Birdline Tasmania Weekly Update

Subject: Birdline Tasmania Weekly Update
Date: 24 Mar 2014 03:03:06 +1000

Birdline Tasmania

Published sightings for the week ending 23 Mar 2014.

Thu 20 Mar Pacific Swift Huntingfield
At football training! 10 birds flew in a low very loose line in a northerly direction over about 5 minutes. It is likely there were more. Pointed tails and definitely no white throats.
Rob and James Hamilton

Tue 18 Mar Peregrine Falcon Tasman Bridge, Hobart
A peregrine, probably female judging by its large size, stooping on a flock of starlings as they flew in to roost on the bridge, about 6.40 pm (as I was cycling across the bridge).
Simon Grove

Thu 13 Mar Grey-tailed Tattler Georges Bay, St Helens
I am very familar with this species as it is common in summer where I live in Port Macquarie NSW. The three birds were feeding together up to belly deep in water.. I noted the size as smaller than the BT Godwit which were feeding in the same area, the straight bill about the same length as the head depth, the white eyebrow extending behind the eye, and the grey-lemon legs when they were out of the water. Very plain grey plumage shaded above and paler below. Viewed with Swarovski 20-60 x 80mm scope from Observation Point (see map below). I identified this species at first sight.
Tony Bischoff

Lesser Sand Plover (10 - unconfirmed) Georges Bay, St Helens
I am a twice birder to Tasmania, 1991 and 2014. I have not birded at Georges Bay before. Having barely seen a wader in Tasmania in the previous 17 days, I was surprised to see such a great variety at this site. I did not have my camera with me. Much of my time observing was spent from the park near Georges Bay Esplanade, which I now measure on Google Earth at approx 300 metres distant. Later I walked further and discovered an observation point as per attached map, at approx 200 metres from the bulk of the birds. I am fairly familiar with this species and I identified it immediately on sight, so did not spend much time observing them. All were 'resting' and many were partially hidden by grass. I had decent scoped views of a couple of birds. It was obviously a step up in size from the RN Stint and the RC Plover, and a step or two down in size from the GT Tattler. All waders were feeding together in a loose group. I noted the prominent white eyebrow extending behind the eye and highlighted by a dark line under the eye. I separated these birds from the Greater SP by its thinner maybe shorter bill and its dumpier appearance. Viewed by Swarovski 20-60 x 80mm scope. Originally 100% confident, I have been reminded of the possibility of Double-banded Plover. That possibility just never occurred to me at the time as I have mostly seen this species in its unique breeding plumage. Hence I did not closely check for the chest bands of an NBR bird nor the bill profile (other than to separate it from the Greater SP). Although I still think these birds were Lesser SP, I understand that without confirmation from other birders, there is some element of doubt remaining.
Tony Bischoff

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