birding-aus Rottnest Island Waders

Subject: birding-aus Rottnest Island Waders
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 22:59:30 +0800
When I returned from the Ashmore Reef trip and extra time in Broome I had a
message from a local WA birder Ian Standring that he had seen a RED-NECKED
PHALAROPE on Rottnest Island in the usual place (about 2 weeks ago).  i.e.
Pearse Lakes / Government House Lake to the left of the causeway.  They have
been a regular summer occurence there over the past 6 or so years.

Three Victorian birders (Ken Harris, Jeff Walker and Peter Crabtree) were
returning from a Christmas Island trip and were going over to see the
pheasant and peafowl.  So I joined them for the day.  We took the 7:30am
ferry from Fremantle and got to the site at about 08:30.  We had seen a
Lesser Sand Plover and a Sharp-tailed Sandpiper when Jeff spotted a
different bird on a very small island about 50 metres away.  Using a scope
we quickly realised that it was a LITTLE RINGED PLOVER.  We observed it for
about 5 minutes before it flew.  We could not relocate it so we moved off to
find the pheasant, Rock Parrot, Bridled Tern and peafowl and then returned
to the lakes.

We could find very few waders except for the 'spit' on Government House Lake
(about 200 metres left of the causeway) where there was a roost of about
1,000 Red-necked Stint, 100 Curlew Sandpiper and 10 Red-capped Plovers.  So
with 2 hours left before the return ferry we went to check out this flock
again.  And there it was again allowing excellent views for about 30
minutes.  So we left happy.

You are asking about the phalarope?  Absolutely no sign of it.  Maybe the
50mm of rain during Tuesday (?) night moved it on.  The water levels in the
lakes was very high.  We checked three other lakes (Serpentine, Herschell
and Baghdad) without success.  There were about 2,000 Banded Stilt on the
lake but certainly no phalarope.

A PEREGRINE FALCON was another rarity for Rottnest.  It was the tattiest
bird I have seen with many flight and most tail feathers missing!  It had
either been in an argument or it was in extremely heavy moult.
Frank O'Connor
8C Hardy Road
Nedlands  WA  6009
Phone : +61 8 9386 5694
ICQ : 14655047
Email : 
Birding WA

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