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