Occasional Cairns News-Nov 00

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Subject: Occasional Cairns News-Nov 00
From: "Keith and Lindsay Fisher" <>
Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 07:51:00 +1000
Hi Everyone,
The Cairns Esplanade has the southern end filled in with sand and grassed over,
it has now been left to settle before any more work is done (putting in a
swimming lagoon). The sandy 'beach' that has been formed is attracting many
Silver Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Caspian Tern and a lone Black-fronted Dotterel.
The development so far does not appear to have affected the migratory waders who
prefer to feed further north.  Silver Gull numbers are on the increase, I
counted 750+ recently which included many juvenile birds. Interesting birds such
as Common Redshank and Asian Dowitcher over the last few weeks have been
reported, neither confirmed. I've looked for the reported possible American
Golden Plover and did see a bird which looked 'different', very light grey in
colour with a few rufous spots on the tertials, a very distinct white eyebrow,
however the bird disappeared on me as tried to move closer before I could check
it out any further. Last Friday (2nd Nov) a Glossy Ibis flew past, only a couple
of records on the Esplanade and a couple of minutes later a Peregrine Falcon
flew past carrying prey (looked like a Rock Dove or Common Myna). Whiskered and
White-winged Tern have also been seen during the last week, neither of these
terns are seen often here. 3 Red Knots were present yesterday (4th) along with
56 Black-tailed Godwit. Other waders present were Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel,
Eastern Curlew, Common Greenshank, Terek Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Great
Knot, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Pacific Golden
Plover, Lesser Sandplover and Greater Sandplover. There was also about 60 Little
The Cairns City Council is currently upgrading their information shelter on the
Esplanade and have produced two posters each depicting 20 birds found along the
Esplanade. These posters show photographs of the birds and will replace the ones
with bird drawings produced many years ago, they will feature in the shelter and
will be for sale. This is a step in the right direction with the council
recognising the importance of the birds on the Esplanade.

Further inland at Hasties Swamp 17° 17' 39"  145° 28' 39" (nr. Atherton on the
Atherton Tableland) on Sat. 3rd Nov. were many waterbirds including 3000+ Plumed
Whistling-Duck, only 4 Wandering Whistling-Duck, 1100 Magpie Geese, along with
Purple Swamphen, 3 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Black Duck, Hardhead and Grey Teal.
The water level is high in the swamp and is not showing much exposed mud which
in past years has attracted waders such as Wood Sandpiper.

Keith & Lindsay Fisher
PO Box 2209,   Cairns QLD 4870

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