Painted Snipe & Others, Ash Is.

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Painted Snipe & Others, Ash Is.
From: "Tom Wilson" <>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 21:06:41 +1100
I managed my trip north to try and see the Painted Snipe today, arriving at
the Snipe location at 7am, viewing the field from various locations until
about 9:30, and then a couple more quick looks at 11:30 and 12:30.  No sign
of any Snipe.  2 major factors that would have made them keep their heads
down (assuming that they're still in the field of course) - it was pretty
windy, certainly by midday, and a Swamp Harrier was making regular passes
over the fields.

Near the site I did see a pair of Horsfields Bronze Cuckoo mating (in the
small stand of trees between the road and the model aeroplane field).

One of my side trips was to Swan Lake - lots of Sharpies (plenty huddled
into the samphire beside and in some cases walking across Wagtail Way), a
few Red Necked Avocet mixed in with the Stilts, good views of White Fronted
Chats (at pole 22 on Wagtail Way), an Intermediate Egret with his breeding
plumes on and a Wedge Tailed Eagle came and stirred the ducks up a bit.

One pair of birds did cause me some confusion - they were clearly stints
based on size (they were close to some Sharp Tailed Sandpipers and were
noticeably smaller), but were much more golden hued around the head and back
than the Red Necked Stints that I had seen previously.  They had quite
heavily streaked crowns, a clean eyebrow, black/dark legs, quite a smudgy
breast marking but clean white bellies and the black bill was about the
length of the head from bill base to back of head.  I didn't see the birds
fly and when the eagle went past they nipped into the samphire and didn't
come out.  As I have never seen Red Necked with any sort of golden/browny
colour, I was thinking possibly a different sort of stint - have Long Toed
Stint been seen there before? They were feeding on the left side of Wagtail
Way when facing north at pole 22/23 if anyone wants to check them out.  I've
chalked them up as "stint sp" in my log.

Tom Wilson

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