Shorebirds and terns - disturbance and brochure

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Shorebirds and terns - disturbance and brochure
From: "Trevor Ford" <>
Date: Mon, 27 Oct 2008 14:03:11 +1100

This is part of an email I sent to local authorities the other day,
outlining the continued disturbance of the shorebird roost at Buckley's
Hole, Bribie Island, Qld (70km north of Brisbane).

"21/10, tuesday, there was a birdwatcher/photographer on the sand spit. As
he tried to approach the birds he pushed them further and further along the
spit until they eventually flew past him and settled 100m behind him. He
then tried approaching them again with the same effect until they again flew
past him to where they had been originally. Again, no rest for the roosting
waders as they were being hassled constantly. As he departed, I left also,
but a fisherman was making his way directly towards the sand spit and the

So it was with interest that I read the recent posting asking for help with
the identification of a tern photograhed "at Bribie Island the other day".
Now, I'm not for one moment suggesting that a subscriber to birding-aus
would be guilty of such wilful disturbance of roosting shorebirds. Nor am I
suggesting that the slender look of the tern might be because it is about to
be put to flight for the umpteenth time. But if anyone knows birders and/or
photographers who insist on getting ever-closer to shorebirds, it would
perhaps be an opportune time, at this early stage in our migrant shorebird
season, to remind them that it is really important that roosting shorebirds
are left in peace duuring the high tide. It is also an offence to disturb
shorebirds and significant spot-fines apply. I note Russell's comments about
a gung-ho photographer flushing the Edithvale Painted Snipe several times.

We have several photographers locally that take wonderful photographs of
shorebirds without needing to disturb them. And a brochure on Pumicestone
Passage Shorebirds (Pumicestone Passage separates Btibie Island from the
mainland) is about to be published, featuring the photographs of several of
these local photographers, some well known to birding-aus subscribers. This
brochure opens up to become a poster, containing a photographic guide to the
35 species of shorebird that are found regularly in the area, and will be
available free to visitors to the island.

The brochure is a joint initiative from SEQ Catchments and Moreton Bay
Regional Council and is intended, amongst other things, to improve community
awareness. It will be 'released' once a leaflet containing a checklist (and
a quiz for the youngsters) is available from the printer.

It is, of course, superbly written.

Cheers - Trevor.

Trevor Ford


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