Latham's Snipe at Pambalong NR

Subject: Latham's Snipe at Pambalong NR
From: Michael Todd <>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 23:55:35 +1100
Hello all,

Last weekend I assisted with the Hunter Bird Observers Club survey of Latham's Snipe in the lower Hunter Valley. At Pambalong we had about 15 counters and about 4 beaters. The maximum count was of 36 Latham's Snipe at Pambalong NR. Most of the other sites had smaller numbers, Irrawang Swamp (at Raymond Terrace) had 35 Snipe (although I understand Max Maddock counted about 70 about a month ago). Off the top of my head I think Newcastle Wetlands Reserve had about 10 snipe with lower numbers at a few other sites.

Pambalong NR (formerly Cedar Hill Swamp) was where I conducted a lot of my research on Latham's Snipe in 1997-98. That year we counted 475 Latham's Snipe in what I think was a record count. It was an unusual year with the water level in the swamp very low... parts of it dried out completely. The counts, conducted ever after by the HBOC, since then have been significantly lower with mid 30's in the last 2 years. Its also the site with I think the most Painted Snipe events in the Hunter with three that I'm aware of (the last one in 1999 I think).

Other interesting birds in the area during this year's survey were a grey Goshawk with a Common Ringtail Possum in its claws, Buff-banded Rail, Wandering Whistling-duck and Jacana.



Mick Todd
Toronto, NSW, Australia

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