Re: Shorebirds of Australia

Subject: Re: Shorebirds of Australia
From: Frank O'Connor <>
Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2007 21:47:13 +0900

Phil Gregory wrote:
> 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 scarce? 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 have. 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.

In the mid 1990's, I saw a flock of 1,000 Broad-billed Sandpipers at the Cargill Saltworks in Port Hedland.  So 10,000 is a possibility.  You can find 100 at times at Roebuck Bay in Broome.

I would have thought that 1,000 Long-toed Stint in Australia would be an underestimate.  I have seen 20+ at Lake Eda at Broome, but they can be quite widespread in small numbers over much of WA.

Frank O'Connor           Birding WA
Phone : (08) 9386 5694              Email :


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