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Birds of the the South Coast

The South Coast has extraordinarily abundant bird life with literally hundreds of species that have been sighted by keen birdwatchers. The beaches, estuaries, sand spits, rocky headlands and offshore islands of the south coast support a range of threatened resident and migratory shorebirds. The four main species of concern to the South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program, established in 1999 by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to reduce the rate of decline of threatened shorebirds and recover populations by enhancing breeding success are listed below:

Hooded Plover - Thinornis rubricollis - Other common names - Hooded Dotterel or Dottrel

The Hooded Plover is listed as a Critically Endangered Species on Schedule 1 of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (TSC Act). This species is also listed as a Vulnerable Species on Schedule 1 of the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act, 1992. The species occurs along the coast from Jervis Bay on the south coast of NSW to the western Eyre Peninsula in South Australia; along the southern coast of WA. Within NSW, the Hooded Plover occurs along the southern coast, north to Jervis Bay. Occasional vagrants may be sighted further north at Wollongong. Following a survey in 1988, Morris it was estimated that the NSW population might be as low as 62 individuals, all of which are resident within the area of this program. • Hooded Plover Fact Sheet (680kb)

Little Tern - Sterna albifrons - Other common names - Sea swallow, White-shafted Ternlet

The Little Tern is listed as an Endangered Species on Schedule 1 of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (TSC Act). This species is listed as an Endangered Species on Schedule 1 of the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act, 1992.

In Australia, the Little Tern occurs from Shark Bay in Western Australia, around northern and eastern Australia, to the east coast of Tasmania and around to the Gulf of St Vincent in South Australia. Within NSW, an eastern subspecies of the Little Tern predominately occurs and was once quite common. However, recent records indicate that Little Terns now exist in a medium-sized, non-breeding population and a small, threatened breeding population. A distinguishing feature of Little Terns is their constant chatter while fishing and also around the breeding sites.

Little Tern Fact Sheet (240kb)

Pied Oystercatcher - Haematopus longirostris - Other common names None

The Pied Oystercatcher is listed as an Endangered Species on the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (TSC Act).

The Pied Oystercatcher has a thinly scattered distribution throughout Australia, where it prefers sandy beaches and sandy-shored estuaries.

Small groups and individuals are found scattered along the beaches and estuaries along the entire NSW South Coast, at times flocking up into larger groups. This species has a distinct clear penetrating ‘he-eep’ or single repeated ‘pic’ call, mainly in flight.

Pied Oystercatcher Fact Sheet (150kb)

Sooty Oystercatcher - Haematopus fuliginosus - Other common names Black redbill

The Sooty Oystercatcher is listed as a Vulnerable Species on the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (TSC Act).

The Sooty Oystercatcher has a thinly scattered distribution throughout Australia, usually associated with rocky outcrops, headlands, offshore islands and exposed reefs. Only occasionally does it occur on sandy beaches. Thereby this differentiates the habitat preferences of the two oystercatcher species in Australia. In the non-breeding season, pairs may form small gatherings of sociable individuals in their preferred habitats.

Their call includes loud carrying ‘hueep’ in flight and a piping display call when disturbed.

Sooty Oystercatcher Fact Sheet (570kb)


As a twitcher if you to have an unusual bird sighting on your South Coast travels you can submit your field notes to the Eurobodalla Natural History Society Recorder. Their address is PO Box 888 Moruya 2537.

The Eurobodalla Natural History Society, based on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia, was established in 1986. There are currently around 100 members whose interests range from birds, mammals, insects and marine life to plants and fungi.


The group holds Field Meetings on the fourth Sunday and most second Saturdays of the month, from February to November. These meetings are essentially bird watching walks, although all aspects of nature are explored. The walks are generally of an easy grade and include forest, rainforest, beach and coastline habitats. Visitors are welcome.

The Eurobodalla Natural History Society encourages the collection of information on local nature. Many of its members keep records which are collated into a database, and every two months, highlights are published in a newsletter.

Many thanks to the Eurobodalla Natural History Society and their members who compiled the list below.

Arctic Jaeger

Australasian Bittern

Australasian Darter

Australasian Figbird

Australasian Gannet

Australasian Grebe

Australasian Pipit

Australasian Shoveler

Australian Hobby

Australian King-Parrot

Australian Magpie

Australian Owlet-nightjar

Australian Pelican

Australian Pied Oystercatcher

Australian Raven

Australian Reed-Warbler

Australian Shelduck

Australian Spotted Crake

Australian White Ibis

Australian Wood Duck

Azure Kingfisher

Baillon's Crake

Barking Owl

Bar-tailed Godwit

Bassian Thrush

Bell Miner

Black Kite

Black Swan

Black-browed Albatross

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

Black-faced Monarch

Black-fronted Plover

Black-shouldered Kite

Black-winged Stilt

Brown Cuckoo-Dove

Brown Falcon

Brown Gerygone

Brown Goshawk

Brown Quail

Brown Skua

Brown Songlark

Brown Thornbill

Brown-headed Honeyeater

Brush Bronzewing

Brush Cuckoo

Buff-banded Rail

Buff-rumped Thornbill

Bush Stone-curlew

Caspian Tern

Cattle Egret

Channel-billed Cuckoo

Chestnut Teal


Collared Sparrowhawk

Common Blackbird

Common Bronzewing

Common Greenshank

Common Myna

Common Sandpiper

Common Starling

Common Tern

Crescent Honeyeater

Crested Pigeon

Crested Shrike-tit

Crested Tern

Crimson Rosella

Curlew Sandpiper

Diamond Firetail


Double-banded Plover

Double-barred Finch

Dusky Moorhen

Dusky Woodswallow

Eastern Barn Owl

Eastern Curlew

Eastern Great Egret

Eastern Koel

Eastern Osprey

Eastern Reef Egret

Eastern Rosella

Eastern Spinebill

Eastern Whipbird

Eastern Yellow Robin

Emerald Dove


Eurasian Coot

Eurasian Skylark

European Goldfinch

European Greenfinch

Fairy Martin

Fairy Prion

Fan-tailed Cuckoo

Flame Robin

Fluttering Shearwater

Fork-tailed Swift

Fuscous Honeyeater


Gang-Gang Cockatoo

Giant Petrel species

Glossy Black-Cockatoo

Golden Whistler

Golden-headed Cisticola

Great Cormorant

Great Knot

Greater Sand Plover

Great-winged Petrel

Grey Butcherbird

Grey Currawong

Grey Fantail

Grey Goshawk

Grey Plover

Grey Shrike-thrush

Grey Teal

Grey-tailed Tattler

Ground Parrot


Hoary-headed Grebe

Hooded Plover

Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo

House Sparrow

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross

Intermediate Egret

Jacky Winter

Kelp Gull

Large-billed Scrubwren

Latham's Snipe

Laughing Kookaburra

Leaden Flycatcher

Lesser Sand Plover

Lewin's Honeyeater

Lewin's Rail

Little Black Cormorant

Little Corella

Little Eagle

Little Egret

Little Grassbird

Little Lorikeet

Little Penguin

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Raven

Little Tern

Little Wattlebird

Long-billed Corella


Masked Lapwing

Masked Owl

Masked Woodswallow


Musk Duck

Musk Lorikeet

Nankeen Kestrel

Nankeen Night-Heron

New Holland Honeyeater

Noisy Friarbird

Noisy Miner

Northern Mallard

Olive Whistler

Olive-backed Oriole

Pacific Black Duck

Pacific Golden Plover

Pacific Gull

Painted Button-quail

Pallid Cuckoo

Peaceful Dove

Peregrine Falcon

Pied Cormorant

Pied Currawong


Pink Robin

Pink-eared Duck

Pomarine Jaeger

Powerful Owl

Purple Swamphen

Rainbow Lorikeet

Red Knot

Red Wattlebird

Red-browed Finch

Red-browed Treecreeper

Red-capped Plover

Red-necked Stint

Restless Flycatcher

Rock Dove

Rose Robin

Royal Spoonbill

Ruddy Turnstone

Rufous Fantail

Rufous Songlark

Rufous Whistler

Sacred Kingfisher


Satin Bowerbird

Scarlet Honeyeater

Scarlet Robin

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Shining Bronze-Cuckoo

Short-tailed Shearwater

Shy Albatross

Silver Gull


Sooty Owl

Sooty Oystercatcher

Sooty Shearwater

Southern Boobook

Southern Emu-wren

Spangled Drongo

Spotless Crake

Spotted Dove

Spotted Pardalote

Spotted Quail-thrush

Square-tailed Kite

Straw-necked Ibis

Striated Heron

Striated Pardalote

Striated Thornbill

Stubble Quail

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

Superb Fairy-wren

Superb Lyrebird

Swamp Harrier

Swift Parrot

Tawny Frogmouth

Topknot Pigeon

Tree Martin

Varied Sittella

Variegated Fairy-wren

Wandering Albatross

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Welcome Swallow


Whiskered Tern

Whistling Kite

White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike

White-bellied Sea-Eagle

White-breasted Woodswallow

White-browed Scrubwren

White-browed Woodswallow

White-cheeked Honeyeater

White-eared Honeyeater

White-faced Heron

White-faced Storm-Petrel

White-fronted Chat

White-fronted Tern

White-headed Pigeon

White-naped Honeyeater

White-necked Heron

White-plumed Honeyeater

White-throated Gerygone

White-throated Needletail

White-throated Nightjar

White-throated Treecreeper

White-winged Chough

White-winged Triller

Willie Wagtail

Wonga Pigeon

Yellow Thornbill

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Yellow-faced Honeyeater

Yellow-rumped Thornbill

Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo

Yellow-throated Scrubwren

Yellow-tufted Honeyeater

Zebra Finch

For those who enjoy exploring National Parks there are seven in the Eurobodalla.

Download the  NSW National Parks Pocket Guide to the South Coast and all the information you might want on National Parks in the South East including the Eurobodalla HERE

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