Beach Stone-Curlew at Botany Bay NSW & other matters

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Subject: Beach Stone-Curlew at Botany Bay NSW & other matters
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2001 15:38:39 +1100
Hi Birders,
It was reported on Birdline NSW this week that a Beach Stone-Curlew was seen at Towra Point, Botany Bay last week with no other details. As this would be the second record for the County of Cumberland, the other record being the bird that was present at a number of sites around Port Hacking and further south in the year 2000, I would be interested to know more details and whether it is still present. Perhaps the person who saw it could contact me direct.
Today when I was doing my monitoring duty at the Little Tern colony, Karagi Point, The Entrance (on the NSW Central Coast), a cursory look through all the Common Terns and non-breeding Little Terns on the seaward side of the colony (when looking for any new nests), I found four White-winged Black Terns, roosting among the other terns. There are no previous records for WWBT on the Central Coast although the 2nd  Australian record of the Black Tern (there have only been 3 Australian records) was for one at Tuggerah in 1958. WWBT are regular visitors to the Hunter Estuary to the north and Sydney Harbour & Botany Bay to the south.
The Little Tern colony has about 25-30 pairs nesting inside a fenced area, although one third of the nests are outside the fence on the seaward side. 16 clutches of eggs have disappeared (Gulls and a kestrel may be the culprits) but most of the pairs appeared to have relaid so there are about 26 pairs still incubating. The first chicks were found on Sunday 16th December, and two more nests were found to have chicks today making 5 clutches of chicks that have hatched and possibly another 2 clutches have also hatched, difficult to see in the little dunes with clumps of vegetation on them. Hopefully the colony is on its way to a successful nesting although they have to survive New Years eve celebrations and all the fireworks that are let off adajacent to the colony. For the Little Terns sake I hope for a wet Christmas to drive all the holidaymakers indoors!
Red-capped Dotterels continue to nest inside the colony and today I watched a pair of birds sheparding their half grown youngster away from the waters edge and into the apparent safety of the interior of the fenced area.
Alan Morris
Birding NSW, Central Coast Group
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