Kentish Plover

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Kentish Plover
From: "Annabel Ashworth/Hoskins" <>
Date: Thu, 7 Mar 2002 07:02:39 +1100
I went down to Old Bar yesterday and spent four fruitless hours searching for the plover.   Someone had seen it in the morning (on the beach in front of the car park, so I was told) but there was not a sign of it later on.   I arrived just after high tide, but it was such a low one that the birds had not been forced onto their roosts.   The only plover I saw on the beach was a solitary double banded.   All the other waders were on one of the sand islands in the estuary with the sun directly behind them.   I met up with some other birders (equally frustrated), and they did help me find a sanderling - a first for me, but the light was very difficult so we eventually gave up.   Luckily I was staying the night, but I felt very sorry for my two companions, one of whom had flown up specially from Melbourne.   They both had to go.
This morning was much better.   The plovers were still on their high tide roost three hours after high tide and I got fabulous close views of them - red-capped, lesser sand and one double banded, but still no Kentish.   I kept scanning them hoping to see it, but I was then diverted by something else and when I looked back they had gone!   Then I went back to the sand island and sure enough they were all out there again, but this time I had the sun behind me.   Got terrific views through the scope of sanderlings, red-necked stints, red capped, lesser sand and golden plovers (there was one on a different sandbar in full breeding dress).   Quite a few birds were starting to show breeding colours.
After a number of scans of the sand island, suddenly the Kentish plover was there in full view with the white collar very obvious.   I was so excited I rang my husband briefly to tell him, and attracted the attention of some other birders I had seen coming.   When I went back to the scope however the bird had gone and it still hadn't been seen again by the time I left.
Cheers Annabel
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