Birds Australia North Queensland

Pied Imperial-Pigeon logo of BANQ

Waving the Waders Goodbye


Waving the Waders Goodbye, 2008

By Harry Cassidy and Keith Fisher

The wonderful Cairns mudflats attract large numbers of waders, egrets, pelicans, terns and other species - one of the best places in Australia to view waders easily and comfortably.

On Sunday March 30th BANQ members and friends met at the wooden viewing platform near Muddies Playground on the Cairns Esplanade, to view migratory waders as they prepared to fly back to northern Asia.

There was a good roll up with between 35 to 40 participants, some coming from as far away as the Sunshine Coast. The weather was overcast and showery, lucky for us the showers missed the Esplanade. The number of birds seen for the day was 34, with the possible highlight not a wader, but a Peregrine Falcon trying to relieve an Osprey of its catch. We were lucky enough to have a number of Wader Experts on hand to help some of our inexperienced birders to identify the waders, and the birds cooperated with some showing colourful plumage ready for the northern hemisphere breeding season.

It was a good social gathering and a good chance for members from our far flung group to get together. A few visitors to Cairns also stopped by to use telescopes and learn more about the birds.

BIRD LIST - 2008

Peaceful Dove
Pied Imperial-Pigeon
Australian Swiftlet
Black-necked Stork
Eastern Great Egret
Striated Heron
Little Egret
Royal Spoonbill
Eastern Osprey
Brahminy Kite
Peregrine Falcon
Black-winged Stilt

Lesser Sand Plover
Masked Lapwing
Bar-tailed Godwit
Eastern Curlew
Terek Sandpiper
Grey-tailed Tattler
Common Greenshank
Great Knot
Red-necked Stint
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Little Tern
Gull-billed Tern
Caspian Tern
Crested Tern
Silver Gull
Rainbow Lorikeet
Varied Honeyeater
Helmeted Friarbird
Willie Wagtail
Welcome Swallow


Waders roosting at high tide at Roebuck Bay near the Broome Bird Observatory, (courtesy Ian Montgomery, Birdway)