Thursday, December 18, 2008

Noosa River Birding - December

Monday was a great day for the Noosa River survey. The morning count was interesting with a very high tide and most of the sandbanks underwater. Later in the day there were holiday makers everywhere! except, that is, for the one sandbank that has been completely closed during this summer period when the resident birds are breeding and there are large numbers of migrants around. It was pleasing to see the Beach Stone-curlew still on this island but no sign of any breeding from them. Now that really would be special!
We were fortunate to see two Sanderlings - birds not commonly seen here. We saw them on both the high tide and low tide survey although on different sandbanks. This photo shows one of the Sanderling with a Red-capped Plover immediately behind it and a Red-necked Stint on the left of the photo.
In the evening we did a count of terns coming in to the sandbanks for the night. Most were juvenile Crested Terns - the adults are breeding on off-shore islands right now. There were very few migratory terns - another puzzle to which we have no answer at present. I am only learning about tern migration and behavior, so am very grateful to be with experienced birders from whom I can learn. This photo was taken from the south bank of the river where we sit and count the terns in the evening.

10 comments:

Gouldiae said...

G'day Mick,
I've been wondering about this magic place of yours and the effect of holiday-makers. So they do close a few areas during breeding do they?
Nice post and you do great work with your surveying.
Regards,
Gouldiae

mick said...

Hi Gouldiae, Jill Dening has led surveys on the Noosa River over a number of years. Noosa Council closed the one sandbank and limited 4x wheel drive vehicles on the northern sandbank after she presented her survey results a year or so ago. The surveys now are to document changes which are taking place because of the closures. In my own area of the southern Great Sandy Straits very little has yet been done but we do not YET have the numbers of tourists that are down on the Noosa.

Tricia said...

Lovely post Mick and the sunset picture is so evocative - beautiful!

mick said...

Thanks Tricia, and its even nicer to really be sitting there.

Vickie said...

I'm so enjoying your endeavors and the alluring coastal reports. The sunset photo is beautiful.

mick said...

Thanks Vickie, its the best time of year for shorebirds right now, of course, and I try to make the most of it!

Duncan said...

Nice sighting of the Sanderling Mick, many years since I've seen one.
That last picture is a beauty!

mick said...

Thanks Duncan. Sanderling are not common. I only had one sighting last season so it was nice to see them again.

James said...

An enjoyable post to read. Great photos!

mick said...

Thanks James