Caloundra sandbanks, SEQld, 11/4/02

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Caloundra sandbanks, SEQld, 11/4/02
From: jilldening <>
Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 12:49:54 +1100
Hello Everyone,

Last week's sandbanks survey produced quite a change in flock composition
and size. For a start we only had a total of 2723 birds for the day,
including tern totals of 2066. On the corresponding day last year we had
around 1800 birds, and so the drop off in numbers was expected. Last year
the decline in numbers was gentler in the preceding weeks.  This year on the
previous week (4/4/02) we still had 30,000 birds, and so this year's is a
sharper decline.

Of the terns present on 11/4/02, the majority was Little Tern at 1206; 500
White-winged Blacks and 280 Commons. During this autumn migration we have
picked out 32 Little Terns with multiple flags which were flagged in NSW or
Victoria. These are from the threatened breeding population. Some of the
feedback indicates up to 19 sightings of individual multi-flagged birds,
spaced over several years. We have seen two birds both this season and last
season. This year we have established that some birds stay in or around the
Caloundra area for some time after leaving the southern breeding grounds. A
picture is building up. We still want to know where the birds go after they
leave here, in order to ensure habitat protection at other locations.  I
have been heartened by the positive response of authorities to our project,
indicating a likely commitment to specific and focused management of the
area in the future. There is not much disturbance at the moment, except in
school holidays, but in the future this region will have a massive
population increase. That's why we are collecting baseline information.

Birders on the Queensland coast could keep watch for passing Little Terns
with multi-flagging. Most of them are now in non-breeding plumage. Take
careful note of plumage, the sequence of flags and which colours are on
which legs. We had 9 last week, so they are certainly about at present.



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

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