Oriental Pratincole near Aldinga in South Australia

To: "'Neville Hudson'" <>, <>
Subject: Oriental Pratincole near Aldinga in South Australia
From: "Tony Russell" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2005 07:06:38 +1030
Going today to see whether it's still there.
Thanks for the info Neville.
I'll also get a GPS fix on the spot.

Tony Russell


-----Original Message-----
From: [ On Behalf Of Neville Hudson
Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 12:19 AM
Subject: [BIRDING-AUS] Oriental Pratincole near Aldinga in South Australia

I have been observing an Oriental Pratincole near Aldinga in South Australia since last Thursday 8th December. Today I invited other ornithologists to view the bird and by sundown this evening about a dozen people have seen the bird.

The pratincole has been confining itself to a small area adjacent to a temporary lagoon  (or at least a large shallow puddle) on private property. Cows frequent the area and have chopped up the drying mud with their feet.

Usually the bird remains in one place, camouflaged on the rough bare soil or partly hidden in the short grass or herbaceous vegetation. However it repeatedly snaps out at passing insects. It occasionally runs a few steps to capture a passing insect. Today as we watched it appeared to lower its body into a depression and seemed to leap up as if to “ambush” the passing insect. In the accumulated five or six hours I have watched the bird it has only voluntarily flown once; apparently to seek food. There have been three occasions when it has been flushed and it has flown some distance in large circles around the water and general area before returning to its “home territory”.

To me an outstanding feature of the bird has been its chestnut or cinnamon under wing that flashes as it moves quickly to hawk the passing prey or as it flies.

 For those who wish to see the bird; go to the corner of Rowley Road and Hart Road near Aldinga. Approach the corner along Rowley Road, from Aldinga Beach Road, is best. Walk or drive east along Hart Road following the “hedge” of lignum. At the eastern end of the lignum is probably best. Select a gap or opening through the lignum to look north across the lagoon. The Oriental Pratincole is always on the northern (distant side) of the water.

Also look for a Latham’s Snipe flushed from the grass this afternoon.

As I cannot visit the area over the coming week end I would appreciate any information about further sightings or lack of sightings.

Many thanks Neville  

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