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.

Friday 24 January 2014

Asian Dowitcher, Bush-hen on Pumicestone Passage

Asian Dowitcher
This afternoon I saw an Asian Dowitcher at the high tide roost at Toorbul, on Pumicestone Passage.  I was searching through a large gathering of Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit and Great Knot when I picked the bird up. It was immediately obvious with its long, straight, black bill.

Asian Dowitcher

Asian Dowitcher
At roost, the waders largely had their heads tucked away so it was difficult to keep tabs on the dowitcher. In time, however, I was able to pick it out fairly easily even when its head was not visible. The dowitcher was almost as long-legged as the godwits, but much smaller in body size. It also appeared to be more greyish, its upperparts were more sharply defined and its eyebrow was whiter. The dowitcher largely kept on or close to the water edge.

Asian Dowitcher
Later in the afternoon, it moved about a bit and showed more readily. I ran into a couple of visiting birders from Dalby who told me the dowitcher was found yesterday by a birding group, a fact I had not been aware of.
Asian Dowitcher

Black-tailed Godwit
Here are some of the other waders that were present. Other migratory species seen were Eastern Curlew, Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Greenshank, Marsh Sandpiper (1), Grey-tailed Tattler, Lesser Sand Plover, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and Curlew-Sandpiper.

Eastern Curlew

Grey-tailed Tattler


On the way in to Toorbul, a Brolga was present on Bishop's Marsh, which had water in it after overnight rain.
Pale-vented Bush-hen
Before visiting Toorbul I called in to Coochin Creek. I saw two Pale-vented Bush-hens crossing the road just before the village.

Today was the first opportunity to road-test my new Vortex Razor 60x85mm and Manfrotto 190XB tripod. I was very impressed, especially finding a dowitcher with it. 

New scope
Green Catbird
Green Catbirds have been quite common about the garden lately and have been visiting the birdbaths.
Australian Little Bittern
At Parklakes near Bli Bli, the Australian Little Bitterns and Baillon's Crakes continue to show well.

Baillon's Crake


  1. I love all these birds but to see the Green Catbird so close is amazing; I really like to see the green so obvious

  2. Brilliant. I am up there Friday this week!! Cheers for the Info.

  3. Hi Greg
    I see the Asian Dowitcher is still being reported at Toorbul at the high tide Wader Roost. As I've not seen this specie I am studying your images with a very keen eye. Looks like the long straight bill and scaling on the wings is what to look for. I'm hoping to get to Toorbul this Sunday ..... wish me luck. Jude 22.9.14

    1. Hi Jude, If you get a good view it won't be a problem. The bill, straight and all black, the other issues I referred to in my blog post.... Good luck, Greg