Oriental Plover, Oriental Pratincole, Littlle Curlew all on one small pa

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Subject: Oriental Plover, Oriental Pratincole, Littlle Curlew all on one small patch in Edmontan TNQ at the same time
From: martin cachard <>
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2011 20:43:29 +1100
Happy Boxing Day to all... Myself & very good birding friend Adam Arnold, this 
morning had the pleasure of finding a single Oriental Plover at the local turf 
farm in Edmonton, approx 15kms south of Cairns. As far as turf farms go, this 
one is very small & probably only covers an area of about 15-20 acres, if that. 
We had gone there to have a look at the lone Oriental Pratincole discovered 
there on 24/12 by another local mate, Dom Chaplin. Sure enough as soon as we 
found our plover, we then noticed the prat very closeby. The prat took off 
twice, but after cicling the area each time, it then landed very near to where 
it was originally - & this was always very close to the lone plover. The plover 
did not fly at all in the 90 mins we were there, but we did check it for the 
very rare vagrant Caspian Plover, which it wasn't...  Only 50 mtrs from these 
two birds, we had just earlier seen the lone Little Curlew that had been 
hanging here for the last couple of weeks.  So that's 3 gre
 at records all at once at the one small site this morning....!! All 3 species 
are quite unommon visitors to the Cairns coastal plain - only one or 2 Little 
Curlews are reported up here & usually only every other year; Oriental 
Pratincoles would be considered very rare visitors here (I've only had one 
other personal record myself in the Cairns area some years ago of a single 
bird); Oriental Plovers used to be seen at the now closed (but much bigger) 
turf farm that was at Warners Rd a few kms away, but they were only ever 
semi-regular there & only in very small numbers. Today's discovery is I think 
probably the first at the new & much smaller farm, which has been operational 
for only 6 or 7 years, from memory. The plover used to be recorded more 
regularly to the south at Innisfail & even moreso towards Townsville, but 
around Cairns they have been very scarce of late. They can usually be more 
easily seen further north on Cape York Pen & at Cooktown airport & other 
airstrips on 
 the cape like Aurukun, Weipa, Coen, Iron Range, Musgrave, etc etc If anyone 
else has records up here around Cairns of Oriental Pratincole, or at the new 
turf farm of Oriental Plover, I will be very interested to hear of them. I have 
several average images of the prat & plover if anyone wants to see them, but 
they are all distant shots. Cheers for now, Martin Cachard, Cairns, 0428 782 808

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