Caloundra sandbanks, 30-1-03

To: birding-aus <>, Clive Allen <>, Barbara Dickson <>, Jill Harbison <>, Judy Coles <>, <>, Darcelle Hegarty <>, <>, <>
Subject: Caloundra sandbanks, 30-1-03
From: jilldening <>
Date: Sat, 01 Feb 2003 13:41:13 +1000
Hi Everyone,

Below is the list of birds seen on the Caloundra sandbanks on Thursday,
30-1-03. Terns totalled just under 40,000, which is consistent with last
year's peak, but a little earlier. We watch with interest to see what
happens during February. On Thursday night, birds started streaming into the
Passage from the sea around 5pm, and the stream continued breathtakingly
until last light at 7.25pm. I struggled to count the birds flying in at the
extreme of my viewing field, and am certain that I missed birds - perhaps a
lot. It was interesting to pit different binocular brands against each
other, which we did unintentionally. I was seeing birds at a great distance
through my Leicas, and the others were frustrated that they, with their
binos, could not pick up the far birds at all. I was saved from scepticism
by one of the team locating my count point through the scope, and verifying
that terns were indeed streaming in way out the back. The team ended the
evening with fish'n'chips and a couple of bottles of wine on the boardwalk
overlooking the Passage lights.

Life is pretty good.

This morning the Caloundra Coastguard kindly took me out to sea to watch
terns feeding (something hitherto missing from my experience). It was
interesting that I really saw very few terns, just a few hundred, maybe a
thousand, but those I saw were fishing in mixed flocks of White-wings,
Littles, Commons and Cresteds, with the odd gull. No serious numbers of
terns were roosting on the sandbanks at that stage of a high tide, so they
must have been a long way out to sea.

One moment of joy was my first sighting of the season of three newly-fledged
Crested Terns in a flock of around 150. (Bob, you might find them
interesting to photograph.)

Below are Thursday's birds.



Common_Name    SumOfNumber_Seen
Caspian Tern    1
Common Tern    16776
Crested Tern    46
Gull-billed Tern    4
Little Tern    1249
White-winged Tern    1460
Tern spp    1
Silver Gull    581
Terns unidentified    20310
Eastern Curlew    49
Whimbrel    12
Bar-tailed Godwit    139
Curlew Sandpiper    59
Terek Sandpiper    1
Red-necked Stint    24
Greater Sand Plover    40
Red-capped Plover    42
Pacific Golden Plover    180
Pied Oystercatcher    2
Australian Pelican    26
Little Pied Cormorant    4
Pied Cormorant    35
Little Black Cormorant    6
Whistling Kite    1
Brahminy Kite    1
Total    41049
Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'     152º 56'
Ph (07) 5494 0994

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

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