Northern Beaches – Looking for Raptors – 2 December 2017

I had seen some photos posted on social media of raptors in the Northern Beaches area and thought it may be worth going up to see if I could get my own photos.

I caught one of the new B Line double decker buses up to Manley Vale and then headed to a reserve to look for a family of Eastern Osprey. 

The birds were easy to spot. They had a nest high on a light at a sporting field in the reserve. I could see a chick sitting by itself. I later saw some wings stretch in the next – one parent was around.

That parent later went for a little fly around the field. It was good to get some photos of it in flight.

Later the other parent returned. Not with any food, but with a stick – which it added to the nest. A bit strange as the chick looked almost ready to leave the nest.

While I was there, I managed to photograph some other birds that were flying –

Welcome Swallow

Channel Billed Cuckoo


I then caught a bus up to Collaroy and hatred walking out along Long Reef Headland.

On the way I stopped to watch a Cormorant fishing. I watched it for perhaps half an hour. It was interesting to observe. I would estimate very roughly that on in ten of its dives resulted in a catch. Usually small fish.

Passing White Faced Heron

Waiting and watching paid off, as it eventually caught a larger fish – one that it took a few minutes manoeuvring it to be able to get it down. In the process it dropped the fish, but was able to grab it again. Here is a sequence of photos –

After it swallowed the fish, it had shake itself a bit to get it all the way down. Then, with difficulty it took off and flew away.

I then continued walking out to the lookout at the end of Long Reef. Nice views up and down the coast. In the bushes nearby a few Red Wattle Birds were feeding.

I then continued along the path and descended to the beach. I walked right along it to Dee Why and then out to the rock pool where the track starts for Dee Why Headland.

Near the far point of the headland, I was on the lookout for a Peregrine Falcon. At one vantage point I spotted one flying low down a long way off. I was able to get a few photos of it before it vanished behind the cliffs.

Later, when i was chomping, I noticed in one of my photos that there was a a second Peregrine Falcon sitting on the cliffs. I soon spot it and made my way as close as I could. It was still a long way off, but using a telephoto lens I could see that it was eating something.

I watched it for a few minutes before it flew off. During this time, a Frigate Bird flew past –

I then continued on to the end of the headland, and then down to Curl Curl Beach. From there I caught a bus to Manly and ferry back to the city.


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2 Responses to Northern Beaches – Looking for Raptors – 2 December 2017

  1. Andrew T says:

    Frigatebirds are a very rarely observed in Sydney – I think is a juvenile lesser Frigatebird but I’m not familiar with them and ID can be tricky. Birdwatchers would be interested – OK if I report to Birdline NSW?

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