Birds of an unusual feather, Cairns Esplanade

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Birds of an unusual feather, Cairns Esplanade
From: "Alan Gillanders" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:47:15 +1000
This morning on the Cairns Esplanade there were two birds which don't really 
belong there: a Little Curlew and a Sanderling.

They were with other birds roosting opposite the end of Charles Street. The 
Little Curlew kept to itself except for once chasing a Great Knot and was 
sleeping by itself long after the other birds had commenced feeding on the 
falling tide.

The Sanderling sat down in a group of five Curlew Sandpipers for a little while 
but was soon up and moving about. It tried to associate with a pair of 
Red-capped Plovers but they did not want to have anything to do with it. No 
outright aggression but just kept moving steadily away form it when feeding and 
quickly when directly approached by the Sanderling.

I was able to share this with some German tourists but they were not bird 
watchers. They had enough interest to know some of the German common names for 
the birds and politely correct my terrible pronunciation. I wish I had taken my 
camera with me as the Sanderling passed just in front of the Little Curlew with 
a Bar-tailed Godwit to one side and a Whimbrel in the background.

Also present were:-
Great Knot, about 10
Bar-tailed Godwit, about 7
Curlew Sandpiper, 5
Grey-tailed Tattler, 4
Red-capped Plover, 4
Whimbrel, 1
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, 1 [there was a group of about 15 closer to the 

Heard my first Koel for the season in Malanda this morning at about 0645.


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