• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
Feel the intensity, not your equipment. Maximum image quality. Minimum weight. The new ZEISS SFL, up to 30% less weight than comparable competitors.

New beginnings ... Sydney's Northern Beaches (1 Viewer)


Mike Kilburn
Hong Kong
Many thanks gents. It's a huge change since I was born in Hong Kong and spent my whole career there.

It's certainly been an interesting first few days. Notable firsts include:

First vegemite sandwich - an iconic moment in my cultural history after loving the 1980s Men at Work song Down Under for what is still probably my favourite lyric in any song:

Buying bread from a man in Brussels.
He was six foot four and full of muscles.
I said "do you speak my language?
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich.

First parking fine - for failing to understand the impossibly complicated Sydney parking regulations and signage - a bargain at £80

First random drug test - by the Mona Vale highway police

First random police stop two days later by the Chatsworth police for "driving a strange route" (struggling with google maps navigation in a strange city will do that to you)

First opportunity to use 100% renewable electricity in the home - now we've found a ground floor flat in Cremorne its great to have this option.

First home with a garden since 1993 - the dogs are loving it!

Anyway ... back to birding. Three nights in an Airbnb in Avalon Beach allowed time for a couple of walks around the beach area and along the creek behind it on two scintillating chilly blue mornings.

DSC04121 rock pool@ Avalon Beach bf .jpg

I enjoyed finding a group of twenty-odd Sulphur-crested Cockatoos foraging on the turf and snuffling in the sand for fallen Norfolk Island Pine seeds. A hopeful look out to sea revealed the usual smattering of Australian Gannets and another distant small albatross sp., and while I could not find any whales, we did have brief views of a school of Bottle-nosed Dolphins not too far beyond the breakers.

I was entertained by a couple of White-faced Herons that flew out over the surf (and 30-odd surfers) and then perched high on the cliffs above the wonderful seawater bathing pool set in the wave-cut platform at the base of the cliffs on the southern side of the bay. I was distracted from them by a young White-bellied Sea-Eagle that drifted back and forth before being chased away from the cliff face by an irate and highly acrobatic pair of Peregrines.

Walking back through the dunes I found a female Superb Fairy Wren and several White-browed Scrubwrens and Silvereyes on the back side, and the trees along the creek produced Red-wattled and Little Wattlebirds. The latter were my bird of the day - elegant in their fine silver pin-striping as they guarded their favoured Beachside banksia.

DSC04170 Little Wattlebird @ Avalon Beach bf.jpg DSC04156 Little Wattlebird @ Avalon Beach bf.jpg

along with the (invasive) Common Mynas and very talkative Noisy Miners. A Pacific Black Duck waddled its way up the middle of the creek, and either same or another pair of White-faced Herons - one of which showed very little white foraged in the stream and in the long grass in an uncut meadow.

DSC04134 White-faced Heron @ Avalon Beach bf.jpg DSC04149 White-faced Heron @ Avalon beach bf.jpg

As I headed home a Laughing Kookaburra keeping watch over the basketball court sat nicely for pix.

DSC04176 Laughing Kookaburra @ Avalon Beach bf.jpg DSC04175 Laughing Kookaburra @ Avalon beach bf.jpg

Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread