Inland Frigate-Birds and Mask Lapwing flocks.

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Subject: Inland Frigate-Birds and Mask Lapwing flocks.
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 10:51:29 +1100
Hi Birders,
The report by Bob Forsyth of a Lesser Frigate-bird at Mt Isa, being blown inland by storms/rain depressions on 17/01/03 is pretty remarkable but on 12/3/01 one was seen at Stephens Creek Reservoir, c 30 kms SE Broken Hill, in far west NSW, which was an even more a remarkable sighting see Black 2002 S.A. Ornith 33, 175-176. Sea-birds can be blown long distances inland during cyclones and tropical rain depressions. Red-tailed & White-tailed Tropic-birds are regularly blown inland onto the NSW Northern Tablelands and North-west Slopes at such times.
It is not uncommon for Masked Lapwings to gather in post breeding flocks which may stay together from January to June, possibly waiting good rains. These flocks usually range from 30-50 birds but looking at the last two NSW Annual Bird Reports I see that 82 were recorded at Jilliby (Central Coast) 18/4/00, 57 at Nericon Swamp, Griffith 18/8/01 & 439 at Fearnleys Lagoon Richmond on 16/5/01. This latter is the highest count that I have been aware of for many years. Looking back over the years I see that 238 at Gol Gol Lake near Mildura on 20/6/1984 and 250+ Penrith Lakes 31/5/91 were also pretty high numbers.
Alan Morris
Records Officer, Birding NSW
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