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Visiting and resident birds at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. Far North Coast of New South Wales.

A flock of forty Cattle Egrets in orange-buff breeding plumage, some with red iris and beak at the dam. The Cattle Egret only appeared in Australia about 1950 but have spread across Australia.

Widespread and reasonably common large bird found feeding in the dam.

Image of an Adult male bird with distinctive red eye ring feeding in the Conservation Area. Nomadic, locally migratory and moderately common.
Image courtesy of visiting Wildlife Photographer Tony Belton.

Small group of locally migratory or nomadic White-cheeked Honeyeater sighted near the billabong on Sportsman Creek Conservation Area. Image of a male bird with puffed cheek. 

Visiting northern migrants to the Conservation Area found swooping from branches for flying insects.


This large Channel-billed Cuckoo sighted on the Conservation Area after being raised by crow foster parents and will be preparing to migrate north to New Guinea and Indonesia as winter approaches.

This Red-backed Buttton Quail is listed as Vulnerable and a Threatened Species in N.S.W. Between 1994 and 2005 only six observations were recorded in N.S.W or (0.75 records per year.) They are nocturnal and crepuscular (twilight) in their activity and forage near the ground for insects and grasses although little is known of their diet. A first time sighting on the Conservation Area. 

“This is the first record of this species in NSW since a report from Tuncurry on February 27, 2014 was accepted by NSW ORAC (Case 652). It is interesting to note that all reports of this species in NSW in the past ten years or so have been in the months from November to February and it is not clear whether this implies that it is migratory or whether it indicates heightened activity at this time of the year.”

Acceptance courtesy of NSW ORAC Secretary.
Roger McGovern

I.D. courtesy of Dr. Greg Clancy.


Found feeding early morning on Coastal Banksia 

Sighted along the riparian zone taking insects from foliage and bark the Lewin’s Honeyeater.  

Although widespread and common across Australia this bird is a first time sighting on the Conservation Area. It has a melodic “whoo-whoo- whoo” call.

Crested Pigeon (Ocyphaps lophotes)

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By Jeff Keyes