Yesterday, shortly after posting the message on Birding-aus, I had a phone
call from a birder who lives at South West Rocks. He phoned again late last
night to say he and other/s walked several kilometres along North Beach
without finding the gull. He then mentioned several names of people who had
searched for the bird and then said that "someone" had seen it near the
boardwalk at Urunga which would place it on the southern shore of the
After several phone calls, I tracked down the birdwarcher from Yamba to whom
David had spoken. There ensued a confused conversation during which it
finally emerged that it was David Capen who had said that he saw the bird
near the boardwalk at Urunga. This means, of course, that there is only one
confirmed sighting and that is by David.
Three of us from Armidale went down today. We walked for a few kilometres
along North Beach - there were also several dogs present. We saw a few
terns and Silver Gulls but that is all. We then went to Urunga to check
what could be seen from the boardwalk. Again no luck with the gull. We
were rewarded, however, with good looks at three Beach Stone-curlews, a few
Bar-tailed Godwits and Pacific Golden Plovers all of which were showing
signs of coming into breeding plumage.
If you know the area at all, you will know that the Kalang River comes
within a couple of hundred metres of the ocean at Mylestom, then turns south
parallel to the coast for several kilometres, to finally join the Bellinger
River at Urunga, where they both enter the sea. It is not possible to cross
to Urunga on foot from North Beach - because of the bar, it would also be
quite difficult to cross by boat, but that is by the way.
I will try to clarify these directions, and keep the list informed.
Birds Australia - Northern NSW Group
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