Where are our overwintering waders?

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Where are our overwintering waders?
From: jilldening <>
Date: Sun, 06 Jul 2003 13:40:56 +1000
Hi Everyone,

A couple of weeks ago I sent out an email to a local list, asking for
responses to my question, which is the subject of this thread. The silence
was deafening. Either no one had an opinion or no one read it. So now I ask
the same question to this broader audience.

Our overwintering waders in Caloundra, SEQld are missing.

We have the usual Pacific Golden Plovers, the Double-banded Plovers, and the
Red-capped Plovers (the latter being year-round residents). Interesting that
they are all plovers, which feed at the surface.

But we are down to almost zero on Eastern Curlew, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed
Godwit, no Great Knot, and all the others which make up our overwintering
population. We had a short period of dredging recently in Caloundra, and I
wondered if the resulting turbidity had perhaps affected the intertidal
feeding banks. Has there been a collapse of benthic fauna? There are still
plenty of soldier crabs.

One exception to the silence: further south in the Pumicestone Passage,
Trevor Ford reported that he had not seen any migratory waders of some
species at all during June. I asked a group outing to the Toorbul roost to
do a count last week, and what they reported didn't look healthy, although
at least they had some waders.

I had understood that the last breeding season in the Arctic was a
successful one.

Does anyone around the country have any opinion about their local
overwintering wader population? Brisbane people? Are the numbers normal? Or
is it just here in the Pumicestone Passage?


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

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