Re: Wader at Frankston Beach, Victoria

Subject: Re: Wader at Frankston Beach, Victoria
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 21:21:07 +1100
S Cooney wrote:
> G'day all,
> Over the last three days I have been watching a wader at Frankston
> Beach.
> It is a single, grey backed bird, about 20cm long (Or about half the
> length
> of a Silver Gull).  Its bill is as long as its head or a bit longer
> and it
> is dark.  It has a dark eye and a White eye-stripe through a blotchy
> grey
> head and back.  Its underparts are quite white, Whiter as you look
> further
> under the body.  Its legs are greeny/yellow and as long as its body.
> It
> seems to have long toes that are not webbed.  The tail feathers are
> black
> or dark grey at the edges.  It does not have any leg-bands.  When it
> is
> disturbed by the inevitable unfettered dog on the beach it makes a
> clicking
> sound and flies in a straight line around the dog and back to the
> beach. If
> it is constantly disturbed it flys away for a while but always returns
> to
> the same spot.  It is fairly approachable and I have taken a few
> photo's,
> however they are still in the camera.
> What is this bird?  I thought it might be a Red Knot in non-breeding
> plumage, but it does not apear a squat bird nor as big as Simpson and
> Day
> suggest.  The other bird (as per S & D) that I keep coming back to is
> the
> Broad-billed Sandpiper, but its bill is curved and this bird's bill is
> not.
> Is it unusual to see a wader on Frankston's Beaches? it is for me.
> Should
> we start lobbying for dogs to be banned from the beach, they certainly
> kept
> upsetting this little fellow/lass.
> Any comments are most welcome.
> Regards
> Stuart & Sam Cooney
How about a Common Sandpiper?- particularly if bird is on rocky or stony
bit of beach, or sea-wall, or even a drain outlet with associated groyne
construction. That 'return to site' on disturbance pattern of behaviour
sounds spot-on. Common is what it is in Europe, it's a bit uncommon
here, but turns up on reservoir and sewage pond masonry banks as well as
beaches, singly or in pairs. Description inc pale eyebrow sounds right.
Call I think rather staccato repeated 'peep', from memory.

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