Boat Harbour (Wandering Tattler) and Shell Pt, Sydney (NSW) - 17th Jan 2

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Subject: Boat Harbour (Wandering Tattler) and Shell Pt, Sydney (NSW) - 17th Jan 2004
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 12:13:54 +1100
Yeseterday, myself and David Mitford spent an hour or so in the early morning at Boat Harbour, Kurnell (about 20 km south of Sydney and south of Botany Bay) in just about prefect conditions with the tide still high and being fairly overcast (quite ideal conditions to look at waders in the early morning). We saw on the Pimelwi rocks 10 Pacific Golden Plovers, 2 Lesser Sand Plovers, 100 plus Red-necked Stints, 16 Ruddy Turnstones, a Wandering Tattler and 9 Sooty Oystercatchers, an Eastern Reef Egret and 1 Little and 3 Common Terns amongst the Crested Terns and Silver Gulls.
It was good to catch up again the Wandering Tattler in Sydney. We got some great looks at it, initally roosting and preening with the Turnstones, than it got up and started to feed along the edge of the Pimelwi rocks for a a bit of a feed making its disitinct "ti..ti..ti..ti.." call (not like the peu-wee call of the Grey-tailed Tattler) and after watching it for an hour, if flew off with some Turnstones to feed on the just exposed Merries Reef further out (which is accessible at around the peak low tide). Besides its distinct call, other features that seem often consistant in identifying the Wandering from the related Grey-tailed Tattler is the thin (sometimes almost appearing non-existant in some individuals) whitish supercilium line before the eyes that does not extend over the forehead, which is dark grey as is its crown and the rest of the upperparts. The Grey-tailed Tattler has a broader whitish supercilium which usually passes over the eyes and both meet over its pale forehead. The Grey-tailed Tattler is usually a paler shade of grey on the head and upper parts than the Wandering, but I have seen some relatively dark individuals on a beach near Brisbane over a year ago. Both species do occur on reefs though this is prefered by the Wandering Tattler.
We also briefly checked out Shell Point to find 12 Grey-tailed Tattlers (some appearing fairly agressive to each other), 30 or so Bar-tailed Godwits (mainly seen in the distance at Towra Pt), a few Eastern Curlews, a Pacific Golden Plover, Pied Oystercatchers and  several Little Terns (mainly in the distance at Towra Pt).
Edwin Vella
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