I was given a copy of this interesting newly published Shorebirds of
Australia title, by Andrew Geering, Lindsay Agnew and Sandra Harding
for Christmas, and have found it full of useful information, with a
few surprises buried therein.
The population estimates especially gave me a few shocks, with Black-
fronted Dotterel given as 15,500 birds yet Red-kneed Dotterel is
listed at what I would have thought was far more realistic 25,000-1
million. Given the wide range of the former I can't believe it is so
Another shock was an estimate of 10,000 birds for Broad-billed
Sandpiper in Australia ! Where on earth do you get big concentrations
for this scarce and declining species?
Long-toed Stint is given as 1000 birds too, which seems maybe a tad
optimistic, but I don't have access to all the data that the authors
Instructive also to look at the figures for Pied Oystercatcher, at 10
000 birds, with Sooty Oz at 11500, probably the reverse of what I'd
have thought and still relatively low. I know these are presumably
rough estimates, and it is fascinating to get some sort of a feel for
it on a continental (and indeed world) scale.
A couple of minor range quibbles- Red-kneed Dotterel is basically a
vagrant to New Guinea, I doubt there is a resident population.
Conversely, Bush Thick-knee does occur in the Trans-Fly and is
presumably resident there.
I recommend the book, the introductory chapters are well worth
reading and there are some nice photos and good clear maps.
Best wishes for 2008
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