After staying overnight in the storm-ravaged town of Narooma, on 2 June
2010, my wife, Tricia, & I drove north up the Princes Hwy to Bodalla and
then into Potato Point on the southern side of the Tuross River Estuary. In
the car park at the entrance to the Beachcomber Holiday Park, we met Pattie
Parker, Michael Crowley, Eric Andrew and Janet Houghton. We walked north up
the peninsula, the bar that usually forms the lake at the mouth of the
estuary, until cut off from Tuross Heads by an outlet to the sea made wider
than normal by torrential rain a few days ago. We were searching for the
SEMI-PALMATED PLOVER seen by Pattie Parker on a nearby island in the estuary
on 5 & 22 May. If we'd seen it, you'd have heard sooner. Pattie remains the
only person to have seen that bird, which, when first seen on 5 May, she
mistakenly thought was a Little Ringed Plover.
We did however see some nice birds including 20+ Double-banded Dotterels,
40+ Red-capped Dotterels, Pied Oystercatchers and a pair of Emus.
Contrary to what many of us had thought, I learned that Pattie was not the
only person to have seen the DUNLIN that she found in January. For instance,
Michael Crowley and Peter Fullagar, who happened to be staying with Michael
in Moruya at the time, not only saw that bird but also photographed it. I
was given photographs of Broad-billed Sandpiper, Ruff and Long-toed Stint
observed on the Tuross Estuary this summer and was told that an Australian
Pratincole had been seen.
Michael Crowley had other news. A GREAT FRIGATEBIRD had been present for
months on Montague Island.
A female BUSH STONE-CURLEW has been resident on a tiny (0.25 hectare) block
of land in the busy town centre of Narooma for 17 years where it appeared as
a refugee from inland fires. Although alone, each breeding season it starts
calling and lays an egg! However, I was unable to find the bird adjacent to
the public library, perhaps moved by the recent storm damage. Fires preceded
the occurrence of one on a Melbourne golf course last year. That bird
mysteriously disappeared shortly after it became common knowledge! The
Narooma bird is said to be famous but persists nevertheless.
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza VIC 3930
Tel (03) 9787 7136
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