Re: RFI: Call of the Beach Stone-Curlew

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Re: RFI: Call of the Beach Stone-Curlew
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 12:00:07 +1000
g'day all'
I forwarded Jill Denning's enquiry to Lyn Battle a birdo and co-owner of the 
Sweers Island
Resort in the Gulf of Carpentaria, 30km north of Burketown, NW Qld.

Last year I had 3 of this species follow me down the beach as I sweated 
identifying the

Lyn's comprehensive reply is ....

Hi Bob -
Thanks for passing on Beach Curlew query -
Yes, they do call - I've often heard them "warn off" visitors to their patch of 
They will actually come across the rock platform to "chase" intruders - coming 
very close,
3-4 m and making a call like a clucky hen, almost, but longer "syllables" (?).
This would be at any time of the daylight hours.

At night, they fly from beach to beach across the island and call out with a 
pitched call like a whistling duck, almost (but we've seen them and it's 
definitely beach
curlew) - a rather mournful "aieee, aieee, aieee" - repeated quickly. This 
"voice" is a
bit more like the bush stone curlew except not the same call pattern.

There is a pair who live just down towards the fishtraps from the resort 
(McDonald Point)
and I regularly walk/run there and if it's early in the morning, they are often 
still "in
bed" as I go by, but emerge from the mangroves (which are way behind the beach 
dune) as I
return - one will run, calling, out over the rock platform, and appears to 
"call" the
others (there were 3 for 2 yrs - don't know if this was their juvenile).

Once, on that tiny patch of beach up the north end, where there is another 
resident pair -
one kept trying to "chase me off his beach" and I was (after a snorkel - it's a 
good spot
for fish-watching) - lying on the beach reading a book - eventually the bird 
accepted my
presence and lay down beside me! About 3m away! It was great!

Re: the mention of their calling being "tide-driven" - we have only one tide a 
day in the
Gulf so I don't think so - not here anyway.
Hope this is useful....."

Readers of BOCA's "The Bird Observer may remember reading in the June 2001 
edition Lyn's 2
page report of their tame (breeding) Bush Stone-Curlews. That report advised 
they had at
least 4 pair of Beach  S-c plus a dozen Bush S-c

Some of their Australian Bustards also wander at will around the resort 

Regards, Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.

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