Little Curlews on Ash Island

Subject: Little Curlews on Ash Island
From: "steve roderick" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Oct 2001 16:56:30 +1100

  Hey all,

On sunday 28th Oct. at 12:30p.m. the Hunter Home Brewers on there twitchathon run came across three unusual birds. At first glance from a distance, without binos' they looked liked Whimberels, but on closer inspection we knew we had something different. Once I.D.'ing these birds there was no doubt they were Little Curlews. Three birds in total together, occasionally feeding. They were seen on Ash Island. Looking from the northern end of the road that splits the main pond they were seen about 20-30m's left of the first telegraph pole. We spent up to an hour confirming these birds (during a twitchathon!) and was made obvious by all distinguishing features we had Little Curlews. Stilts were feeding around the Curlews and were much taller by comparison ( Whimberels are taller) , the much shorter, curved beak was also obvious. Key points noted was the lack of a large black stripe running from base of beak to back of head, these birds only had some smudge of black around the eye and slighlty forward. Broad cream to buff eyebrow broadened behind the eye. The birds also flew showing no white rump/back which is obvious in Whimberels. The general 'jiz' of the bird was different. Feeding and walking sometimes with a head motion going back and forth like a pigeon. The head also was noticeably different, looking human like due to peak at rear and rounded inwards at back. Also tilting head on side. These three Little Curlews were seen by five people and there is no doubt about there identification. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate these birds again since sunday, but saying that there is much habitat on the Island for these birds.

   Good Luck, Steve Roderick.

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