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Birds in backyards

I don’t get as much time as I used to enjoy my hobby of bird-watching although I do keep a watch-out and maintain a checklist for the grounds (and air-space) around my house. I live in the middle of suburban Ivanhoe at least 2 kilometers from any bush land but my garden has quite a few native trees.  It has been 2 or 3 years since I have seen a new species here.

Bingo, this morning, something totally unexpected – a Brown goshawk arrived.  I was having noodles for a late breakfast when I saw the goshawk swoop onto a Common myna – the goshawk no doubt was planning its own breakfast.  It then settled in a eucalypt in my backyard with the unfortunate myna hanging from its talons but then shot through when it realized I was looking at it.  Certainly this goshawk is not a rare bird in Australia but it is not common anywhere in my district.

Total since 1997, I have seen 43 species around my home. A list is over the fold with dates of first sightings.

Check list. R denotes rare – less than 3 sightings in last 14 years.

Pacific black duck  – this has bred in bush near our swimming pool since around 1990. A pair again nested there in same bush 2011. Several times we have had 12 ducklings swimming around our pool.

Spotted turtle dove (breeding).

Rock dove (Feral pigeon).

Laughing kookaburra – after late 1998 a group was obviously resident nearby and frequently settled in a backyard eucalypt. Scarce recently.

Superb fairy wren

Spotted pardolote in 1997  – common for a period after 7th January, 1998 in gum at back but uncommon recently.

White-browed scrubwren R.

Brown thornbill

Little wattlebird

Red wattlebird (breeding nearby)

Noisy miner

White-plumed honeyeater

New holland honeyeater

Eastern spinebill – this is resident for much of summer & winter.

Goldern whistler R.

Grey shrike thrush – only seen once, a beautiful male. R.

Willie wagtail – on clothesline 13th May, 1998. Surprisingly like flycatchers generally, rare. R.

Grey fantail. R.

Black-faced cuckoo shrike

Magpie lark

Australian magpie

Pied currawong

Little raven. Breeding high up in E. Nicholi.

House sparrow (breeding)

Welcome swallow


Song thrush, Resident for July-August 1997.

Common blackbird (breeding)

Common starling

Common myna

Crimson rosella. Very common.

Gang gang cockatoos 3 including 1 male feeding in a eucalypt with nuts, Saturday 8th August 1997. R.

Eastern rosella.  Fairly common. 

Rainbow lorikeets. Increasingly common in flowering eucalypts. 

Sulphur crested cockatoo. Common flying over, occasionally roost in backyard.

Musk Lorikeets (Thursday 3rd December 1998, 5-6 flying over. Also, seen – a single bird – in ficiafolia eucalypt leaning over our back fence Sunday 17th January 1999).

Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. (Common as fly-overs, once 7 birds in backyard).

Silver Gull (Thursday 3rd December 1998, 10 circling in sky at moderate height).

Peregrine falcon (Friday, 22nd January 1999, one bird flying north of the house, circling then flapped off east in standard peregrine fashion). R,

Grey butcherbird (Thursday, March 4, 1999, again juvenile on July 21, 1999).

Tawny frogmouth (a pair in neighbor’s E. Nicholi– stayed only one day!).  R.

Brown goshawk (April 3, 2011).  R.

4 comments to Birds in backyards

  • andrewt

    I’ve 61 species on my yard list for inner Sydney – just west of the CBD. Being with a km of the harbour means a few more waterbirds overflying and there is dozen more that probably overfly and I just haven’t noticed. Also a few more raptors and more passage migrants courtesy of being further North – although Yellow-faced Honeyeater is the only passage migrant that I’d see every year, and most are just one or two occurrences.

    Little Corella are very conspicuous now through much of Sydney with a smattering of Long-billed in the flocks, as are Australian White Ibis and Crested Pigeons.

  • hc

    Thanks Andrewt, it’s good to know someone else who reads my blog shares my obsessions. Core las are common here as are Australian ibis – they must have flown over at height. Created pigeons reestablishing themselves but I’ve never seen one around the house.

    In the nearby Banyule Wetland I’ve seen over 100 species in a day. This is only my homevlist.

  • conrad

    You’ve probably missed putting a masked lapwing (plover) in that list. I would be surprised if you hadn’t seen one.

  • hc

    Masked lapwing never at my house. Likes open fields etc.

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