White-rumped Sandpiper update

To: "'Rohan Clarke'" <>, <>
Subject: White-rumped Sandpiper update
From: "Tony Russell" <>
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 2015 08:29:56 +1030
Aha, thank you Rohan, at last some good directions on where to look.


-----Original Message-----
From: Birding-Aus  On Behalf Of
Rohan Clarke
Sent: Saturday, 10 January 2015 9:02 PM
Subject: White-rumped Sandpiper update

Hi All,
There's been just three emails to birding-aus to date about the White-rumped
Sandpiper found by Nigel and Carla Jackett at Shoalhaven Heads, NSW on
Monday here on birding-aus so here's a quick summary if you are interested
in following it up.

It was found at a high tide roost best accessed from Shoalhaven Heads on the
Monday. It's an impressive find - the first twitchable one in Australia for
at least 20 years. Remarkably, before the dust had even settled (and before
anyone had twitched it??), what is presumably the same bird was refound 9.5
km south (as the sandpiper flies) on the shoreline of Wollumboula Lake early
the next morning. The bird was well twitched on Tuesday (but disappeared at
times), was not seen on Wednesday as far as I know despite a few people
looking, was seen again and well twitched by many on Thursday, Friday and
today. At times it dissapears to places unknown but for the main part is
happily feeding on the shoreline of the lake directly behind the ocean beach
or roosting with stints and other shorebirds in and around the fenced off
Little Tern colony.

To access the site drive to the township of Culburra Beach (via Nowra). 
The main road into town is called the 'The Lake Circuit'. About halfway
through town, to stay on this named road, you need to turn right (sounds odd
but on checking a map it will make sense). Drive to the end of the 'The Lake
Circuit' rd and there is a small carpark, picnic area and playground. Take
the steps down to the lake (not the path that leads more directly to the
beach), then walk south along the edge of the lake at the back of the beach.
>From the carpark it's about 450 m to the point were the bird has mostly been
feeding - pretty much in line with the fenced off Little Tern colony.

It has been remarkably settled, but like any shorebird doesn't like people
walking at it. In contrast birders that have sat quietly and patiently and
let the bird come to them have been rewarded with approaches down to 2-3 m.
There is something very satisfying about watching a mega shorebird slowly
foraging to within a couple of meters of you, pulling tiny marine worms from
the sand as it goes, and for it then to wander off again seemingly
completely unfazed by the interaction!

The spit is an impressive birding site even without the White-rumped
Good numbers of Little Terns (be mindful that they are breeding but the
fencing, signage etc should make that clear) , a handful of Fairy Terns,
White-winged Black Tern, Red and Great Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, Lesser Sand
Plover and plenty of Red-necked Stint and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers are just
some of the other birds that people are connecting with.

A few of my pics are here.


Rohan Clarke

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