SEQld migration, change of season

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: SEQld migration, change of season
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 16:35:43 +1000
Hello All,

I thought it worth posting for those who are not out and about, that
this week just gone marks a distinct seasonal change in our area on
the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, just north of Brisbane.

I have been involved in marine bird monitoring in Caloundra every
Thursday since last July. This last Thursday (19/4/01), for the first
time in many months, there was a complete absence of the three
migrant tern species which frequent the Caloundra sandbanks. Whilst
it is possible that we will find a reappearance on our next survey,
my gut feeling is that the party's over for this season. I refer to
the following species:

Little Tern
Common Tern
White-winged Black Tern

The previous week we had picked up quite a number of flagged Little
Terns. This season we have, for the first time, and because of
flagging, learned that Little Terns from the threatened SEAustralian
breeding population come into Queensland on their migration. We don't
know how much further north they go. On that previous week, we also
for the first time picked up Little Terns from the Victorian breeding
population. Until then we had known only that NSW breeders pass
through Caloundra.

At the other end of the scale, Crested Tern numbers are building up
steadily. Russ Woodford, who was holidaying in Caloundra, came out
with us, after reading our reports of up to 25,000 terns, and had to
content himself with a few hundred Cresteds.

In the same week, in my garden 20km inland I heard the first Grey
Fantail of the season. Grey Fantails are always present on the
Sunshine Coast, but in my garden I only get the migrants from south,
for about 18 weeks through the winter. The following day I saw 5 Grey
Fantails in the garden, and they remain at present. That same day I
heard the first Rufous Whistler of the season (same as the fantails,
they are always here, but not in my garden).


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Qld
26º 51'    152º 56'

Ph (07) 5494 0994
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