BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - JANUARY

  • Bush birds often go quiet this month when many birds are still rearing young.

  • Look out for Black Bitterns at the Warriewood Wetlands.

  • Rarer summer migrants like Eastern Yellow Wagtails and Oriental Cuckoos may turn up in Sydney this month.

  • Interesting seabirds recorded during this month include White-necked and Gould’s Petrels and if driven by cyclones further north you may even get either a Red-tailed or White-tailed Tropicbird.

  • The first Double-banded Plovers from New Zealand should have also arrived.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - FEBRUARY

  • Many young birds that have recently fledged are often noticed this time of year.

  • Large numbers of White-throated Needletails are often seen ahead of storms and you maybe even lucky to pick out Pacific Swifts too.

  • Spangled Drongos usually start to arrive in Sydney this month.

  • Interesting seabirds often seen during this month include both Buller’s and Streaked Shearwaters and Long-tailed Jaegers (on a few occasions a congregation of about a hundred Long-tailed Jaeger have been seen from a sea watch from Maroubra).

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - MARCH

  • Watch migratory shorebirds coming into or close to full breeding plumage at favourite haunts like Bicentennial Park in Homebush, Long Reef and Boat Harbour in Cronulla.

  • Cyclonic weather further north could see the arrival of Sooty Terns  and Noddies closer to or even flying over our shores.

  • Most of the summer migrants would have departed by the end of March so if you have not already caught up with them during the season look out for them before they depart northwards.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - APRIL

  • A few lingering summer migrants like Rufous Fantails and Rufous Whistlers may still be seen passing through.

  • The Honeyeater migration should have started as the weather cools.

  • Also look or listen out for the first arriving Swift Parrots in places where there are flowering Mugga Ironbarks, Swamp Mahoganies or Spotted Gums or where there is an infestation of lerps.

  • Rose Robins also tend to arrive in this month in the open forest areas in Sydney.

  • Wedge-tailed shearwaters should have departed by the end of April.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - MAY

  • The Honeyeater and Silvereye migration should be in full swing now.

  • Superb Lyrebirds should in full breeding mode.

  • This is certainly a good time of the year to look out for birds of prey (raptors) as many have dispersed after breeding. A visit to the Hawkesbury area can produce 10 or more species of raptor in a day if conditions are ideal for them.

  • Wintering seabirds like Albatross and Giant Petrels also may be seen.

  • In the forests and woodlands look out for a good variety of honeyeaters and if there is good flowering you may be even lucky to spot a Regent Honeyeater.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - JUNE

  • More wintering seabirds such as Fairy Prions and Brown Skua often turn up during this time. A few Pacific Gulls (usually in Juvenile plumage) turn up in places like La Perouse and Maroubra.  

  • In more open forest and woodlands there should also be good numbers of honeyeaters feeding on banksias or flowering eucalypts.

  • Look out for Scarlet Robins in places like Castlereagh Nature Reserve in Berkshire Park. 

  • Out in the Hawkesbury turf farms large numbers of Cattle Egret and Straw-necked Ibis are often seen.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - JULY

  • Winter seabirds peak around this time and a sea watch from any seaward facing headland (say from Long Reef, North Head, Malabar or Botany Bay NP) may produce good numbers of wintering seabirds especially with strong onshore winds. 

  • Fruiting fig trees and introduced privet often attract a good number of fruit eating species like Topknot and White-headed Pigeons, Brown Cuckoo-doves, Figbirds, Satin Bowerbirds, Olive-backed Orioles and Silvereyes.

  • Winter rains may cause the water levels to be high on many of the wetlands.  The Hawkesbury wetlands good produce a good variety and number of waterbirds especially if it is drier inland.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - AUGUST

  • Both Fairy and Tree Martins should have arrived, and both species can be seen together in more open areas before making their separate ways for breeding.

  • Double-banded Plovers should be at their favourite haunts on the rock platforms of both Long Reef in Collaroy and Boat Harbour near Cronulla and should be in full or almost-full breeding plumage prior to their departure to New Zealand.

  • These winter visitors are at the same time being replaced with early arriving shorebirds that breed in the northern hemisphere and spend the warmer months here.  Amongst the first to arrive of these shorebirds are the Latham’s Snipe which inhabit the dense fringes of mainly freshwater wetland habitats.

  • Out at sea, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters should have arrived also.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - SEPTEMBER

  • Many of our birds will be in full breeding mode this time of year and we should also see the arrival of many more of our summer migrants from either Northern Australia, SE Asia or even much further as far away as Siberia and Alaska.

  • In Rainforest areas like in the Royal National Park, look out for Black-faced Monarchs and Rufous Fantails.

  • In open forests, both White-throated Gerygones and Rufous Whistlers should have arrived.

  • In Wetlands, the Australian Reed Warblers should be in full song.

  • Out in the Hawkesbury there may be both Rufous and Brown Songlarks, Australian Bushlarks and Stubble Quail with their numbers depending on conditions inland.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - OCTOBER

  • Just about all the regular summer migrants should have arrived by the end of October.

  • It is not until October we get to see Dollarbirds, Leaden Flycatchers and varying numbers of White-winged Trillers (the later in the agricultural and lightly timbered areas out in western Sydney).

  • It’s also the time that shorebirds that are on their way to other areas, such as Red Knots as well as a few Grey Plovers and Sanderlings, usually turn up at places like Long Reef and Boat Harbour.

  • Out at sea the Short-tailed Shearwaters should be at their peak migration where one may see tens of thousands passing through in a single day.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - NOVEMBER

  • Summer migrants would be in full breeding mode this time of the year. 

  • Look for species such as Brush Cuckoo and Cicadabirds in places like Cattai or Royal National  Parks, Songlarks and Trillers in the Hawkesbury area, or Sacred Kingfishers and Dollarbirds like at the Warriewood Wetlands.

  • Shorebird numbers should have also peaked.

  • Out at sea one may be able to see a Black Petrel or a Long-tailed Jaeger if on a pelagic trip.

BIRDS TO LOOK OUT FOR THIS MONTH - DECEMBER

  • Get out early this month to beat the heat and before the birding activity dies out by often mid-morning especially if it’s forecasted to be a really hot day.

  • If the bush birding quietens down then turn to wetland birding instead.

  • Mistletoes are either in flower or fruit this time of year often attracting good numbers of Mistletoebirds , Little Lorikeets and Honeyeaters.

  • A good place to check for these is at Nurragingy Reserve in Doonside.  

  • This is also the time of the year a rarity turns up in Sydney just look out on NSW Birdline on Eremea (http://www.eremaea.com).