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.
Australian Pied Oystercatcher
Australian Spotted Crake
Australian White Ibis
Australian Wood Duck
Eastern Barn Owl
Eastern Great Egret
Eastern Reef Egret
Eastern Yellow Robin
Giant Petrel species
Greater Sand Plover
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
Lesser Sand Plover
Little Black Cormorant
Little Pied Cormorant
New Holland Honeyeater
Pacific Black Duck
Pacific Golden Plover
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