Wader numbers

Subject: Wader numbers
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Tue, 24 Mar 1998 15:42:54 +1100 (EST)
Hi everybody -

Just brief comments on a couple of recent messages:

Angela Paltridge said:
>Last weekend I was at the Murray River mouth and saw a group of 86
oystercatchers.  36 of these were definitely Pied Oystercathers, and the
others were
>too far away (& it was too hazy) to identify as Pied or Sooty.  I've never
seen this many OC in one place - is this a significant record?

86 is a respectable flock of oycs, but not a record.  HANZAB (Vol.2) says
that flocks of c.100 Pied Oystercatchers can occur outside the breeding
season, with a flock of 300 recorded once at Corner Inlet (VIC) by Clive
Minton.  A flock of 120 Sooty Oystercatchers has been recorded in the same
area.  I have memories of a single cannon-net catch of c.70 Sooties there.

Trevor Ford said:
>On Saturday 21/3, at Sandstone Point, approx. 60k north of
>Brisbane, there were 170 Pacific Golden Plover.  Never having seen more than
>30 in the area before (I've been here just under a year) I presume this
>means they're 'moving through'.

The birds may well have been moving through, prior to  the big hop to
Alaska.  According to Watkins (1993) (RAOU Report 90), some 9000 PGPs (10%
of the Flyway population) visit Australia during the non-breeding season.
Trevor's count of 170 is nearly 2% of this national figure, and so well
exceeds the 1% criterion that makes the site one of national significance.

Regards,  Hugo.

Hugo Phillipps,
Birds Australia Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: (03) 9882 2622. Fax: (03) 9882 2677.
O/s: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
Email: <>
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