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Wildside Sanctuary - Eco Couples Retreat - Hawkesbury - Blue Mountains

Birding for Beginners at Wildside Sanctuary

Bird enthusiasts travelled from all over Australia to attend our recent bird walk with expert guide Eric Finley. Conditions were perfect, the sun was shining and just a light breeze blowing. Our guests ranged in birding experience from absolute beginner to experienced. Eric explained about the lifestyles of the birds we were seeing and hearing. Some, like the channel-billed cuckoos from New Guinea are strictly migratory, the yellow-faced honeyeaters generally move to more coastal areas for the winter. He also emphasized the importance of very old trees in any ecosystem as they provide nesting hollows for a range of species. For the large cockatoos these are a highly contested resource and possibly a reason for species decline. They require hollows about 50 cm deep, and these are generally only found in trees over 100 years old. Tree hollows are used by arboreal mammals too – possums and gliders also require a safe place to sleep and rear their young.

We identified 35 species in just under 2 hours. Ranging from the raucous cuckoos, to dance-crazed bowerbirds and thumbsized pardalotes. With binoculars trained high up into the canopy, Eric opened our eyes and ears to the fast-paced and often frenetic world of birds. Technology makes birding easier with a range of apps to identify calls and sightings. Our event coincided with the last day of the Aussie Bird Count run by Birdlife Australia, a national event that increases our awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by birds.

Here is the complete list of birds identified:

  • Maned Duck
  • Brown Cuckoo-Dove
  • Common Bronzewing Pigeon
  • Wonga Pigeon
  • Channel-billed Cuckoo
  • Fan-tailed Cuckoo
  • Gray Goshawk
  • Laughing Kookaburra
  • Gang-gang Cockatoo
  • Sulphur-crested Cockatoo
  • Australian King-Parrot
  • Crimson Rosella
  • Satin Bowerbird
  • Variegated Fairywren
  • Superb Fairywren
  • Eastern Spinebill
  • Lewin’s Honeyeater
  • Yellow-faced Honeyeater
  • Red Wattlebird
  • White-naped Honeyeater
  • Noisy Friarbird
  • Spotted Pardalote
  • Yellow Thornbill
  • Brown Thornbill
  • Black-faced Cuckooshrike
  • Golden Whistler
  • Rufous Whistler
  • Olive-backed Oriole
  • Gray Butcherbird
  • Australian Magpie
  • Pied Currawong
  • Gray Fantail
  • Leaden Flycatcher
  • Eastern Yellow Robin
  • Welcome Swallow