Caloundra sandbanks, SEQld 7/3/02

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Caloundra sandbanks, SEQld 7/3/02
From: jilldening <>
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2002 10:08:58 +1100
Hi All,

Here's an update on what the Caloundra sandbanks are supporting at the
moment - our survey of 7/3/02.

I have just changed my data programme from Excel to Access, and haven't yet
got info in the same format as I used to post, so it is a bit general this

On Thursday there were 22,651 birds present, of which 21,852 were terns,
waders the remainder. The overwhelming majority were Common Terns, with a
couple of thousand (bit of an educated guess) White-winged Black Terns.
Little Terns were counted during the afternoon when about 5000 birds were
present, and of that group the Littles made up 1384, of which random samples
gave us 80% in breeding condition (ie yellow present on beak) and of the
non-breeding condition, only 3% (again random sampling) showed dark carpal
bars.  All the Commons are still in non-breeding condition, although moult
is underway. White-winged Blacks are spotty, approaching breeding condition.

Gull-billed Terns are mainly absent from Caloundra during this period.
Caspian are starting to come back.

Crested Terns are starting to build up again (179), with arrivals of adults
and juveniles from the breeding grounds. The pied juveniles give me such
enjoyment, as they wander around aimlessly, looking lost, following the
parent wherever and whenever. On the wing it's a different story - they are
as graceful as their parents. I think just about all the adults are in
non-breeding plumage again, though I didn't make a note of it.

The Sanderling was again present (one whole Sanderling), and on Saturday
when I took the committee of the Qld Wader Study Group onto the sandbanks,
they also saw it, and there were a few happy ticks.

As is usual, the majority of the birds come in as the day ends, and it is
quite something to be out on the sandbanks at sunset as squadrons of terns
fly silently and low overhead, settling shoulder to shoulder, bickering
noisily in their thousands. I wouldn't be dead for quids.


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'  152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994

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