Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Beach Stone-Curlew, Huge Tern Flock at Maroochydore

Beach Stone-Curlew
Yesterday I took the kayak out for a spin around Goat Island at the mouth of the Maroochy River.

Beach Stone-Curlew
A pair of Beach Stone-Curlews was present on the eastern shore of the island. This has been a reliable spot for the species for the past couple of years.

Also on Goat Island were good numbers of Swamp Tiger butterflies - a mangrove edge specialty.

White-winged Terns
Sandflats near the Maroochy River mouth attract large flocks of terns as the high tide recedes. Hundreds of Common and White-winged Terns return from the sea to rest on the sandflats. Many of the White-winged Terns seen yesterday were attaining breeding plumage prior to their migration north. White-winged Tern is generally a fairly scarce bird in south-east Queensland but they are present in large numbers about the Sunshine Coast in summer.

White-winged Terns & Common Terns
Common Terns are also numerous, and the two species tend to feed and roost together. A very rough estimate yesterday was about 1200 Common Terns and 500 White-winged Terns.

Common Tern
This Common Tern appears to coming into breeding plumage.

Common Tern & Crested Tern
Ten or so Crested Terns were among the flock.

Little Tern
Along with about 30 Little Terns, mainly in breeding plumage.

Gull-billed Terns
And a few Gull-billed Terns.

Double-banded Plover
A handful of Double-banded Plovers were on the sandbanks - the first I've seen this season of this autumn-winter visitor from New Zealand.

Pacific Golden Plover
Along with quite a few Pacific Golden Plovers, some in breeding plumage.

And a few Whimbrels.


  1. Great photos of the Terns Greg

  2. Not living near the coast, I have had little chance to become conversant with water birds. Great to see them here. For becoming familiar with them as well as identification, I certainly prefer personal photos to the painted examples in books or even some single aspect, not very identifiable photos. Most books give you one, at most two examples whereas we can publish any number of shots of one particular bird that let us become familiar with it.
    Really good to add you to my list of Aussie blogs.

  3. Wow!! So great to find a blog of a fellow Queenslander & bird lover!!
    I will be following your blog closely as I'm always interested in when & where the shore birds are.
    You've got some great shots here. I'm assuming you have a decent birding lens (something I'm longing for but will be in the quite distant future!! Until then I will have to remain frustrated with my 55-250mm kit lens (originally came with my Canon 1100D)

  4. Liz no I don't have a big lense, just my little Sony Cyber Shot.. in the kayak it is possible to get quite close to many birds