Re: Yellow wagtails on my 3rd attempt

Subject: Re: Yellow wagtails on my 3rd attempt
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 1998 00:01:14 +1100
Trevor Quested wrote:
> 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

I would have thought that it would have done you good to have located
your own Yellow Wagtails. As for "good birds" being suppressed- I have
two objections. One- I am sure that the "good birds" probably would have
got on quite nicely whether or not Ash Island is overrun by twitchers.
Two- You obviously have a biased definition of what is a good bird. 

I don't see that anyone has an obligation to tell everybody else when
they see a "good bird". I can see that it is important that these
records are kept and compiling them into annual bird reports is a good
method of doing this- in case of changes in abundance, for example.
However, broadcasting of the sighting so that all and sundry can tick it
off on ther list- I don't see as being very important. 

I have nothing whatsoever against ticking, in fact, I've been known to
do it myself. But I do object to people getting high and mighty about
the importance of it. PLEASE!

P.S. I haven't seen Yellow Wagtails at Ash Island.

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