confusing directions for finding Sabine's Gull at Mylestom/Urunga

To: "Messages Birding-aus" <>
Subject: confusing directions for finding Sabine's Gull at Mylestom/Urunga
From: "Shirley Cook" <>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 16:38:00 +1100
Dear all,

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 river(s).

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.


Shirley Cook
Birds Australia - Northern NSW Group

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