A very interesting sighting of an Inland Dotterel at the Sydney Airport.
Unfortunately the bird is in a restricted area, but I suspect it's worth
checking areas surrounding the airport, particularly grassy fields, rocky
areas and the like. Details of the sighting below.
ps. I've seen the photos, no doubt at all of the ID.
I'd be happy for you to post the details of the sighting. The nearest public
road to the sighting is Airport Drive, which runs between the domestic and
It was first spotted and photographed by Benn McGrath opposite the
international freight apron 30/10/07. It was located on a taxiway (Twy A)
that leads to the start of the main runway at the northern end of the
airfield. Not knowing what bird it was, Benn consulted me and showed me a
few pictures. We went back to the original location and the bird was still
there. Benn then took a few more pictures with me (Nigel Coghlan) using my
car to 'herd' the bird so that Benn could get some frontal and side profile
shots. The sighting was also witnessed by Ray Oakley (consultant from
'Airports Plus Pty Ltd') who was in my car at the time.
We had to vacate the taxiway (and leave the bird) for an Air Tahiti Nui and
China Southern aircraft. As these aircraft taxied past, the bird was seen
flying into the grassed area between the taxiway and main runway. That was
our last sighting.
Initially we tried discounting the Inland Dotterel because of its location,
but using the photos we took we were left with no doubt as to its identity.
The Institute of Wildlife Research at Sydney University (Sydney Airports
Wildlife Management Plan consultants) and Birds Australia (Sydney branch)
were notified of the confirmed sighting.
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