Hudwit @ Penrice

To: <>
Subject: Hudwit @ Penrice
From: "michael hunter" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 10:46:04 +1100
               Last week, a Hudsonian Godwit, off the usual Hudwit migration
route from the North American Arctic to South America, was sighted at
Penrice Saltworks, 30 min north of Adelaide, flying in and roosting with a
group of Black-tailed Godwits. Tony Russell tipped off birding-aus on
               This may have been the same bird seen at Penrice last year,
where it hung around "for a few weeks", flying in with Blackwits at about
5.00 pm to the same roost on a small island in one of the many evaporating
ponds at Penrice.
                So, although no reports since the previous weekend, on a
flying kangaroo wing and a prayer, I made the dash on Saturday.
                 Musk Ducks, Black-winged Stilts, Hoary-headed and Great
Crested Grebes, Black-winged Stilts, Red-necked Avocets, brilliant
White-winged Fairy Wrens, Little Grassbirds, a ?Elegant Parrot flying over,
Black-tailed Native Hens and a Black Kite among many other incidentals kept
the interest up until the wader action began about 4.00 pm.
                 Eighteen Grey Plovers, one well into breeding plumage were
on the roost, eight Fairy Terns two Whiskered and a young Caspian. Black
Swans and Red-necked Stints started coming in, then at 5.10 a dozen Godwits
made a fast approach overhead and onto the little island.
                 Most were non-breeding Black-tailed, but one had a long
upcurved bill, very white eyebrow, dark red flanks barred darkly, patterned
grey-brown on back, richly coloured. It preened for a few minutes without
raising it's wings, put the bill under its wing as if to sleep, which most
of the Blackwits were doing, but then came to life, opened up and elevated
the wings, three times in twenty minutes, to reveal the very black front
half of its underwing. Beauty! A MALE HUDWIT IN BREEDING PLUMAGE.

                On the way out, Tony pointed out a roosting island for
Pacific (Lesser) Golden Plovers, five were there, in non-breeding colours,
but two were very golden. As well, among about a hundred Black-winged
Stilts, were a few Banded Stilts, left over from the hundreds which had
departed after recent rains to the North.

                  Many thanks to Tony for the tip, and being there to spot
the bird. I did indeed depart happy.


Michael Hunter
Mulgoa Valley
50km west of Sydney Harbour Bridge

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