Hi Jill, Lesser-crested Terns can be found in various parts of Moreton Bay
right through to the Broadwater during the winter months. I have seen up to
15 at the Manly wader roost up until October and have even had one on a
pelagic off Southport. They breed just to the north at Lady Elliott Island,
so is no big surprise to see them down this way during the non-breeding
season. Cheers - Paul Walbridge.
Goodness Paul, you have surprised me. After all the years I have been
on the Sunshine Coast, I have developed a feeling for what to expect.
I have also noticed that when one Lesser-crested Tern appears, others
get reported in the region. But I have had very little to do with
Moreton Bay over the years, and am quite astounded to learn what you
have said. It was well worth the posting for that alone. I had the
impression that they seldom ventured this far south. I am really
surprised, because none of the Brisbane birders has ever mention the
facts to me before.
Mind you, now that I am thinking about it, it would be difficult to
pick a Crested from a Lesser Crested at Caloundra from the shoreline,
if they are on the intertidal sandbanks. They could be present more
often that I think. I can only say that whenever I have ventured
across to the sandbanks, which is often, I have rarely seen a Lesser
Crested. I feel that they are uncommon here.
Yes, I have seen them further north, although not breeding. I don't
think they were at Lady Elliott when I was there. And I don't go on
pelagics. Are they seen offshore of the Sunshine Coast? I am posting
this via the list, because I might not be the only one on the
Sunshine Coast who didn't know.
That brings on another thought. Why, if Caloundra supports such a
large population of various species of terns through the course of
each year, do Lesser Cresteds not show up there more? What are their
specific needs which Caloundra does not provide? What does Moreton
Bay offer, that Caloundra does not? Do they have specific roosting
requirements? Do their feeding habits differ greatly from those of
the species which use Caloundra? Caloundra supports six main tern
species: Cresteds, Littles, Commons, each of which occur in
thousands, as well as Gull-bills, Caspians and White-winged Blacks.
Just wondering. Any thoughts out there?
I think I'd better have a session with HANZAB.
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51' 152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994
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