WA Birding Blog

To: <>, birding-aus threads <>
Subject: WA Birding Blog
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2011 12:30:25 +1100
G'day all
Well done John, & others involved, on the new WA Birding blog - some very 
interesting articles on some birds that us Easteners don't get to see as often 
as you guys do !!
I really enjoyed the Pectoral Sandpiper ID article, especially with your 
inclusion of a link to the ID discussion on the Feathers & Photos forum of a 
photographed dark individual... I am very glad that you highlighted this 
particular case in your blog ID notes ...
The NSW bird featured in Feathers & Photos that you have highlighted was 
initially ID'd as a Pectoral by nearly all having a go at it on the forum, 
including the observer/photographer. This perfectly illustrates how hard they 
can be for some & the need for better ID aids/info. 
Up here at Cairns Esplanade, from Sept-Nov, we get Sharp-tailed Sandpipers that 
look just like this individual. Many of these dark-breasted Sharpies are 
mistaken up here at this site for Pectorals, but whenever I've heard of a claim 
of a Pectoral here, upon inspection they have all been moulting post-breeding 
Sharpies, almost identical to this NSW bird photographed. 
This season there were at least 4 of these dark-breasted Sharpies at the 
Esplanade (they had me interested for a little while as they are difficult if 
not observed closeby, but when seen well, they were able to be correctly 
identified - photos I took left no doubt as to their ID). 
Personally, I feel that nearly every relatively recent record of Pectorals at 
this site in Cairns are indeed just moulting post-breeding Sharpies. I'm not 
saying here that it is impossible for a Pectoral to turn up on Cairns Esplanade 
- just that we need to be very very careful when claiming them here...
The ID notes in your blog (& it's reference to the informative Sharpie photo) 
can only help observers learn how to ID these 2 tricky species, that as you 
say, become easier with practice - unfortunately for observers up here, just 
getting the chance to see Pectorals for such practice is very very 
difficult...I have only had a couple of personal records of Pectorals up this 
way in 15 years & they've all been well inland. 
A good close look at your blog notes would be a great learning tool for 
observers in the absence of the birds themselves... I think everyone would 
agree that they are hard birds to ID correctly & your notes cover it very well, 
far better than any current Aust field guides in my opinion.
Keep the ID section in your WA blog coming with other great information...
I look forward to reading it in future - what a great region of Aust your part 
of the world is !!
Martin Cachard

> From: 
> To: ; 
> Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2011 16:19:20 +0800
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] WA Birding Blog
> Hi again,
> A few of us have been working on putting together a blog on birding in WA, 
> which we hope to build into a useful source of information on birds and 
> birding in Western Australia (some content will also be relevant and 
> hopefully of interest to birders in other parts of the country!). For those 
> interested, the blog (with our first few articles) can be accessed at 
> Comments, queries, suggestions etc. are all welcome - you can get in touch 
> with us at 
> Cheers,
> John
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