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Report from Kakadu Beach bird hide 31 December 2023

Numbers were down from the previous record week – only a mere 2800 compared to nearly 4000 a few days earlier.   I think the heavy boat traffic over the New Year kept some birds at Toorbul, but I also speculate on whether the fireworks displays on News Years Eve also has an impact.  I was talking to a lady in the hide about the fragility of the webs that connect our natural world, and what we do to impact and also maintain them. We might not think of the consequences of sending rockets and shooting stars at night over the mudflats!


Despite the shortage of curlews and godwits, the Great Knots were present in big numbers again. Also the Red-capped Plovers (who don’t migrate) were huddled up against the sand ridge near the northern end. There has been a new round of banded godwits with green leg flags starting with ‘H’ and ‘J’, and we had several that were nice and easy to read.  If anyone spots a leg flag during their early morning scan with a scope and can record it for me, I will add it to the records.  It makes such a difference when you look at a flock of 3000 grey-brown godwits that all look pretty similar and then suddenly there is a leg flag and that bird becomes an individual that we can track across timeless oceans and far distant tundras! There was still AKB out there, banded I think in 2015 as an  adult, so this was special.


There was a sighting reported in the news ‘Rare sighting’: why this visitor is so special | OurSC   but they would only have to come to KBBR to see lots of green leg flags!!!  The problem is reading the engraved numbers after a few years as they become worn and dirty. 


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