Phillip Island weekend

Subject: Phillip Island weekend
From: (hillier lab)
Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 14:27:35 +0000
Hi everyone,
        spent last weekend down at Phillip Island.  Nothing spectacular but a 
few interesting birds.  As you will note from the bird list below I didn't do 
any bush birdwatching but spent almost all the time on the beach or on Swan 
Lake (the only freshwater lake on PI).  Checked out the waders at the 
Observation Pt high tide roost.  Good numbers of waders including approx. 500 
Bar-tailed Godwits with about 5-10% getting nice orange breeding plumage.  
None (or at least very few) of the other waders (Red Knot, Red-necked Stint, 
Curlew Sandpiper, Eastern Curlew) had got any breeding plumage so I guess the 
Godwits are one of the first to change. On Swan Lake saw 18 Cape Barren Geese 
which is one of the largest flocks I have seen on Phillip Island.  Around the 
lake were some Swamp Harriers with at least two being first year birds with 
lovely chocolate plumage.  Also the Hooded Plovers have a new nest complete 
with cage and this one looks very promising with the plovers looking much 
more comfortable with the cage.  Hopefully if people keep away they will have 
a successful time.
        On a different note Scott Chandry, Mark Bennett and I were thinking 
of investigating the rumoured American Golden Plover and we were wondering if 
anyone who has seen it could give us some identification tips.  Is the bird 
in full non-breeding plumage or possible partial breeding and is it obviously 
different from the other plovers it is roosting with?  Any infomation would 
be helpful.

Phillip Island list (weekend of 14th-16th)
Black Swan                              Cape Barren Goose
Australian Shelduck                     Australian Wood Duck
Pacific Black Duck                      Chestnut Teal
Rainbow Lorikeet                        Galah   
Eastern Rosella                         Purple Swamphen
Bar-tailed Godwit (~500)                Eastern Curlew (80-100)
Ruddy Turnstone (4)                     Red Knot (~30)
Red-necked Stint (100)                  Curlew Sandpiper (~200)
Pied Oystercatcher (30)                 Sooty Oystercatcher (3)
Black-winged Stilt (2)                  Hooded Plover
Masked Lapwing                          Pacific Gull
Kelp Gull                               Silver Gull
Caspian Tern                            Crested Tern 
Swamp Harrier                           Brown Goshawk
Nankeen Kestrel                         Australasian Grebe
Little Pied Cormorant                   Pied Cormorant 
Great Cormorant                         White-faced Heron
Great Egret (feeding in the sea)        Australian White Ibis
Straw-necked Ibis                       Royal Spoonbill (6)
Yellow-billed Spoonbill (2)             Australian Pelican
Little Penguin                          Short-tailed Shearwater
Superb Fairy Wren                       New Holland Honeyeater
Little Wattlebird                       Red Wattlebird
White-fronted Chat                      White-browed Scrubwren
Brown Thornbill                         Grey Shrike-thrush
Little Raven                            Australian Magpie
Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike               Willie Wagtail
Grey Fantail                            Magpie-lark
Welcome Swallow                         Silvereye
Red-browed Finch                        European Greenfinch

                                                Best Wishes
                                                John Boyce

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