Congo - NSW South Coast

Subject: Congo - NSW South Coast
Date: Mon, 21 Nov 2005 10:35:28 +1100

I spent Saturday on the south coast of NSW at a little place called Congo (near Moruya). Highlights were 3 Sanderling and what I think may be a Ruddy Turnstone (maybe an immature or non-breeding bird after checking my guides. Other possibility is a dirty Red Knot?). The bird at high tide tried to sit among the resting godwits but wasnt allowed, so it eventually sat close to the sanderling and plovers further up the beach.

Also present on the beach were the usual Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers (4 each), plus 24 Bar-tailed Godwits.

The Sanderling (identified by size, colour and behaviour) were sitting quietly in the sand during high tide among the 8 or so Red-capped Plovers. The Sanderling were slightly larger then the plovers (Red-necked Stints are slightly smaller) and were generally greyish above and white below with dark legs and a dark short bill. As the tide receded the Sanderling and plovers foraged on the exposed rocks as well as the usual sand.

No sign of any Little Terns yet and the usual shoerbird breeding area had no fencing this year!? People were walking through it and kite surfers were laying there gear there. Can anyone tell me why the fencing wasnt up or dont Little Terns or any other threatened birds breed at Congo anymore, just Red-capped Plovers?

On the way home outside Broulee I saw a Square-tailed Kite fly over the road while driving. Im about 90% sure as the squarish, almost forked, tail was distinctive, despite getting only a brief look.
And at the Batemans Bay marina there was at least 1 Tree Martin among the swallows. Eastern Curlew were seen at Batemans Bay and Moruya Heads.

I stopped briefly on the drive in at a picnic spot along the Deua River (close to Deua National Park) where I heard Cicadabird, Eastern Whipbird and Olive-backed Oriole.


Marnix Zwankhuizen
Ngunnawal  ACT
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