Waders at Mount Isa

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Waders at Mount Isa
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2004 19:26:13 +1000
G'day all,
I ventured out yesterday (with 1/4 repaired broken ribs & the 2nd lot in 2 months) to visit one of the western bays of Mount Isa.
With me was enthusiastic new birdwatcher and arrival from NZ Helen Morgan.
We entered via a normally closed open gate. But when we left, 6 hours later it was both closed and locked !
But we were lucky when I found a very old disused track thru the spinifex to exit via another gate to the north.
Birdwatching can be very stressful !!
Of the 60 species recorded the highlight was a single Orange tagged Curlew Sandpiper.
This was my 1st sighting of a flagged bird in this area ... but where had it been flagged ?
The AWSG web page has a page
The bird was tagged in Victoria. So I presume the bird had returned to its breeding grounds, and now on its way back to Victoria.
We saw -
- 5 actively feeding Black-tailed Godwits - an uncommon bird in this area
- upwards of 100 Black Swans with one pair shepherding 6 Cygnets through the 1000s of Eurasion Coots.
- plenty of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers,
- half  a dozen Marsh Sandpipers,
- one Red-necked Avocet. (I usually see them in pairs)
Caspian, Gull-billed and Whiskered Terns were resting together with some Silver Gulls --giving us an ideal opportunity to note their size and plumage differences. We noted the bill/beak of a Gull-billed Tern was unlike that of a 30cm away Silver Gull.
Question 1 What type of Gull then is it named after ?
Around the edges of the bay were about 10 dead Pelicans. A few more than normal.
Question 2 Would this be a result of old age ? They have to die sometime.
On the land the most noteworthy was
- one (or maybe 2) Oriental Plover
- several Australian Pratincole
- a dozen Red-capped Plover
Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
- Birding places around Mount Isa,
- Quick Indexes to the Field Guides
- a few ID Tables
- etc.
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