Congo - NSW South Coast

Subject: Congo - NSW South Coast
From: "Paul Mahoney" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 11:28:19 +1100

Much as I hate to disagree with a person's identification when I have not seen the bird myself, there are some aspects of your identification of Sanderling with which I am uncomfortable.

I was watching a small group of Sanderling in a flock of Ringed Plovers yesterday. Because Sanderling are very pale (almost white) at this time of year, they look smaller than their measurements suggest. Despite being a little larger than Ringed Plovers on measurements, the Sanderlings looked of a size with the smaller, darker bird in the field. Additionally, it would be unusual to find Sanderlings associated with rocks - they are generally a bird of the beach and forage running in and out with the waves.

For your consideration.


Subject: [canberrabirds] Congo - NSW South Coast
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 10:35:28 +1100

I spent Saturday on the south coast of NSW at a little place called Congo
(near Moruya). Highlights were 3 Sanderling and what I think may be a
Ruddy Turnstone (maybe an immature or non-breeding bird after checking my
guides. Other possibility is a dirty Red Knot?). The bird at high tide
tried to sit among the resting godwits but wasnt allowed, so it eventually
sat close to the sanderling and plovers further up the beach.

Also present on the beach were the usual Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers (4
each), plus 24 Bar-tailed Godwits.

The Sanderling (identified by size, colour and behaviour) were sitting
quietly in the sand during high tide among the 8 or so Red-capped Plovers.
The Sanderling were slightly larger then the plovers (Red-necked Stints
are slightly smaller) and were generally greyish above and white below
with dark legs and a dark short bill. As the tide receded the Sanderling
and plovers foraged on the exposed rocks as well as the usual sand.

No sign of any Little Terns yet and the usual shoerbird breeding area had
no fencing this year!? People were walking through it and kite surfers
were laying there gear there. Can anyone tell me why the fencing wasnt up
or dont Little Terns or any other threatened birds breed at Congo anymore,
just Red-capped Plovers?

On the way home outside Broulee I saw a Square-tailed Kite fly over the
road while driving. Im about 90% sure as the squarish, almost forked, tail
was distinctive, despite getting only a brief look.
And at the Batemans Bay marina there was at least 1 Tree Martin among the
swallows. Eastern Curlew were seen at Batemans Bay and Moruya Heads.

I stopped briefly on the drive in at a picnic spot along the Deua River
(close to Deua National Park) where I heard Cicadabird, Eastern Whipbird
and Olive-backed Oriole.


Marnix Zwankhuizen
Ngunnawal  ACT

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