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Birds of a Feather Flock to Lane Cove

Despite being only 9km from Sydney CBD, Lane Cove is not only a bustling community of people but offers expansive bushlands that are also home to an impressive array of birdlife. And you need only take a look in your Lane Cove backyard or go on a bush walk through one of the many parks or reserves to find them.

There are plenty of options for birdwatching and photography enthusiasts in Lane Cove. Tim Riding, our cover feature photographer, has shared with us some tips on where to go to find sightings of your feathery friends. In Lane Cove, Tambourine Bay Park is a must for nature lovers and is not only a large foreshore park but also the start point for the bush walk into the Warraroon Reserve. Here you will find plenty of birdlife, including great egrets and willy wagtails.

The great egret (ardea alba), is usually located along the waterways and rivers, stalking its prey along Tambourine Bay sand flats at low tide, which is a great time to look out for them.

The willy wagtail (rhipidura leucophrys), is more likely to be found on a low-hanging tree branch looking for insects, or simply listen out for the chortle of its chatty-like conversation.

Common wherever you see red flowering gums is the rainbow lorikeet (trichoglossus moluccanus). These birds travel in lifelong pairs and are brightly marked, making for a colourful image.

The kookaburra (dacelo novaeguineae/leachii), comes in four species, two of which find their homes in Australia - the laughing kookaburra and the blue winged kookaburra. You will find kookaburras in bush reserves all around Lane Cove. Kookaburras are strictly carnivorous, so you’ll know there are also small rodents, reptiles and insects in the area if you find one.

If you are making a trip to the Aquatic Park at Longueville Reserve look out for the channel-billed cuckoo (scythrops novaehollandiae), or should we say listen out. You can hear their distinctive call or follow the activity of other birds to find them. Noisy miners will try to escort the large bird out of their territory and host birds like the currawongs will dive bomb the cuckoo to try and stop it from laying eggs in their nest.

Lane Cove National Park is the perfect destination for the Australian wood duck (chenonetta jubata). Be sure to visit in spring with the kids, when the hatchlings come out. These medium-sized ducks adapt well to most conditions and this national park is the perfect habitat for them. The male duck can be distinguished from the female by its darker head.

When it comes to Lane Cove, even your own backyard can be the perfect place for birdwatching. If you have a Eucalyptus tree in, or surrounding, your property, it’s fun to watch the Pacific baza (aviceda subcristata), which you will find there chasing insects. The Pacific baza used to be regarded as rare vagrants in Sydney, however more recently they have been recognised as established residents in the forested areas throughout the region.

There are plenty of birdwatching and photography groups in Lane Cove that you may like to connect with if you are an enthusiast. There is also BirdLife Southern NSW, who have more extensive information and who publish online content to help you identify different species. They host a number of events and activities for enthusiasts, so its worth looking them up if you are looking to take your passion to the next level.

BirdLife Southern NSW

Tim Riding

Insta @tima7rii/


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