American Golden Plover update

Subject: American Golden Plover update
From: Mark Bennett <>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 00:06:28 +1100 (EETDT)
Last Friday (21st February 1997) Scott Chandry, John Boyce and I
went down to Westernport Bay, Vic to try and observe the claimed
American Golden Plover. We fronted up ready to count primaries,
compare relative lengths of tertials & primaries etc. but despite
extensive homework the golden plovers as a group showed no
respect as the entire roosting flock could not be found at high
tide. We looked at both the original site where they were found and
at the revised site further down the coast but we did not see a single
golden plover all day. However, we did meet up with another birder
who was going to check towards the Bunyip River mouth so the flock
could well have been thereabouts.

Despite missing the golden plovers, the birding was by no means
disappointing. On a stroll between the two (previously!) known 
roosting sites we found an interesting assortment of waders, both
rare and common. Of the latter, we saw

* Red-capped Plover (+ chicks)
* Double-banded Plover (over Summering or the first arrivals?)
* Red-necked Stint
* Curlew Sandpiper (many beginning to show lovely brick red 
  breeding plumage)
* Eastern Curlew (flying past)
* Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

but we also found

* Terek Sandpiper (1) (rare down south but they apparently turn up
  regularly in small numbers in Westernport Bay)
* Lesser Sand Plover (1) (with silver band. This is a regularly spot
  for them, we were told. In April they can be observed in their
  lovely breeding plumage.)

Other birds seen were Musk Duck, White-faced Heron, Australian White
Ibis, Aust. Shelduck, Aust. Pelican, Royal Spoonbill, White-fronted Chat,
Nankeen Kestrel, Swamp Harrier, Brown Falcon, Richard?s Pipit, Masked 
Lapwing and Pied Cormorant.

If you go for the alleged American Golden Plover, please keep us all
informed of any relevant details (especially roosts).


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