I have been visiting Harrington at approximately monthly intervals for the
past 4 years, and doing a survey for waders while I am up there. I also go
to the southern mouth of the Manning River, near Old Bar, which generally
has more waders present (more species, in greater numbers). Harrington has
suffered a bit due to a severe storm last June, which removed a sandspit
(where waders roosted and Little Terns bred) and relocated a sandbank in the
middle of the river, where many waders, gulls & terns, cormorants, pelicans
etc roosted. A new sandbank has formed closer to the start of the breakwater
and waders have begun using it in the past few months.
In the 4 years of regular visits, I have only seen Red-necked Avocets twice
at Harrington. Three birds in May 2008, which flew through without
stopping, and a single bird feeding there in September 2011. I have never
found any Black-winged Stilts. Both species are often present in large
numbers in the Hunter Estuary (Newcastle) which is only 150km or so away.
It is very interesting that Tom found 30 or so Avocet on his visit. I look
forward to seeing if they are still around when I go up there in a week or
so's time for my next survey.
There are often some Sanderling in the Manning Estuary in summer - 10-20
birds and occasionally in slightly greater numbers. I think the highest ever
count is 40 or so of them. Mainly I find these around at the Old Bar side,
and they also used to roost in the sandspit that disappeared. Have also
sometimes seen them on the sandbank that disappeared. It's quite
conceivable that there could have been some of them present when Tom
On corvids - Forest Raven is by far the most common of those at Harrington.
But around at Old Bar, it's Torresian Crows and Australian Ravens. I'm very
sure of the ID at Old Bar as I have inspected the carcasses of birds culled
to protect the Little Tern colony there.
On Behalf Of Perkins,
Sent: Thursday, 19 January 2012 2:36 PM
Subject: Trip Report - NSW Mid-North Coast 7 - 14 January
2012 (Longish) [SEC=UNOFFICIAL]
Hi Tom, Greg,
Agreed, a good and interesting report.
I've been to Harrington about six times or so for holidays over the
years. Have never seen avocets there and it certainly struck me as
unusual when I read of them in your report.
Re Sanderlings, I have seen a single bird on one occasion only (about 18
months ago I think - would need to check at home). First seen on the
ocean beach about 1 km NE of the ocean end of the rock wall; later
(following day?) seen on the sand bars in the estuary and assumed to be
the same bird.
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2012 10:32:58 +1100
From: "Greg & Val Clancy" <>
To: "Tom and Mandy Wilson" <>,
Subject: Trip Report - NSW Mid-North Coast 7 - 14
January 2012 (Longish)
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
An interesting trip report. The raven was almost certainly a Forest
as they are found all along the coast from Myall Lakes to just north of
Coffs Harbour. They are usually within 1 km of the coastline and often
interact with the more abundant Torresian Crows, which seem to harass
often. The short tail is interesting because although the southern
populations (Tas & Vic) have a relatively short tail North Coast NSW
tails appear quite long to me, certainly relatively longer than the
Torresian Crow's. Fairy Terns are not usually found on the NSW North
so your birds at Port Macquarie were probably Little Terns. Sanderlings
uncommon on the north coast with small numbers (1-2) at Station Creek, N
Red Rock with larger numbers in the Richmond Estuary (Ballina). I am
sure of their status in the Harrington area but I have never seen them
there. I would also think that the Avocets would be extremely rare at
site. I am not aware of any previous records at that site (?Alan
this is a good sighting.
Dr Greg. P. Clancy
Ecologist and Wildlife Guide