Birds of the Illawarra

Including residents, summer and winter migrants and vagrants, more than 300 bird species have been recorded in the Illawarra. They include Parrots, Kingfishers, Honeyeaters, Raptors and Shore and Ocean birds.

Although it cannot be said that the region contains any birds that haven't been seen elsewhere, the Illawarra has a diverse birdlife and it is entirely possible that you will record new species for your Life List. The following species in particular are worth visiting for.

Rock Warbler (Origma solitaria) The only bird found only in the Australian state of New South Wales, and then in only a small region which takes in the Illawarra where it is commonly seen on rock outcrops either in bush or coast areas.

Eastern Ground Parrot (Pezoporus wallicus) A very difficult bird to see that inhabits low, thick heath. There are a couple of places in the Illawarra which are known haunts for this threatened species.

Eastern Bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus) Like the Eastern Ground Parrot, this bird is difficult to see and inhabits the same type of habitat, and is endangered. Can be sighted crossing a walking track from one thick bush to another, where you will hear but not likely see it again. Similar in appearance to the Pilotbird though a lighter brown colour.

Pilotbird (Pycnoptilus floccosus) Similar in general appearance to the Rock Warbler though larger and inhabiting low forest heathland. Found in similar places to the Eastern Ground Parrot and Eastern Bristlebird.

Australian Logrunner (Orthonyx temminckii) Smallish ground dwelling bird inhabiting the damp forest floor among the leaf and log litter. Dark but with beautiful shades of colour, the male has a distinct rufous throat.

Gang-Gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum) This quiet shy bird is the smallest of the area's five cockatoo species. It is found in the forests away from the coast and suburban habitats where it was once common; some local birders say it fled these areas due to the influx of the more agressive Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

Red-whiskered Bulbul (Pycnonotus jocosus) This beautiful crested bird was introduced from Asia though it has never become a pest. The Illawarra is one of the few areas it has become very common and it is frequently seen and heard in forest, parklands and suburban gardens.

Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) This large dark-winged gull is common on the coastal rock shelf around Wollongong, though in small numbers. Similar in appearance to the Pacific Gull, which is a rare visitor.

All content including images Copyright

Andrew Wood