Bribie Island notes - October 1st 2011

Subject: Bribie Island notes - October 1st 2011
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Sat, 01 Oct 2011 21:51:34 +1000

An amazing sighting for the Sunshine Coast!

If I hadn't been in South-west Queensland recently, I would have thought you'd been on the turps this evening. Well, maybe you were, but your sighting follows what I saw at the Wilson River at Noccundra in late August. There were herons everywhere - White-necked, Nankeen Night Herons, and Darters by the bucketload. Cormorants, Pelicans, they were all there in hundreds and thousands. And a lot of them were immatures. They were catching fish like crazy. The weather has warmed up quite a lot since then, or maybe the abundant fish supply has dropped off and caused them to migrate coastwards. I'm sure Noccundra wasn't the only place hosting such large gatherings of water birds. And as it dries up out west, the birds will be looking for fresh pastures.



Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S  152° 56' 00"E

On 1/10/2011 9:00 PM, Trevor Ford wrote:

A few notes on recent sightings on Bribie Island, some 50 km north of
Brisbane, Qld.

Today, October 1st, I was driving towards the Kakadu Beach shorebird
roost when I noticed a distant flock of birds over the road ahead. They
were circling, so unlikely to be the Topknot Pigeons that Bribie has
been hosting recently. I drove quickly towards them and, as I got
closer, thought they were going to turn out to be Little Black
Cormorants - but when I hopped out of the car for a better look I
realised that they were Australasian Darters, all 85 of them! It was an
amazing sight, watching them circling overhead; I don't think that I've
ever seen more than four together on Bribie Island previously. There
were very strong westerly winds blowing all morning - could this have
been responsible for the influx? Any other recent reports of such
numbers from coastal SEQ?

Buckley's Hole later held 16 Australasian Darters, by far the most I've
heard of occurring there together. In the past few days at Buckley's
Hole there have been 14 Nankeen Night Herons (all present in the same
tree yesterday), 4 White-necked Herons, a Latham's Snipe, 2 Comb-crested
Jacanas, 9 Wandering Whistling Ducks, etc., etc. Further to the recent
postings on egret identification, there are currently 5-10 individuals
each of Little, Intermediate and Great Egrets, often next to each other
and affording great comparison opportunities. The free comparison sheet
of egrets and cormorants, featuring photographs taken by Bob Inglis,
could prove useful.

There are now plenty of shorebirds roosting at Kakadu Beach but no sign
today or yesterday of the Broad-billed Sandpiper of a week or so ago.
There are, however, at least 28 Red Knots, with several in breeding
plumage, as are several of the 100+ Great Knots. Of the 1500+ Bar-tailed
Godwits, several were immature birds (probably 10+ but difficult to
count accurately when they're huddled together in gale-force winds and
braving the resultant sand storm). I understand that this is quite an
early date for immature godwits to appear here.

Cheers - Trevor Ford.

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