Gull-billed Terns in Caloundra, SEQ

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Gull-billed Terns in Caloundra, SEQ
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Sat, 24 Sep 2011 14:11:10 +1000
Trevor Ford has pointed out that my posting below was ambiguous.

All the gullbills and cresteds arrived from the immediate south, because the wind was northerly. However, they hadn't spent the day together. The gullbills spend their days within the passage, whilst the cresteds mainly go out to sea. So the gullbills flew north along the passage to the roost, whilst the cresteds flew in from the sea, crossed over Bribie Island and then turned north so they could land into the wind at the roost.

Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S  152° 56' 00"E

On 24/09/2011 8:27 AM, Jill Dening wrote:
Hi All,

Yesterday I went paddling in Caloundra with Barb Dickson, with the
objective of nailing all the birds on a full tide. We started at 4pm and
started paddling back just after sunset before 6pm. We did get a
surprise - a large number of Gull-billed Terns. Unfortunately we had no
lights and had to paddle back in the last light of the day, whilst
Crested Terns were still arriving from the sea.

Below is the list of all birds seen. We were trying to assess the
Crested Tern population at present, having seen more than 1000 on the
Maroochy sandbanks at 10am on Thursday, suggesting there would be more
in the evening there. In Caloundra we counted 300 birds arriving, but
there would have been more by the time they had all arrived.

Gull-billed Terns arrived from south in the passage, as did the Crested
Terns. All birds arrived from south to their roost because the wind was
a nor-nor-easterly. However, the Cresteds were arriving from the sea,
and the Gullbills were arriving from further down the passage (which
roughly lies north-south, and is 30km long). The Gullbills arrived in
smallish groups of 5-40 over a couple of hours until they totalled 247.
This is a very large number for our region. They were in all kinds of
plumages. If we had been working from the shoreline, we would have had
little hope of picking them out, but as we were near their roost, we saw
it all. I just wonder if we have missed this in past years, or if this
is truly unusual. We have never stayed on the water so late before.

Survey_Date Location_Name Common_Name Sum Of Number_Seen
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Australian Pelican 10
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Bar-tailed Godwit 31
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Caspian Tern 3
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Crested Tern 300
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Curlew Sandpiper 24
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Eastern Curlew 38
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Little Egret 1
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Gull-billed Tern 247
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 White Ibis 54
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Little Black Cormorant 20
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Osprey 1
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Pacific Golden Plover 3
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Pied Cormorant 3
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Pied Oystercatcher 1
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Silver Gull 65
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Whiskered Tern 2 (in breeding plumage)
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Whimbrel 107
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 Whistling Kite 1
23-Sep-11 Sandbank 1 White-faced Heron 2 913



To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU