The Ringed Plover at Marlo Vic.

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Subject: The Ringed Plover at Marlo Vic.
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Mar 2002 20:50:46 +1100
Hi Birders,
Four Central Coast Champions (Alan Morris, Craig Arms, Robert Quinan & Robin Benson),  made the trip to Marlo on Friday 8th March, departing Chittaway Bay at 600 hrs and travelling via The Harbour Bridge, Southern Cross Drive, the new M5, the M5 and via the Hume & Federal Highways to Cooma, Bombala and Cann River arriving at the inlet at Marlo at 1500 hrs. We crossed the inlet at low tide (how AKM, the shortest member of the group would have crossed at high tide remains to be seen as he even had to take off his shorts at low tide to get across?). The instructions about how to find the site are now a bit out of date because the white sign and the fencing to protect the Little Tern colony were no longer there. But on cue as we arrived on the beach, the Ringed Plover, in beautiful colour was quickly found. It was with a loose flock of Double-banded & Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints feeding on exposed sandbanks inside the inlet. The narrow, prominent black throat band, which extended part-way around the back of the neck, white underparts and  the prominent white lores were obvious identification points. The supercilium, although white up to the eye was only buff-coloured beyond the eye. A great bird and unlike the Kentish Plover, was very active.
For us coasties it was great to see at least 8 Hooded Plovers on the beach, 78 Pied Oystercatchers ( we only have them in isolated pairs up here), a number of Pacific Gulls and about 30 Double-banded Plovers, and a Peregrine amongst the birds present in the Inlet. Heavy rain drove us off the beach and appeared to be set in so we decided to try our luck with the Red-necked Phalarope at Hospital Swamp, Lake Connemarra, which had not been seen for at least 10 days.
We arrived at Hospital Swamp at 900 hrs, signed the information board at the house and went looking for the Phalarope. After scoping all the birds on the wetland for over 2 hours we had to admit defeat. There were plenty of Red-necked Stints, Curlew, Marsh and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, even 3 Lathams Snipe, 1 Double-banded & 1 Red-capped Plover but alas no Phalaropes. We checked out the adjoining Lake Connemarra Game Reserve and had good close views of an Australasian Bittern, a Wedge-tailed Eagle and many Shovelers but saw nothing else special. We retired to Barwon Heads for a fish & chips lunch, had good views of Singing & Spiny-cheeked Honeyeaters in the coastal scrub, and went back to Hospital Swamp but drew a blank once again. So headed back to the Central Coast. In our 44 hours we saw over 104 species and all added the Ringer Plover to our life lists. Craig added 4 species as Hooded Plover, Paficic Gull and Black-faced Cormorant were all new species for him.
Thank you for those birders who notified the rarities and who provided the information on where and how to find the birds. We may have dipped on one of the species but we did have good birding at both sites.
Alan Morris
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