Parklea Correctional Centre Bird Survey

Parklea Correctional Centre in Western Sydney has two wetlands, one very large and one smaller, which have probably been the product of extensive landscaping works on what was perhaps a rural dam and drainage line prior to purchase of the land for a correctional centre by the government two or more decades ago.

The landscaping and the quiet surroundings of the secured outer grounds of Parklea Correctional Centre provide an ideal habitat for a wide variety of birds, particularly water birds.

The following aerial image shows the two wetlands to the west and south-west of the buildings:

Parklea Correctional Centre

The large wetland, by our estimate, occupies 5ha of area and includes quite a sizable island which is well supplied with trees. To the south and north of the wetland are expansive areas of naturally occurring and planted trees. There are shrubs dotting the area to the south but shrubs, particularly Kunzea ambigua, are in more dense supply in the northern area. Native grasses , herbs and groundcovers are in ample supply (along with weed species) but unless protected by shrubs they are subjected to regular slashing. Goodenia, Phyllanthus and Zornia species are well represented.

Management of Parklea Correctional Centre kindly permitted Mark Fuller and Edwin Vella of Cumberland Bird Observers Club as well as Peter Ridgeway and Wayne Olling to conduct a walkaround survey of birds on 12 April 2014.

The day was overcast and rain had fallen prior to the survey. The wetland was full of water and, being at the tail of the season for migratory wading birds, conditions were not best for finding those birds. They were absent.

However, such is the capacity of the wetland to attract a wide range of water birds in the warmer and drier months of the year we anticipate the site would be ‘alive’ with these birds when other wetlands might be struggling.

All things considered, we were not disappointed with the number of birds detected in the two hours of observation. In and around the wetland and in the wooded areas a total of fifty (50) bird species (some introduced) were detected and they can be found here:

Black Swan Cygnus atratus 1
Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa
Chestnut Teal Anas castanea 6
Hardhead Aythya australis 12
Australasian Grebe Tachybaptus novaehollandiae 10
Australian White Ibis Threskiornis moluccus
Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia 1
Eastern Cattle Egret Bubulcus coromandus 20
Eastern Great Egret Ardea alba modesta 1
White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae 1
Little Pied Cormorant Microcarbo melanoleucos 1
Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris 3
Australasian Darter Anhinga novaehollandiae 1
Brown Goshawk Accipiter fasciatus 1
Australasian Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
Dusky Moorhen Gallinula tenebrosa
Eurasian Coot Fulica atra approx. 300
Masked Lapwing Vanellus miles
Rock Dove Columba livia
Spotted Dove Spilopelia chinensis
Crested Pigeon Ocyphaps lophotes
Long-billed Corella Cacatua tenuirostris
Little Corella Cacatua sanguinea
Rainbow Lorikeet Trichoglossus moluccanus
Musk Lorikeet Glossopsitta concinna
Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius
Red-rumped Parrot Psephotus haematonotus
Superb Fairywren Malurus cyaneus
Yellow-faced Honeyeater Lichenostomus chrysops
White-plumed Honeyeater Lichenostomus penicillatus
Noisy Miner Manorina melanocephala
Red Wattlebird Anthochaera carunculata
Eastern Spinebill Acanthorhynchus tenuirostris
Yellow Thornbill Acanthiza nana
Grey Butcherbird Cracticus torquatus
Black-backed Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen
Pied Currawong Strepera graculina
Black-faced Cuckooshrike Coracina novaehollandiae
Australian Golden Whistler Pachycephala pectoralis
Rufous Whistler Pachycephala rufiventris
Spangled Drongo Dicrurus bracteatus 1
Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys
Magpie-lark Grallina cyanoleuca
Restless Flycatcher Myiagra inquieta 1
Australian Raven Corvus coronoides
Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena
Common Myna Acridotheres tristis
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Red-browed Finch Neochmia temporalis
Double-barred Finch Taeniopygia bichenovii

We are indebted to management of Parklea Correctional Centre for the maintenance of a viable bird habitat in Western Sydney and for affording us the opportunity to observe its function.

For some pics of the wetland and some of the birds sighted subscribe via this website for the Cumberland Conservation Newsletter. Courtesy of Mark Fuller and Edwin Vella the pics appear in the May issue of the Newsletter.

Wayne Olling