Possible Sanderling, Long Reef, Collaroy, Sydney

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Possible Sanderling, Long Reef, Collaroy, Sydney
From: "Tom and Mandy Wilson" <>
Date: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 11:18:36 +1100
Hi All
very much on the spur of the moment when I saw what a great morning it was, I took a quick trip to Long Reef this morning, where I spent my time observing birds on the south (Dee Why) side of the reef.

The Wandering Tattler was present in its favoured spot in the jumbled rocks on the south side of the platform, and I saw it catch at least 2 small crabs. Other birds seen were plenty of Ruddy Turnstones (I counted 20+), including 15 in one group, 6 Golden Plover, 10 Sooty Oystercatchers and 3 Double Banded Dotterel, 3 Grey Tailed Tattlers and about 40 Red Necked Stints. Plus the usual collection of Terns, Silver Gulls, Cormorants and Ravens. Not much offshore (although the bright early sun made seawards observations tricky) - a few Wedge tailed and Fluttering-type Shearwaters and one far off Jaeger.

The coloured up Red Necked Stints that Mark Young reported have either moved on or I didn't see them this morning, as all the birds I saw were grey (but I spent no time on the north side or at the end of the reef). However, moving between these and the Turnstones was a larger, pale grey bird, which was a much paler overall grey than the Stints and notably pale about the head and shoulders. It showed no black rump and a broad white wing bar in flight. It was a bit smaller than the Turnstones but bigger than the Stints, so I think it was a Sanderling. However, there were two paragliders up on the top and every time one came round the edge the birds took flight and on one of these occasions the whole flock shifted into the rocky area and I didn't see this bird again, so I'd just put it down as a possible but worth looking for? Not sure if they'd be inclined to hang around at Long Reef as it doesn't seem to be typical habitat or if it would find a nice beach so it can run up and down with waves!

Tom Wilson

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