Yellow wagtails on my 3rd attempt

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Yellow wagtails on my 3rd attempt
From: "Trevor Quested" <>
Date: Sun, 8 Feb 1998 21:10:38 +1100
Today at 4.30 pm I saw 6 Yellow Wagtails at Ash Island in Kooragang Nature
Reserve. (About 200 km north of Sydney) They were all of race Simillima
with a white eyebrow. All birds
but one seemed to have a yellow breast and throat.  
It wasn't easy and in fact we (Dion Hobcroft and I) were heading home when
Tony Palliser (new status: the legend) rang us to say he had popped into
Ash Island to have a quick look at the waders and the wagtails were on the
road in front of him.
Dion and I were at Ourimbah and did a quick U turn and 40 tense minutes
later we were looking at the birds.
To get to the site you have to cross the river nearly opposite McDonalds at
Hexham, drive for a long way on the main track. After a while the road will
run parrallel to
some high power lines and beside the river, and head towards a railway
line. There will be a
small sub-station on your left: turn left here and go along 200-400 metres
and stop at a pole with No. 21 on it.  We found the wagtails feeding with
chats in the middle of the road here.  Sometimes they were in the samphire
at the edge.

Warnings: There is a deep rut at the start of this track which may be full
of water.
The area has clouds of mosquitos. Be prepared!

There are lots of waders here.  Because we were mainly interested in the
wagtails, we did not check every bird but we did see one Reeve (found by
Dion), and
Pectoral Sandpiper.  We saw approx. 1,000 waders here.  Other good birds of
the day were a Gull-billed tern at Kooragang Island, a Buff-banded Rail at
Stockton Sewer farm , a Peregrine Falcon at Shortlands Golf Course, and 2
Spotless Crakes at Shortlands Wetlands Centre.

Coming home I was phoning as many as I could to tell them about the
wagtails.  One person said they knew about the birds at Ash Island as they
had been seen by someone who told them about the birds the day before. 
This was very hurting to hear.  Once again good birds have been suppressed
in this area.  Many birders have made the journey from Sydney  over the
last 4 weeks to see these birds and if we had known by leaving a message in
the Shortlands Wetland Centre this morning it would have been a great help.
 When one sees birds this rare in an area they should  be reported as
quickly as possible.
Trevor  Quested
Sydney,  Australia

Phone   +61 2 9955 6266
Fax  + 61 2  9959 4005

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