two Wandering TattlerS at Long Reef, Sydney, NSW (was Sanderling...)

To: Tom and Mandy Wilson <>, birding-aus <>
Subject: two Wandering TattlerS at Long Reef, Sydney, NSW (was Sanderling...)
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Sat, 12 Mar 2011 16:45:12 -0800 (PST)
Hi Tom et al.,

Sorry for not posting this earlier. I was a bit hesitant because of the debate 
about Long Reef a few weeks ago.

When Raja and I were at Long Reef March 6 there were two Wandering Tattlers 
always together: 1 really typical non-breeding bird (the one discussed by Mark 
et al.) and another one which was still typical but not that striking (I 
believe it was the same two birds that Tun Pin posted a picture of a few weeks 
ago). Also February 27, I saw two candidates for Wandering Tattler - albeit a 
bit too far away to be certain about the not-so-striking one... Tom, did you 
see another candidate for Wandering Tattler today?
Sanderling: "pale about the shoulders" - Did it show that typical blackish 
carpal area?



Sunday, March 6 (“last week” =
Sunday, February 27)
5ish Australasian Gannets
all 4 cormorant species
2 Australian Pelicans 
3 White-faced Herons
approx. 10 Sooty Oystercatchers (last week 9)
only 4 Pacific Golden Plovers (last week 15+)
still 1 Double-banded Plover
2 Masked Lapwings
at least 6 Grey-tailed Tattlers [last week, I saw a total of 10 tattlers, most
likely 8 GTT + 2 WT]
still 2 Wandering Tattlers
approx. 10 Ruddy Turnstones (last week 20+)
approx. 50 Red-necked Stint (last week 150+)
2 Arctic Jaegers chasing Crested Terns (one pale adult, one dark second year
plus some of the usual land birds

1 Swamp Rat
1 Common Bluetongue
Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW

From: Tom and Mandy Wilson <>
To: birding-aus <>
Sent: Sunday, March 13, 2011 11:18 AM
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Possible Sanderling, Long Reef, Collaroy, Sydney

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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