Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

June 20, 2010

Caves Beach Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , — steve_happ @ 12:12 pm

Caves Beach

Today I walked the track from the lookout at Caves Beach to the start of the Wallarah Peninsula Coastal Walk at Spoon Rocks. I started out from the lookout above Caves Beach. Unfortunately there were no sea birds, just a couple of lazy Silver Gulls drifting by. Here is a view from Caves Beach looking towards Spoon Rocks or what is locally called the Mawson Breakwater. This is on the ocean just south of the channel going into Lake Macquarie

caves beach
Caves Beach to Spoon Rocks

There were quite a few Superb Fairy-wrens twittering around in the bushes. This male was showing off his plumage to me and his harem of ladies.

Superb Fairy-wren
male Super Fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)

Further on I got the shock of my life when I got my lens on a Red-whiskered Bulbul. I had never seen one of these before so it is a big tick. I did not expect to see one of these around here. They have a black bill and a distinctive red tuft behind the ear, and a pointed vertical crest. The undertail coverts are red with a white-tipped tail.

Red-whiskered Bulbul
Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus)

There were a few Welcome Swallow flying over the cliffs as well as some Red-browed Finch near a little creek that ran into the sea. I dipped down into the track to Spoon Rocks and there is quite a nice little beach there. Past the breakwater I climbed the old road that was used to make the breakwater and got to the start of the Wallarah Coastal Community Walk which goes further on to Pinney’s Beach. I might do that section of the walk another day. It looks quite a spectacular walk so I am looking forward to it.

New Holland Honeyeater
New Holland Honeyeater (Phylidonyris novaehollandiae)

Caves Beach Bird List 20/6/2010

Australian Magpie
Superb Fairy-wren
Silver Gull
Red-whiskered Bulbul
Welcome Swallow
New Holland Honeyeater
Rock Dove
Red-browed Finch
Grey Fantail
Brown Thornbill
Laughing Kookaburra
Spotted Turtle-dove
Crested Pigeon
Little Wattlebird
Eastern Spinebill
Masked Lapwing
Eastern Rosella
Rainbow Lorikeet


  1. Hi there.

    I have been following you on Twitter as I’m thinking about how to get Birder Community Twitter thing happening – maybe developing a phone App for Birding and also to help people who are new to … birds. Anyway I love your photos here and was reminded that red-whiskered bulbuls used to live at my place in Surry Hills (Sydney) about 15 years ago. I haven’t seen them in the area (or anywhere since). I think they were brought here intentionally a long time ago.

    I also love he New Holland Honeyeaters. They also lived outside my Surry Hills flat in the 90s. A pair actually built a nest under the gutter right outside my window and desk and I watched them build it over a month. A huge storm ripped it to pieces an d they didn’t return to that spot to nest again.

    I spend a lot of time around Yarramalong Valley now where there are plenty of fine birds and animals, but when I was in that particular flat in the city I counted 17 native species and three non-natives viewed from the window! Including two visits by a spangled drongo – who I have otherwise only seen in Queensland.

    On Twitter my tag is Vaklajos but I haven’t been mentioning sightings – I mainly lurk on Twitter so far. I think I’ll start with a new name for the purpose of bird sightings. The idea is that if people are getting these sighting on their mobiles, we can actually look out for birds in the area we are at the time.

    Best wishes,


    Comment by Frankie Lee — June 21, 2010 @ 10:47 pm

  2. Good to see Red Whiskered Bulbul has such wide distribution.. lovely image of super Fairy-wren

    Comment by Sandeep — June 22, 2010 @ 10:48 am

  3. Hi Frankie and Sandeep.

    Red-whiskered Bulbuls were actually introduced into Australia in 1880, and are found in urban areas in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. They are a native of South-east Asia and India. They are/were a common cage bird in India.


    Comment by admin — June 22, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  4. That Bulbul is an awesome find. I haven’t seen one before either. I bet you were stoked to see it.

    Comment by Lucky — June 25, 2010 @ 10:47 am

  5. Thanks Lucky, I was very surprised to see one. It was about 100 meters south of the lookout above caves beach.

    Comment by admin — June 25, 2010 @ 11:51 am

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