Waders coming - Warden leaving

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: Waders coming - Warden leaving
From: "Ricki Coughlan" <>
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 19:10:34 +0800
G'day all from the Broome Bird Observatory
Many of you will no doubt be aware that I am about to move on from my position as Warden at the Observatory (September 26). What a fantastic year it has been amid the splendour of Roebuck Bay and its immense multitudes of migratory waders. Not to be forgotten is the amazing bird, animal, plant and insect life of the region which has enthralled me since I arrived last September.
As I plan to depart, I have noted that a number of people are mentioning on Birding-Aus that they are running weblogs on birds and birding. I thought therefore, that some of you might like to drop into my blog which has been running since last December online. "Words, Birds n Buldust" can be found at Because words can never really convey what an incredible place Roebuck Bay is, the blog is liberally scattered with many images for you to enjoy.
I'll shortly be travelling back to the east coast across the top of the Kimberley, Northern Territory, Gulf Country and down through outback Qld and NSW: destination Sydney. There are, therefore, many more birdie adventures ahead. I don't know how I'll handle Sydney, but I know that you'll enjoy my blog and my continuing adventures across the top in coming weeks.
Before I sign off, a quick report on the returning wader situation in these parts:
Numbers of all species are increasing every day and it is now not at all unusual to find roosting flocks of 8,000 or more waders at several sites along the bay. Although many have returned, there are still substantial amounts yet to show up.
We are currently seeing plenty of Grey Plovers returning in up to 90% breeding plumage and the odd Pacific Golden Plover in 90% plus breeding plumage as well.
The large, and growing, numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits, Black-tailed Godwits, Great Knots, Red Knots, Grey-tailed Tattlers, Eastern Curlews, Whimbrels, Terek Sandpipers, Curlew Sandpipers (numbers definitely up on last year), Red-necked Stints, Common Greenshank, Ruddy Turnstones and Greater Sand Plovers have been joined by excellent numbers of Broad-billed Sandpipers, a scattering of Asian Dowitchers and Lesser Sand Plovers and at least one Common Redshank which is regularly sighted consorting with a flock of Common Greenshank.
Out on the fresh water, there are many Wood Sandpipers, Marsh Sandpipers and a scattering of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (many in very nice breeding plumage). We are also seeing a number of Long-toed Stints at a couple of locations.
Hope to catch you in cyberspace soon. Meanwhile . . .
Happy birding
Ricki Coughlan
Broome  WA . . . for a little bit longer
"In my hand I held the most remarkable of all living things, a creature of astounding abilities that elude our understanding, of extraordinary, even bizarre senses, of stamina and endurance far supassing anything else in the animal world. I held that truly awesome enigma, a bird." - Fisher
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