Thursday afternoon I was in Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, with Barb Dickson to
check the terns at the northern end of the Pumicestone Passage.
There was a brisk SE breeze blowing, and viewing through a scope was a
shaky business. The distance from shore to sandbanks is at least 200m at
the nearest point. In addition, the terns were behaving in a very flighty
manner. We looked skywards for a raptor, but saw none. I was scanning the
sandbanks, and found myself looking at a Peregrine Falcon sitting on a
slight sandy rise, out there seemingly close to the roosting terns and
waders. Nearby, the waders were edging further and further into the water,
falling over each other in their endeavours to put a bit more distance
between themselves and the falcon. The falcon performed a couple of
circuits, sending birds in all directions, but we didn't actually see a
strike. Back on the sand, the falcon appeared to be eating prey, but this
time the view was slightly obstructed, and we couldn't be sure. The flying
spectacles went on for about twenty minutes, before the falcon turned its
attention to the huge roost of lorikeets in the nearby Norfolk pines. By
now light was fading. Suddenly there were lorikeets exploding into the sky.
It was great sport to watch.
Didn't count the birds because the conditions made it too hard. However,
there were several hundred waders, and, by the time the Little Terns came
in at dusk, about two thousand mixed species terns.
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51' 152º 56'
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