Terns migrating on the Sunshine Coast, Qld

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Terns migrating on the Sunshine Coast, Qld
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Tue, 15 Dec 2009 15:51:55 +1000
Hi Everyone,

I've had a call from Dorothy Pashniak, who has been at Inskip Point today (mainland opposite
southern tip of Fraser Island) and have seen her pics of thousands of terns on the sand island inside the point at low tide today. A few people have asked me what's happening in the tern world here, so perhaps if you can get to Inskip, you might see some good tern sights. From the pics, I can see mainly Common Terns, and some Littles. I hesitate to give a number, but there are several thousand. If there are thousands on the spit during the day, there will be far more than that coming in to roost this evening. Can't guarantee that they'll be there in the future, as they are probably on their way south. But there must be food there right now, if so many are there.

Additionally, a couple of weeks ago we had about 1500 Little Terns in Maroochydore during a neap phase daytime high tide. Then a week later on the new moon flood tide, we saw several hundred.

In Noosa last week we had about 2000 Common Terns for the evening count, but only around 500 during the day on the sandbanks. These birds are unpredictable in their occurrences. And to get the big numbers you have to stick it out until last light.

Unfortunately Inskip Point is a dreadful site to count, with the setting sun blinding the sandbank where the terns often choose to roost. But if you go there, please do get back to me, and please try to give me some measure of abundance. You won't need a scope, just binos. (You need a scope to ID the shorebirds.) If you wonder how many there are, you can just go into a blind panic, but if you work out how many is 100, then just keep saying, 100, 200....., it becomes doable.

Inskip Point is a very important site for migrating shorebirds and terns. Dorothy said there are Sanderling and Ruddy Turnstone among the shorebirds.


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S	152° 56' 00"E

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