 'Birdwatching in Royal & Heathcote National Parks'. Are there are any RNP patch watchers out there that think this sighting is unusual - or boring?

Friday 22 April 2011


It's been an absolutely belting couple of weeks for rarities in the Southend area with the juv Night Heron on Two Tree Island (which has stuck around so hopefully photo opportunity to come), the Savi's Warbler that was discovered last night on Canvey Wick and the Hoopoe on Canvey West RSPB reserve today (which thankfully I did snap). Roll on tomorrow's rarity!

Sunday 17 April 2011

Royal NP, Sydney

I searched Wattle Flat for Powerful Owl, Mount Bass Firetrail for Chestnut-rumped Heathwren and Garie Beach for Brown Quail. All have been seen at these spots before but not today. Here's what I did manage to photograph instead.

There is usually an Azure Kingfisher or two around Wattle Flat

White-browed Scrubwren, Garie Beach, doing a pretty good impression of a Little Owl.

immature Silver Gull, Garie Beach

immature Crested Tern, Garie Beach

Sunday 10 April 2011

Showing Well

Magpie (Australian)

Saturday 9 April 2011

Mount Bass Firetrail (revisited)

Beautiful Firetail

Southern Emu-wren

lace Monitor

Juvenile Olive-backed Oriole

I returned to the Mount Bass Firetrail in Sydney's Royal National Park with the sole aim of snapping a Chestnut-rumped Heathwren. But, I had to spot one first which didn't happen.

Thankfully, some of the other residents showed up in much better weather than we had encountered two weeks ago.

Other note-worthies included Rufous Fantail and Yellow-tufted Honeyeater.