Oriental Pratincoles @ Mount Isa

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Oriental Pratincoles @ Mount Isa
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 12:18:58 +1000
g'day all,
Yesterday I spent 6 hours checking out the 4km shore of
Wide Bay, Lake Moondarra, Mount Isa.
This rarely visited bay is on the west side of the lake.
The black soil edge slopes very gradually into the water providing good feeding conditions for the visiting waders.
Once again, because of  water pipe duplication works, I had to use an difficult alternative access.
Temperature was a warmish 42 Cels & 57 species were recorded.
I got good views of 4 Oriental Pratincole posing about 30 cm from the waters edge
2 were in breeding plumage
2 had their necklace looking like a line of uncut whiskers
and another 2 joined them on the wing after I flushed them attempting to get better photos
The backs of all birds were a darker grey than that depicted in the Field Guides.
I did see 5 OPs some time later, feeding on the grasses at a different location
100m from the waters edge .. they could have been from the same birds.
Although this number is insignificant to the millions seen at
80 mile Beach, NW WA I got quite a kick out of recording them here again.
My previous sightings were at Spring Ck Bay, 3/4km to the north
on Christmas Day and thereabouts almost 3 years ago.
Another rare bird for this area were at least 2 Pacific Golden-Plover.
Both were in non-breeding plumage.
Once again, I do not know if I saw these same birds again or more.
Other northern hemisphere visitors recorded were
- Common Greenshank (2) .. my 1st sighting this season)
- Red-necked Stint (3)
- Black-tailed Godwit (5)
- Marsh Sandpiper (30+ est.)
- Oriental Plover (80+)
- Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (100s & 100s)
I did not see the Curlew Sandpipers seen a couple of weeks ago
Birds that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling included
- Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) ...
   I never get tired of seeing their regal style walk !
- Cygnets [There were 3 sets of cygnets (young Black Swans) 
   being closely shepherded by their parents in line astern.
   One quartet looked 3/4 grown]
I never got around to identifying a juvenile  ? when I was distracted by the OPs
- it was actively feeding.
- appeared to lack a tail.
- with the sun behind it, its head and body appeared to be covered with cotton wool.
I did not see the Painted Snipe recorded 5/10/2004
Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
- Qld sightings,
- Gazetteer of Birding Places
- Field Guide Quick Indexes
- Some ID Tables
- Various downloads
- Birds Queensland 35 year Anniversary Booklet-
- lots more --
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