Monday, January 19, 2015
WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER AT LAKE WOLLUMBOULA (A MEGA TICK)
Last Wednesday morning, in flawless weather, I drove for about 1hr and 40 mins to Lake Wollumboula on the south coast, so as to tick the White-rumped Sandpiper that turned up in early January, a little further north. It was discovered by Nigel Jackett. A most amazing find. Big ups to him for unearthing the little bird, a wader hard to distinguish from other brown/grey little waders. The WRS should've been in North or South America, not on the east coast of Australia. This is only the 6th or 7th time one has been seen in this country. After a bit of time (when a westerly was battering the dunes and lake), the WRS was pointed out to me by another birder who'd visited from Dubbo (thanks, mate). I was stoked to see the WRS, even though it was drab, unassuming. The bird fed frantically among Red-necked Stints and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, probing all of its bill into the lake shore as if a dowitcher. Great and Red Knots, Lesser Sand Plovers, Bar-tailed Godwits and a Broad-billed Sandpiper were the other migratory waders present. I was glad to pick out a single Fairy Tern roosting with a mass of Little Terns (the latter are gorgeous things, almost angel-like). So, three ticks for me - the WRS, a Broad-billed Sandpiper and a Fairy Tern. It's been a while since I've ticked 3 new birds in one day. My Australian bird list now stands at 535 species. LJ, January 19, 2015.