State of the Plumage Report, Manly Wader Roost

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: State of the Plumage Report, Manly Wader Roost
From: L&L Knight <>
Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 23:33:09 +1000
There was a full high tide this morning at the Manly wader roost [SEQ] this morning, so there was a good turn-out ~ of the order of 1000 birds. There were hundreds of godwits, with quite a few well into breeding plumage [one with a green flag]. There were also a quite a few stints, with only a few in the early stages of colour change [one with a orange flag]. There were also ~60 golden plovers with a dozen blackening up nicely [one with a green flag] and the odd hundred tattlers [at least two flagged - one with a green flag on the right leg and another with a bluish flag on the left leg]. The Great Knots were starting to dalmate and there were a dozen shanks in the freshwater pond.

There weren't too many sand plovers hanging about, but one got my attention. It was in a transitional plumage, with a lot of white on its face [narrow supercilium and a hint of black across the top of the face] and a reddish brown chest band. It's crown and back were a light brown with some darker feather centres and darker primaries that were a similar length to its tail. In flight, its legs did not extend beyond its tail and there was a large white patch in its secondaries. It had dark legs, and a short bill. It was most likely a Lesser Sand, but the thing I found interesting about it was that it was sitting on the seawall on its own - normally the sands congregate in the "beachy" sections, and this character bobbed its head from time to time. It also had more of a heads up posture than seems to be the guidebook norm [which is why guide book illustrations should never be treated as gospel].

Regards, Laurie.

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