Re: Kentish Plover

Subject: Re: Kentish Plover
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 08:47:33 +1000
Annabel wrote "My guess is that they roost there overnight too.   High 
tide will be coinciding with dawn at the moment, so this weekend may be a 
good time to try."

This is not necessarily the case.  Waders often use very different high 
tide roost sites at night than they use during the day.  I would be rather 
surprised if these birds used an exposed beach roost at night.  While this 
site is ideal during the day because they can detect potential danger from 
some distance it might leave them open to dangers, such as foxes, at 
night.  It is quite likely that the birds might be using a nearby salt 
marsh of a night time.  For this reason the birds may not be there on an 
early morning high tide.

When working on waders in the Hunter estuary in the mid-90's the small 
plovers tended to move at night to roost in saltmarsh areas north-east of 
Fullerton Cove or up to The Big Pond, the Ash Island Ponds or a major 
night roost in salt march at the mouth of Mosquito Creek.  This latter 
roost contained the bulk of the waders in the estuary.  If birds were 
still at this roost at sunrise some species remained there until the tide 
fell and then moved to the feeding areas while others, notably the 
godwits, would move to their daytime high tide roost site as soon as it 
got light.  Why some species did this and others didn't remains a mystery 
to me.

Anyway, the point is that the Old Bar birds may not be where people expect 
them to be on an early morning high tide.


David Geering

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