• PurpleSwamphen (Custom)
    • Big Red
    • lab28
Jan 3: Asian Dowitcher
 

The alarm set for 0400, I headed to Sandy Camp Road Wetlands to see what was about, vaguely following up on previous reports of King Quail and Australian Little Bittern, but not really expecting to see either. My low expectations were confirmed, but it was nice to bump into a Rufous Night Heron, albeit a rather skinny looking one, on the northeasternmost lagoon. I then went to Kianawah Road Wetlands, picking up 6 Marsh Sandpipers, and a flock of 15 Mangrove Gerygones feeding on the Casuarinas at the back.

After dashing back home to take my young son to daycare, I went to the Port of Brisbane Shorebird Roost to look for the Asian Dowitcher, and after collecting the key from the Port Office, expectantly went into the northern hide about 9.20, an hour or so before high tide. I was utterly despondent as very few shorebirds were present, only a tiny group of Bar-tailed Godwits with no sign of the dowitcher. I wasn’t sure whether to try another roost, or to wait it out. I decided on the latter course of action since there was an hour to go until high tide, and this was a king tide and most of the alternative roosts would be flooded. Luckily this proved to be the correct decision, and about 10 15 minutes later a nice flock of 830 Bar-tailed Godwits arrived and settled in front of the hide. I quickly began scanning though them before they settled and put their bills under their wings. On the second scan through I finally found the dowitcher – BINGO! A nice selection of other shorebirds was also in the flock, helping the year list on, but with the one that really mattered safely under the belt I could relax. I dropped in to Lytton Wader Roost, but nothing was about with the roost being completely flooded by the king tide. Satisfied and happy, I returned home.

My year list at the end of the day was 139 species. I spent 3 hours 39 minutes birding, walked 4.649 km and drove 74.1 km.