Little Whimbrels at Atkinson's Dam, SEQ

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Little Whimbrels at Atkinson's Dam, SEQ
From: knightl <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2004 18:12:01 +1000
Thank you Trevor,

Yes, I did spend a lot of time scanning the pastures around the Dam - I the only birds I saw away from the water were dozens of spur-winged plovers, a similar number of magpies, the odd pipit and peewee, and the babblers [and associated woodland birds] hanging around the car park.

I don't know enough about little curlews to surmise whether they were probably nearby but hiding, off in the distance but still in the neighbourhood, off to another pasture for a change of scenery, or buggered off. Do they tend to stay loyal to a location at this time of year, or do they tend to shoot through?

Regards, Laurie.

On Monday, January 5, 2004, at 01:34  PM, Trevor Ford wrote:

Having looked through the birding-aus archives it appears that the Little Whimbrels (that's English for Little Curlews) at Atkinson's Dam have been proving difficult to locate. So, at the risk of perhaps teaching folk to suck eggs, I thought it might be useful to share a few tips on how to find
them. And thanks to Bill Jolly for finding them in the first place - I
wonder if a photo is on his Abberton web site yet?

1. Be prepared to put in some time and effort as they may take a fair bit of finding. You won't see them by standing at the boat ramp and hoping, so be prepared to do a bit of walking (I almost resisted saying that winding down
the car window and playing a tape won't work either).

2. They like the grassland areas, so don't give up after scanning the
water's edge. Comments made about terns seen and the lack of other waders suggest that attention has been concentrated on areas around the water's edge, but they are not typical 'waders'. I've seen them almost 100 metres
from the water on the south side of the lagoon, and 400 metres from the
water on the western side of the lagoon.

3. Take and use a telescope. If you rely on your opera glasses you'll only get lucky if they fly over your head. Scan as far as the heat haze allows
and follow up any interesting blobs (specks), especially ones that are

4. If the local cows start running watch to see what happens as the birds were certainly disturbed by cattle on one occasion when I was there. Don't put yourself between a cow and its calf unless you want to be distracted
from birding for a while.

Hope this helps and good luck. And don't forget a cold drink at the shop at
the caravan park at the eastern end of the lagoon.

Please note that this email addess does not receive emails.

Cheers - Trevor.

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