My how Birding-aus has changed...we are getting a few updates from Chris, and a
few congrats from others, but I haven't seen any suggestion of how or why the
bird is where it is. When "the lapwing" was at Burren Junction, this list was
alive with theories, ranging from over-shooting, reverse migration to
conspiracies of jumping out of cargo boxes!
I think the story with the Forest Wag might be similar. At this time of year,
one would expect the bird to be flying north to their breeding grounds in
North-east China, Korea, Japan etc from their wintering grounds in SE
Asia....GENERALLY similar to a Grey-headed Lapwing.
Perhaps this bird has simply gone south instead of north and presumably flew
over the only suitable habitat along the way in the suitably-vegetated Top End
and then struck gold in the comfy confines of an un-natural, but quite
acceptable piece of habitat in suburban Alice Springs? Why would a bird like
this over-shoot on a southerly trajectory at this time of year? Yes we know
that Wagtails are long-distance migrants capable of long 'over-shoots' (noting
that this is not a Motacilla Wagtail mind you), but the time of year suggests
to me that it's a reverse migrant.
If this is the case, then the bird might remain site-faithful (or at least in
the area) for a while to come?
The lapwing was first reported on the 19th June (2006), but it could have been
there since May and was there as far as I can tell until at least the 19th
Just a theory...or rather, a series of theories / questions....something to get
a good discussion going anyway.
p.s. cracking bird...it was always my #1 target when searching for vagrants on
Christmas Island but Lisa Preston beat me to it!
p.p.s to the Albany pelagic to Alice twitcher mentioned on Chris' blog - I
remind you again John, 2012 has ended!! ;-)
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