Little Stint At Lake Cooloongup

On Sunday 6th February 1994, Brenda Newbey and I visited Lake Cooloongup in Rockingham.  We parked at the picnic area at the northern end, and walked to the left along the edge of the lake to the north east corner where the reeds are close to the water.

Amongst some of the waders, we saw a 'tall stint'.  Afterwards, Brenda checked 'Shorebirds' by Hayman, Marchant & Prater and thought there was a chance that it could have been a Baird's Sandpiper.

I rang Tony Kirkby, and he and Brenda visited the lake again early on Tuesday morning.  They failed to see the bird in question.  However, they saw a Little Stint in breeding plumage.

I visited the lake with Tony late on Thursday afternoon.  We observed the bird from about 3:30pm until we left at 5:00pm.  The light was not good, and the sea breeze was fairly strong.  We initially observed from about 70 metres, but later approached to about 40 metres.  The mud made it difficult to get closer.  The bird mostly fed, but it moved around a fair bit, flying short distances, and preening several times.

I studied Hayman for details that night, and Brenda and I visited the lake again early on Friday morning.  There was an easterly breeze, and a very thin cloud layer with periods of good light.  It didn't take long to find the bird in the same area.  We observed it from about 7:20am until we moved on at about 8:45am.  It was feeding almost continuously, except for a couple of minutes when it preened.  We didn't see it flying.  It stayed in the shallows within an area of about 20 metres.  We observed from the same place as the previous afternoon at a distance of about 40 metres.

Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2002 Visits Last Modified 31st January 2002