Caloundra sandbanks, SEQ, 15/11/01 & fireworks

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Caloundra sandbanks, SEQ, 15/11/01 & fireworks
From: jilldening <>
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 17:35:36 +1100
Hello All,

Below is the list of species and numbers for the Caloundra sandbanks last
Thursday afternoon on a low and then rising tide.

Of interest to me were the following:
A significantly high number (7093) of Crested Terns (CTRE) , almost TWICE
the previous highest count since our weekly surveys began in July, 2000. We
know we missed many in the distance, as well as those which arrived after
light faded. At the corresponding calendar period last year we had just a
handful of Crested Terns, and this underlines the need to take more than a
single year into these observations. Almost the entire flock was  in
breeding plumage, with the odd immature, and plenty of courtship display and
mounting. Last year there was a sudden influx at the end of October prior to
a drastic plunge in the CRTE population as they left for the breeding
colonies, and I am guessing that this is the same pattern occurring a bit
later this year. Time will tell.

The Crested Tern immatures were not dependent, but appear to have plumage
which, I think, indicates  they were perhaps born later than last summer. I
have no knowledge of Crested Terns breeding in this area during the
autumn/winter, and nor does HANZAB, and so am wondering if possibly these
young CRTE have come from further north in Queensland.

Little Terns (LITE): all 931 were in non-breeding plumage, suggesting on
current knowledge that they are from the northern population. One had a
metal ring. It is starting to look as though the LITE use the Caloundra
sandbanks on northward (autumn) migration, but not so much (?) on the
southward journey. This is consistent with migration behaviour in some other
species, in that the urge to breed seems to cause the birds to take a fast
trip to the breeding colonies. (Just thinking aloud, and once again time
will tell.)

A permit has been issued for a fireworks display on December 8 from the area
where the terns rest and shorebirds rest and feed. Access to the preferred
Bribie Island spit was denied by NPWS to the event workers. Fortunately the
tide will be low on this occasion, and the birds will have a few options for
roosting. We will be monitoring the effect on the birds with Marine Parks
rangers. I am thinking that the likely effect should be no worse than that
of the many spectacular electric storms we get in summer  in Caloundra, but
I am not sure of that, or even what that normal effect is. The event has
been postponed twice so far, and may not eventuate. It is to launch a new
high rise building on the shoreline, and I was told there have been some
financial problems.

Tern, Caspian     1
Tern, Common     8
Tern, Crested     7093
Tern, Gull-billed    4
Tern, Little     931
Tern, White-winged     50
Gull, Silver     559
Curlew, Eastern     29
Whimbrel    9
Godwit, Bar-tailed     163
Knot, Great     1
Sandpiper, Curlew     81
Greenshank    4
Sandpiper, Terek     8
Stint, Red-necked     6
Tattler, Grey-tailed     25
Plover, Greater Sand     31
Plover, Lesser Sand     30
Plover, Red-capped     28
Plover, Pacific Golden     22
Plover spp GSPL/LSPL    2
Oystercatcher, Pied     1
Pelican, Australian     7
Cormorant, Pied     20
Cormorant, Little Black     10
Brahminy Kite    1
Osprey    1 
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