Where are the terns? SEQld

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Where are the terns? SEQld
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2007 10:30:55 +1000
Hi Everyone,

Yesterday I did a survey of the Noosa estuary on high tide, low tide and then an evening session waiting for terns to come to roost for the night. Whilst I haven't yet brought the data together, I assure you there was nothing of great interest to report, except............

where are the migratory terns?

Yesterday we saw not a single Little, Common or White-winged Black Tern in Noosa. On last month's Noosa survey we saw a small flock of Commons - maybe 20. A check of my database for our three-year Caloundra sandbanks project showed them all present at this time of year. The Noosa habitat is similar to Caloundra, is not far away, and so far has shown itself to be a significant site for migratory terns. It's got me perplexed.

Last week I was in northern NSW and saw small numbers of Commons and Littles. I haven't been to Caloundra in a while, and have no idea what is happening elsewhere in SEQld. Has anyone seen any Commons, Littles and White-winged Blacks around SEQld this season? If so, in what kinds of numbers?

And is there anyone lurking on the list, who knows anything about fish movement as it could pertain to terns? This is a glaring gap in my understanding of tern movements. I'm of the feeling that it's all about bait fish movements. (Yes, I know there are other variables, but I can't get past this fish business, because I shouldn't have let myself remain ignorant for so long.) No need to bore the list with this subject, so a private answer is probably best.

I wonder if La Nina has anything to do with it. Water temperatures. I wish my mind didn't ask so many questions all the time.



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