RFI: Hooded Plover at Noosa

To: Glenn McRae <>
Subject: RFI: Hooded Plover at Noosa
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 21:15:20 +1000
Hi Glenn,

I saw the plover yesterday with Trevor Ford and Bob Inglis. It's best to look for it on the north spit on a rising tide. After the sandbanks cover with the tide, the small shorebirds (Double-banded Plovers, Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints) head for the north spit and hide in the beach debris well above the tide line, and can be seen through a scope from the end carpark at Noosa Woods. You can also drive around to the north shore and park north of the bollards. Then you have to walk down the spit to find the birds. There is absolutely no point in going to the north spit unless the tide is high or incoming.

We saw it around 3pm yesterday on the north spit. Tomorrow the tide is low in the middle of the day, and at that stage the bird could be anywhere in the estuary. Therefore you'd be better going late in the afternoon. Or very early in the morning. It's a good bit bigger than the Double-banded Plovers, and presents as a lot paler.

Other spots for waders: at low tide they are spread all over the estuary. As the tide rises, the sandbanks close to the caravan park at Munna Point go under, then the middle of the estuary, until finally there are only two places exposed. One is a sand island on the NW section of the estuary, and it's only accessible by boat. The other is the north spit. The estuary has a range of species present, but it never carries a large number of waders, being a relatively small estuary. It is more significant for terns. The highest number of terns seen there was 38,500 migratory terns (Common, Little and White-winged Black) back in Feb, 2005, but we haven't seen numbers like that since then. And now that it's winter, you may not see any migrant terns. Last week 29 Commons were present, but yesterday there were none roosting in the estuary. There's a pair of Beach Stone-Curlews resident in the estuary. They spend most of their days on the sand island, but occasionally wander out onto the sand for a feed of soldier crabs.

Be careful if you walk onto the north spit. There's a pair of Redcaps sitting on two eggs at the moment. If you see a Redcap looking as though it is injured, back off and give it a wide berth. It's only trying to lead you away from the nest.

Good luck,

Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S	152° 56' 00"E

Glenn McRae wrote:
Hi Birders,
I am heading up to Noosa Heads on Saturday to try to find the Hooded Plover amongst other birds. Has anyone seen it since the 21st? 
What other spots would be good me to see other waders/shorebirds while I am up that way?
Glenn McRae
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