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Birds at Goran Lake

Goran Lake is currently (as of Jan. 2024) NEAR-EMPTY. The eastern half is dry; the western half is shallow, evaporating quickly in the heat of summer.

At Goran Lake, an ephemeral lake about 30 km South of Gunnedah, NSW, the following bird species were spotted by us from April 2011 until now (Goran Lake filled up in the summer of 2011 and had water until spring 2013; next it filled in November/December 2021; it had water until early 2024). Bird species are listed here in four categories, according to the timing of their sightings. In some cases the categorisation indicates a trend. We have visited only locations along the lake shore where there is open farmland, without other significant vegetation, beyond roadside weeds and low shrubs. Bird species that are listed as Vulnerable or Endangered, if any, are marked as such.

Goran Lake is listed as a "birding hotspot" on .

Any time of year Lake full (Only when)
lake dry
Irregular or infrequent
Brown Quail

Stubble Quail

Black Kite

Wedge-tailed Eagle

Spotted Harrier

Black-shouldered Kite

Nankeen Kestrel

Brown Falcon


Superb Fairy-wren

Purple-backed Fairy-wren

White-winged Fairy-wren

Willie Wagtail

Magpie-lark N

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike

Pied Butcherbird

Australian Magpie N

Australian Raven

Australian Pipit

Brown Songlark

Black Swan

Australian Wood Duck

Pink-eared Duck N

Grey Teal N

Chestnut Teal

Pacific Black Duck N


Australasian Shoveler

Plumed Whistling-Duck

Australasian Grebe

Hoary-headed Grebe N

Great Crested Grebe

Australasian Darter

Great Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Black Cormorant

Pied Cormorant

Australian Pelican

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Royal Spoonbill

Great Egret

Plumed Egret

White-faced Heron

White-necked Heron

Straw-necked Ibis

Australian White Ibis

White-bellied Sea-Eagle

Swamp Harrier

Purple Swamphen

Eurasian Coot

Latham's Snipe

Red-necked Stint

Bar-tailed Godwit

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Black-winged Stilt

Red-necked Avocet

Red-capped Plover N

Double-banded Plover

Red-kneed Dotterel

Black-fronted Dotterel

Masked Lapwing

Banded Lapwing

Australian Pratincole

Silver Gull

Caspian Tern

Gull-billed Tern

Whiskered Tern N

White-winged Black Tern

Golden-headed Cisticola


Whistling Kite

Black Falcon

Little Curlew

Crested Pigeon

Little Corella



Noisy Miner

Little Friarbird

White-fronted Chat

Crimson Chat

Horsfield's Bushlark

Tree Martin

Welcome Swallow

Australian Reed-Warbler

20 52 0 16
Any time of year Lake full (Only when)
lake dry
Irregular or infrequent

Goran Lake is an ephemeral lake 30 km South of Gunnedah, NSW - when full, it has a maximum depth of about 2 m, while its surface area is many square kilometres; this view is towards the East from the road crossing

View of the western part of Goran Lake, from a shallow ridge near the road crossing (visible on the left); January 2022

Overview of the crossing of Goran Lake Road through the lake; this is where public access is easiest for viewing aquatic bird species

Whiskered Terns and a few others resting at the crossing of Goran Lake Road through the lake

Distant view of Coolah Tops NP from the North, across Goran Lake, in April 2011

Little Curlew in non-breeding plumage feeding on a mudflat on the edge of an ephemeral lake
[Goran Lake, near Gunnedah, NSW, October 2011]

Male Red-capped Plover sitting down to incubate its clutch of 2
[Goran Lake, NSW, February 2022]