Sharp-tailed Sandpiper in SE Melbourne (Ricketts Point)

Subject: Sharp-tailed Sandpiper in SE Melbourne (Ricketts Point)
Date: Tue, 09 Sep 2003 22:25:07 +1000
Today there was a Sharpie feeding on the rocks and amongst
the seagrass at Ricketts Point, Beaumaris (on either side of
the Reserve Road drain). It was identified by Helen Vaughan
and myself, helped by some phone advice about diagnostics
from Clive Minton.

I took a dozen digibino pics of it (thanks all for the
advice about those cheap Pentax ones!).

This was an unusual sighting first because there is no
previous record that I know of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers in
the City of Bayside and second because the bird was
extremely confiding.  It allowed gentle approaches by people
to within about 10m and did not move much when dogs were
rushing around. It flew and walked without difficulty.

I guess it is the same bird that Jacqui Sheppard identified
there on 29 August as a probable Sharpie and the "snipe-like
bird" reported to me as being around (from?) some weeks
earlier.  Presumably a second-year bird which did not
migrate and found a nice feeding niche which has led
to it becoming habituated to human/canine activity.

Michael Norris
Hampton, Victoria  38° 56' S  145° 1' E

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