Re: Post mortem Noosa shorebird survey Thursday, Sept 9, 2010 South-ea

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Re: Post mortem Noosa shorebird survey Thursday, Sept 9, 2010 South-east Queensland
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Sun, 12 Sep 2010 11:14:02 +1000
Hi Everyone,

Below is an informal report which I write to a range of people, particularly council staff, every month after our Noosa shorebird surveys. The purpose of the email is to keep council staff conversant with their estuary, so that when issues arise, they will be able to fit those issues within a local context. Every so often I forward one of these reports to birding-aus, for those with an interest in shorebirds and terns. Photos have been removed.



On 10/09/2010 2:48 PM, Jill Dening wrote:
Hi Everyone,

Our September survey was such a pleasure, without any particularly unusual sightings. It was a very high tide; the weather was superb in the morning (wind came up later), the water was crystal clear. We were such a happy team: Barb Dickson, Josh Walton, Kane Ransome and myself, all doing what we love to do. The tidal range was so high that we almost got into trouble on the dropping tide, which quickly disappeared under our anchored boat, and tested all our combined strength to refloat ourselves. I have to hand it to my shoulder surgeon: he did a good job, as yesterday demonstrated.

A few migrant shorebirds have begun to return, and we reconfirmed that the Hooded Plover and all of the Double-banded Plovers have definitely left. (A few Double-banded Plovers are still present at the Gold Coast and Inskip Point.) Some Crested Terns are showing breeding plumage, and are beginning to display courtship. We had a very young begging Caspian Tern with adult on the high tide roost, causing me to ponder where this juvenile bird may have been born. As far as I know, all the coastal breeding takes place in the spring, but offshore (Cap bunker, Swain reefs, etc) there is winter breeding, so perhaps it came in from one of those far offshore places. Same story with a very young Silver Gull; offshore island, or perhaps inland? The recent astonishing breeding event of Banded Stilts (200,000 chicks) in inland South Australia would also have attracted breeding gulls. The gulls are known to feed their chicks on the chicks of the Banded Stilts. I can speculate, but it doesn't answer my question.

During our mid-tide break we took two NICA people, Joan Heavey and Stephanie Haslem, across to the sand island where the Beach Stone-Curlews live and attempt to breed. We showed them the weed infestation which I mentioned in my last report, and they regarded it as a very easy weeding job. If their plans go ahead, by next survey the infestation will have been cleared away. Thank you to their team in advance, as I shan't be around during October to thank them.

The resident Pied Oystercatchers don't have a chick running after them, which would have been the case had their August incubation been successful. Another failure. We found a pair of Red-capped Plovers displaying breeding distraction behaviour on the sand island, but couldn't find a nest.

We saw numerous examples of driving on the north spit. Roosting birds were sitting in the tyre tracks of vehicles which had been through earlier. We watched from afar as vehicles drove down the spit. The man paddling with his three big dogs last month was again out there exercising them, with birds roosting in the same area. You can see how much he and the dogs enjoy their fun in the sun, but it isn't fair to the birds.

At the end of the day our spirits were lifted by the courage of a Pacific Black Duck as it transported its hatchlings across the busy navigation channel to Munna Point. The duck was swimming low in the water with neck stretched forward to elongate its body, and ten ducklings were sitting along the back of the bird, just above the waterline. This was indeed a hazardous journey, during which the family was harassed by predatory gulls and a Brahminy Kite, all looking for an easy meal.

There were no migratory terns present during the evening tern survey, or none that we saw. Crested Terns flew in as usual at sunset. During the day we saw a lone immature Common Tern on one of the jetty pillars along the river.

Numbers are below. I'm rushing to finish this, so please let me know if anything is left off or doesn't make sense. Happy weekend to all,


Survey_Date Tide_Position Species_Id Common_Name Sum Of Number_Seen TOTALS
09-Sep-10 1 1 Caspian Tern 4

09-Sep-10 1 3 Crested Tern 350

09-Sep-10 1 8 Silver Gull 26

09-Sep-10 1 10 Eastern Curlew 1

09-Sep-10 1 11 Whimbrel 28

09-Sep-10 1 12 Bar-tailed Godwit 26

09-Sep-10 1 17 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 1

09-Sep-10 1 21 Red-necked Stint 10

09-Sep-10 1 22 Grey-tailed Tattler 1

09-Sep-10 1 24 Masked Lapwing 1

09-Sep-10 1 27 Red-capped Plover 20

09-Sep-10 1 29 Pacific Golden Plover 14

09-Sep-10 1 31 Pied Oystercatcher 2

09-Sep-10 1 38 Pied Cormorant 9

09-Sep-10 1 40 Little Black Cormorant 100

09-Sep-10 1 44 Egret spp (Little) 15

09-Sep-10 1 45 Ibis spp 1

09-Sep-10 1 48 Whistling Kite 1

09-Sep-10 1 49 Brahminy Kite 1

09-Sep-10 1 50 Osprey 1

09-Sep-10 1 51 White-bellied Sea-Eagle 1

09-Sep-10 1 55 Sacred Kingfisher 1

09-Sep-10 1 57 Pacific Black Duck 1

09-Sep-10 HIGH 1 58 Beach Stone-Curlew 2 617 High
09-Sep-10 3 3 Crested Tern 560

09-Sep-10 3 8 Silver Gull 18

09-Sep-10 3 10 Eastern Curlew 3

09-Sep-10 3 11 Whimbrel 16

09-Sep-10 3 12 Bar-tailed Godwit 27

09-Sep-10 3 17 Sharp-tailed Sandpiper 1

09-Sep-10 3 21 Red-necked Stint 9

09-Sep-10 3 22 Grey-tailed Tattler 1

09-Sep-10 3 27 Red-capped Plover 25

09-Sep-10 3 29 Pacific Golden Plover 11

09-Sep-10 3 36 Australian Pelican 2

09-Sep-10 3 38 Pied Cormorant 32

09-Sep-10 3 40 Little Black Cormorant 27

09-Sep-10 3 44 Egret spp (Little) 1

09-Sep-10 3 48 Whistling Kite 1

09-Sep-10 3 51 White-bellied Sea-Eagle 1

09-Sep-10 3 57 Pacific Black Duck 13

09-Sep-10 LOW 3 58 Beach Stone-Curlew 2 750 Low
09-Sep-10 5 3 Crested Tern 1835 1835 Evening

Jill Dening
PO Box 362
10 Piat Place
Beerwah Qld 4519
(All mail to PO box please)
26° 51' 41"S	152° 56' 00"E
07 5494 0994
0419 714405

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