Mason Park, Strathfield

To: "Birding Australia" <>
Subject: Mason Park, Strathfield
From: "Tom Wilson" <>
Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 16:18:19 +1000
Hi all
I took advantage of an hour or so while one of my kids was at a birthday
party in the area to pay a quick visit to Mason Park, Strathfield, Sydney
yesterday (Sat 23 October).  The wetland was pretty full - certainly more
water than I had seen for quite some time, thanks to last week's Sydney
rains I guess.

Highlights were 8 Red Necked Avocets and a good number of Sharp Tailed
Sandpipers - about 150 I suspect, but apart from 1 big huddle in the middle
of the water (about 70 birds) and a small feeding group of 15 at the
southern end, the rest were dotted about resting in the samphire.  This made
sifting out any unusual looking birds a bit harder - there was only one bird
that really caught my eye, mostly because the base of the bill was very pale
(almost horn coloured) and the breast markings extended further down the
breast and was quite heavily marked, which had me thinking Pectoral
Sandpiper.  I couldn't get a size comparison easily as the bird was about 4
feet away from the next Sharpie.  However, just as I was manoeuvring my
scope into a slightly better position to see more breast, legs etc, so did
the bird - behind a big clump of samphire -  so that all I could see was the
head and bill which didn't help much! Another one to put in the "I'll never
know for sure" pile.

No Curlew Sandpipers as far as I could see and only 2 Golden Plover, also
well hunkered down in the samphire (which means there were probably more).

On my way home I swung quickly past the main (ornamental) lake at
Bicentennial Park, which is also very full.  The two peripheral grassy
wetlands next to the road also had water in them.  I was surprised to see 4
Cattle Egrets on the island, but otherwise nothing unusual seen in the 10
minutes I had available.

Tom Wilson

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