RFI Fairy Terns near Ulladulla?

To: "Tim Dolby" <>, <>, <>, <>, <>
Subject: RFI Fairy Terns near Ulladulla?
From: "Tim Dolby" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 2010 15:29:30 +1100
Hi Nikolas,

FYI (and for my own records, it's been useful) here's a bit of a rundown of 
Fairy Tern in NSW - and elsewhere - over the last few years. In NSW they've 
recently been recorded at:

. Penrhyn Estuary, Botany Bay - 1 Fairy Tern hanging out with Little Tern, 
29/12/2006 to 7/01/2007 (Darryl McKay, Graham Buchan, Edwin Vella, David 
Mitford, Stuart Pickering.
. Lake Conjola Nature Reserve - pair of Fairy Tern nesting with Little Tern,    
26/12/2006 (Birding-aus), and have bred there regularly since.
. Tuross Heads sand spit, 6 Fairy Tern resting on the sand near Little Tern 
nesting colony, 22/01/2009 (Harvey Perkins).
. Bermagui 30-31/12/2005 (Bruce Wedderburn).
. I've personally seen 10+, with some birds nesting at Mogareeka Inlet at the 
mouth of the Bega River, Tathra near the Little Tern colony, 27/12/2007 to 
24/01/2008 (Tim Dolby)
. 35 Fairy Terns were recorded at Mogareeka Inlet, 2/11/2008 (per Michael 
Jarman). This is the highest number reported for NSW.

Further south in Mallacoota in sunny Victoria they are now regularly recorded:

. Bastion Point, Mallacoota (6/11/2008, Nicole Spillane & Paul Jacobson)
. Mallacoota Inlet, particularly at the mouth of the river i.e. 3 birds 
7/02/2008 (Alan Morris), 4 birds 8/01/2008 (Tim Dolby), 4 birds 6/11/2006 
(Fiona Parkin & Jon Thornton). Of interest the first record I can find for 
Mallacoota is 20/12/1931 (John Gray).

In Australian S.n. nereis have been uplisted to vulnerable, numbering around 
5,000 birds. Elsewhere in Australia, WA is a relative strong hold (1,600 
pairs), while Tas and SA have a few hundred pairs. In Vic there are a few 
scattered fluctuating breeding sites. For example in December 2005 I found an 
active colony at Edwards Point State Faunal Reserve (they'd not breed there for 
nearly 20 yrs). Perhaps the best place in Victoria to see them is the Western 
Treatment Plant such as the Spit, or somewhere like Lake Tyers near Lake 
Entrance, Reef Island in Westernport Bay or Mud Islands in Port Phillip.

In New Caledonian Sterna nereis exsul is rare, numbering 100-200 pairs, with 
numbers dropping drastically. In New Zealand S.n. davisae (also known as 
Tara-iti) is on the brink of extinction! Estimated population is only 36 
individuals, including only 10 breeding pairs. It is probably New Zealand's 
rarest breeding bird.

Of interest 5 Fairy Tern were seen on East Diamond Islet in Australia's Coral 
Sea Territories, 13/12/2006 (Mike Carter). A newly fledged juvenile indicated 
that they'd bred locally. Mike suggested that it was similar morphologically to 
the New Caledonian subspecies Sterna nereis exsul, rather than S.n. nereis 
(Aust) or S.n. davisae (NZ). 2 Fairy Tern found in 1950 on Heron Island in 
Queensland are thought to be exsul.

Hope this is of some help.


Tim Dolby

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Nikolas Haass
Sent: Monday, 22 March 2010 6:53 PM
Cc: rob hynson; Raja Stephenson
Subject: RFI Fairy Terns near Ulladulla?

Hi all,

Is there currently a good spot for Fairy Terns near Ulladulla? (ideally North 
of Ulladulla or not too far South)

Thanks in advance,


Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW


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