Oriental Plovers @ Mount Isa 21/11/2004

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Oriental Plovers @ Mount Isa 21/11/2004
From: "Bob Forsyth" <>
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 16:00:10 +1000
g'day all,
Helen Morgan and I visited the western shores of Lake Moondarra, Mount Isa last Sunday to see if the Oriental Pratincoles were still present. See
We arrived at the lake fence at 9.30am & left at 6.30pm. 
Before even getting to the water we recorded 31 foliage birds.. a good omen.
Then as we broke through the spinifex onto the lawn height grasses surrounding Wide Bay, Helen immediately pointed out a pair of Pacific Golden Plover .. another good omen. Not often seen here.
After a quick unsuccessful look for Painted Snipe at the small adjacent bay we then slowly drove the 4km around the bay, stopping frequently to set up the scope and ID the various birds on the lake. Two pair Green-Pygmy Goose were pushing there way through the grasses further out. Most of the normal waterfowl were present, except no Whistling Ducks, Avocets, Jabirus, or White-faced Herons.
The highlight were the 17 Oriental Pratincoles posing at the waters edge. Several standing in the water.
Using my 4wd as a mobile hide I was able to get close enough to take some reasonable ID confirmation photos.
17 does not compare to the 2.9 million recorded S of Broome earlier this year but still satisfying.
I am looking forward to a repeat of the estimated 5000 seen here by Sam Carruthers in Dec 1967 (Emu V68, pt 3, p216-7) 
and Jaroslav Klapste recorded a combined flock of  5000 Australian & Oriental Pratincoles at Julia Creek on 9/1/1977 of which 4000 were Orientals.(Aust Bird watcher V7, pt 2, p65-66)
Other visiting Waders from overseas observed last Sunday included
- Sharp-t S'p 1000 or so
- Marsh S'p 100
- Black-tailed Godwit 90 (The most I have seen here)
- Oriental Plover 50 or so
- Golden-Plover 2 or 4 (presumably Pacific)
- Red-neck Stint 2
- Long-toed Stint 1 (I could not pick out the yellow legs but it looked just like the adjacent Sharpies & was 1/2 the height)
- Common Greenshank 1(The 1st I have seen this season)
A total of 74 species for the day
Bob Forsyth, Mount Isa, NW Qld.
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