Lake McLarty Western Australia

To: <>, Birding-Aus <>
Subject: Lake McLarty Western Australia
From: John Graff <>
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2009 12:25:02 +0800
Thanks for that report, John. Lake McLarty is certainly a great wetland, 
especially in summer, and probably the best wader site in the SW of Western 
Australia. I was down there on the 22nd with Martin Cake and we met two 
visiting birders, perhaps that was you?

There does seem to be movement of waders between Lake McLarty and Peel Inlet 
(the estuary you mention), but I haven't seen such a dramatic decline in 
numbers like that before, so unfortunately it may have been caused by some sort 
of disturbance or something else. Most of the waders have returned to the lake 
now, however. Sue Abbotts and I were there yesterday morning (30/12) and the 
waders numbers are very high again (particularly Red-necked Stint).

Wader count and other sightings of interest included;

Chestnut Teal (1 male)
Black-winged Stilt (2000+)
Banded Stilt (115)
Red-necked Avocet (150+)
Grey Plover (1)
Greater Sand Plover (3)
Black-tailed Godwit (1+)
Little Curlew (1)
Common Greenshank (150+)
Marsh Sandpiper (3)
Wood Sandpiper (4)
Red Knot (15+)
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (1500+)
Curlew Sandpiper (500+)
Pectoral Sandpiper (3)
Red-necked Stint (7500+)
Long-toed Stint (10+)
Red-capped Plover (500+)
Peregrine Falcon (1)
Square-tailed Kite (1, Mills Rd)
Brown Songlark (1 male, along Mills Rd)

Another person also reported that he'd seen a Broad-billed Sandpiper, but we 
didn't find it.


John Graff

Perth, WA

> From: 
> To: 
> Date: Thu, 31 Dec 2009 12:16:10 +1100
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] Lake McLarty Western Australia
> On 22 and 26 December I made 2 visits to Lake McLarty, south-east of Perth
> with Alison Street. It is an amazing RAMSAR wetland which is well known to
> birders in WA, but may be less known outside that State. On our first visit
> there were many thousands of migratory waders (mostly Sharpies), but when we
> returned a few days later there were less than 100 (of which only 5 were
> Sharpies). The lake is close to a tidal estuary, so I assume the waders were
> feeding somewhere on the shore. We briefly searched for them without
> success. The highlights of our 2 visits were:
> * 27 Long-toed Stints on the first visit (none on the second) - a
> definite count as 26 of them were feeding together in a small area on the
> north/east(?) side of the lake (the side furthest from the Mills Road
> access) and a single bird on the Mills Road side;
> * 9 Pectoral Sandpipers on the first visit (only 1 on the second) -
> the Sharpies were moving around so this count may be understated;
> * 5 Wood Sandpipers on the first visit (3 on the second);
> * 1 Little Curlew on the second visit only;
> * 15 Marsh Sandpipers on the second visit (5 on the first);
> * a number of Common Greenshanks (I was not sure of the number because
> they were dispersed and very flighty and I may have been double counting);
> * 1 Pacific Golden Plover both visits;
> * Ospreys nesting in a tree on Mills Road;
> * 2 Banded Stilts on the first visit and around 50 on the second (plus
> hundreds of Black-winged Stilts and 50 or so Avocets);
> * thousands of ducks on both visits; and
> * a beautiful Tiger Snake.
> I was told of a report of a Ruff being seen on 20 December, together with a
> Broad-billed Sandpiper, a Yellow Wagtail and a possible Little Stint: none
> of which we saw. The same person had also reported 20 Long-toed Stints, the
> Little Curlew and a number of Pectoral and Wood Sandpipers, so nothing we
> found was new to the local birders.
> A great place!!
> Happy New Year
> John
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