Orange flag sighting Lord Howe Island

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Subject: Orange flag sighting Lord Howe Island
From: "Penny Drake-Brockman" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2004 22:04:55 +1000
Dear banding and wader study birders,
During my visit to Lord Howe island 5-12 April, saw a Ruddy Turnstone on the grass beside the Airport runway on the island with an orange flag on its right tarsus, Thursday 8th April at about 11 am.
At high tide quite a few Turnstones, Double-banded and Golden Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits, and Whimbrels fed on any largish patch of mown grass. There were also some Wandering and Grey-tailed Tattlers, usually on the rocks around the coast.
Super place for a restful holiday and wonderful to see thousands, if not millions, of Providence Petrels wheeling and squealing around Mounts Gower and Lidgbird. And the Kermadecs and White-bellied Storm-petrels out near Ball's Pyramid - what a rock!  And the White Terns and Grey Ternlets in their hundreds, Red-tailed Tropicbirds and Masked Boobies, Black and Common Boobies you could almost walk up to and trip over, and of course the legendary Lord Howe Woodhen. Buff-banded Rails were everywhere, much more common than the woodhen, and one had to adjust to the strange noises in the woods - from the Lord Howe Currawong which would sometimes follow one through the dark green shade of the palm and banyan fig woods.
Unusual visitors were a lone sub-adult Silver Gull and a Swamp Harrier which was harassing the nesting Masked Boobies on Roach Island.
Ian Hutton showed us Little Shearwater burrows one evening, and pulled out both adults and a chick for inspection - a ball of thick grey fluff with a bright black eye and very sharp black bill at one end. He said breeding pairs are increasing in number.
Warm thanks to Phil Hansbro for getting a small party motivated so that we could get out on strictly birding pelagic trips instead of having to share a boat with fisherfolk. The captain did put out lines and caught King Fish, 2 of which were given to Phil for BBQ and did some of us for two evenings.
Finally the snorkling at Ned's Beach was super.
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