Today's SIPO sighting (Moreton Bay)

To: "'Laurie Knight'" <>
Subject: Today's SIPO sighting (Moreton Bay)
From: "Richard Jenkin" <>
Date: Sat, 21 May 2011 19:05:52 +1000
Hi Laurie

Thanks for that update. I will be up that way on Monday for a conference and
planning on heading out for a look.

My reading of the high tide for Monday is around 2 P.M. at the Brisbane Bar
but perhaps 15 minutes earlier at Point Victoria , does that sound right ?


Dick Jenkin

Lynn and Dick Jenkin
Tashkent Friesians
PO Box 92 Dungog NSW 2420
02 49921158
Djangos Facebook Page
Tashkent Friesians

-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Laurie Knight
Sent: Saturday, 21 May 2011 5:01 PM
To: Birding Aus
Subject: Today's SIPO sighting (Moreton Bay)

Following on from the sightings of the SIPO at Vic Point over the last  
couple of weeks, I turned up on the esplanade a couple of hours before  
full tide, equipped with binoculars, camera and a good book.  Matt  
Gilfidder turned up with a scope after a dozen pages.

The oystercatchers feed on the flats and progressively move towards  
the shore of the rising tide.  The SIPO was initially identifiable  at  
a distance of 50+ metres - it was noticeably smaller and had a longer  
bill than the other oycs.  The flock flew en masse to their mid tide  
roost as Colin Reid and Rob Dougherty arrived.  The stony patch is a  
bit higher than the surrounding flats and the oycs sit within 10-20  
metres of the footpath for an hour or two before flying off to their  
high tide roosts (in the direction of the jetty / boat ramp today).  A  
passing shower pushed most of the twitchers off the roost, clearing  
space for Andrew Stafford who arrived shortly after.

Seen at close quarters, the SIPO's wing feathers were highly worn, to  
the point that the right wingbar was visible when the wing was  
folded.  The size difference with the neighbouring Oycs was similar to  
the difference between Crested and Lesser Crested Terns and the  
difference in bill shape was similar to difference between Marsh  
Sandpipers and Common Greenshanks.  The "lower legs" looked spindly in  
comparison to the OZPOs and at times the eye ring appeared less  
prominent.  The SIPO did a fair bit of grooming, and showed off its  
wingbar and underwing.  Andrew noted that its stance was more  
horizontal than that of the OZPOs.

Interestingly, there were at least three yellow flagged (Northern NSW)  
OZPOs in the flock (I had 3 in one photo).  One of them (N8) had  
extremely pale plumage, with a number of a grey-white wing coverts.

As always, it was nice to have a reliable rarity (thanks to the  
birders who found and reported it) and to catch up with fellow birders.

Regards, Laurie.

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