"Dion Hobcroft" <>
Tue, 5 Mar 2002 16:56:19 +1100
Spent a few hours yesterday afternoon and late morning today studying the
Kentish Plover. It is faithful to the beach in front of the pink cup on the
Little Tern fence, even at low tide. Unusual here were two White-fronted
Chats. A dark morph Arctic Jaeger chased around successfully Common Terns
with bait fish at the site.
Some further notes. The old tenth primary Mike had seen has been moulted ( I
suspect when we were looking at it previously) and the new outermost on the
left wing is about half to two thirds grown. This should be the last primary
replaced and confirms that they are basically fresh despite my previous
comment of being slightly worn. No obvious gaps in the secondaries
indicating moult here which is a bit unusual.
The crown is very heavily worn and in moult. The obscure dusky speckling I
commented on last time is still the case being caused by wear and exposing
the darker bases. Some of these feathers have been completely lost and the
bird is currently showing a white patch above and behind the eye which is a
useful feature if you can only see a head poking above the sand.
Other notes include tail slightly longer than folded primaries, bleached and
faded median coverts (last retained first winter feathers?) with pale buff
fringes. Pale fringed tertial on both wings now Bill longer than loral
distance. Lores same tone as ear coverts. Median rear crown bulge into white
neck collar. Darker brown rump, uppertail coverts and tail than upperwing
surfaces which are a warm sandy brown tone very similar to a female
No Sanderlings were present when I was there. A handful of Red-necked
Stints, Pacific Golden Plovers, Double-banded Plovers and about thirty
Red-capped Plovers. No Little Terns but 100 plus Common Terns and numerous
Wedge-tailed Shearwaters feeding in the surf.
It is a great place
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