Possible Wandering Tatler at Windang NSW

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Possible Wandering Tatler at Windang NSW
From: "Crispin Marsh" <>
Date: Tue, 17 Oct 2006 18:29:51 +1000
Dear Birders,
In the hope of seeing the grey plover reported yesterday on Birding-Aus I went 
to Windang on the NSW south coast (a few KM south of Wollongong) today. I did 
not see the plover but did note a tattler that may be a wandering.

I did get a very good and long look at the tattler (I only saw one but saw it a 
number of times). I noticed that it's white eyestripe did not go back beyond 
the eye and started to look more closely at it. The bill seemed to be all black 
(no yellowish base) and the nasal groove ( I saw it from about 4 m through a 
Swarowski 30* scope with the sun behind me) went further down the bill than I 
noticed on the grey tailed tattler I looked at carefully on Lord Howe Island a 
year ago (I estimate the groove was at least 10 times the length of the nasal 
opening itself and that the groove went down more than half the length of the 
bill). The primaries extended some way (difficult to be sure but probably 5 to 
10 mm) behind the tail when the bird was at rest. The white cupercillial 
stripes did not meet at the bill but were separated by 2 or 3 mm of dark grey 
feathers. All of the foregoing suggest that the bird may well be a wandering 
tattler rather than a grey tailed. HANZAB does indicate that WTs have been seen 
as far south as Windang.
On the other hand obviously the GTT is much more common and they are 
notoriously difficult to tell apart! The tattler also had soft spotting on the 
outer margins of the wings which might indicate it is a young bird which might 
also influence the identification.
Does anyone have any thoughts?

There were a bunch of other nice birds there including :-
Bar Tailed Godwit
Red Necked Stints (one with an orange tag)
4 Cormorant species
Sharp Tailed Sandpiper
Common Greenshank
Black Winged Stilt
Red Capped Dotterel
Double Banded Plover
Ruddy Turnstone.

Peter Marsh

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