White-throated Nightjars on migration in Cairns

To: Mike Carter <>, martin cachard <>, birding-aus threads <>
Subject: White-throated Nightjars on migration in Cairns
From: David James <>
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2011 01:20:56 -0700 (PDT)
Hi  Martin and Mike,
Observations of diurnal migration in WTNJ do not necessarily preclude nocturnal 
migration as well. When I was in Townsville migrating nightjars would sometimes 
turn up in unusual or unexpected day roosts. The huge railway workshop sheds at 
Stuart was one "regular" location. I flushed 1 from my chicken coup in a 
suburban backyard one morning.  Whilst I can't prove it, it seemed like they 
were arriving at these locations during the night to roost by day, before 
moving on. It appears that they are only passage migrants around Townsville 
(and I think the entire NQ coastal lowlands), though I never recorded them in 
migration flight, day or night. WTNJ should be back in SE Aust  in numbers by 

David James, 


From: Mike Carter <>
To: martin cachard <>; birding-aus threads 
Sent: Saturday, 22 October 2011 4:23 PM
Subject: White-throated Nightjars on migration in Cairns

Very interesting as this sighting would possibly be nocturnal migration. In
Carter, M., & Bright, B. (2011), 'White-throated Nightjar: Diurnal Over-sea 
Migration in a Nocturnal Bird' Australian Field Ornithology, 28; 32-37, 
published in March this year we presented evidence for diurnal migration in 
this species.
I suppose your birds could have just been arriving at their destination or 
continuing their journey.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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