• lab21
Jan 17: A monumental miscalculation?

Yesterday, I confidently predicted that the Long-toed Stint at Tinchi Tamba would give people the run around and take hours to be pinned down. I was half right, but unfortunately the wrong half. I had to be home at 0630, so didn’t have much time this morning. Instead of going for the stint I decided to go to Sandy Camp Road and look for the Australian Little Bittern that Chris Attewell had seen yesterday morning. I reasoned that there would be almost no chance of seeing the stint within the first hour of daylight, which would have been what I’d needed to do, to get back home in time.

Fortunately I was successful at Sandy Camp, tape-recording a calling Australian Little Bittern calling just on dawn about 0435. This is a very tricky species in Brisbane, so I was pretty pleased, although once again I couldn’t find the Black Bittern, which was photographed on 14th Jan and is essentially resident at this site. Still, nearby I had a good but fleeting look at a Little Bronze-cuckoo, a scarce summer visitor. Two high quality year ticks in the bag. On the way back home I saw the first reports on the Long-toed Stint coming over the eBird alerts, Facebook and email. Fortunately for the small crowd who had made the effort to get to Tinchi Tamba, the bird had shown in the early morning with the small Sharp-tailed Sandpiper flock it had been consorting with previously. My fellow year-list competitor Mat Gilfedder was on his way to Tinchi, but I had to get back home, take Tom to day care and then head into work. This was a disaster of monumental proportions…

In the end, Mat texted later in the day to say he hadn’t managed to catch up with the stint – it had become very flighty and vanished before he arrived on site. At least this banquished any thoughts of me dashing up there during the day from work. I decided to go to Tinchi Tamba early tomorrow morning to give the stint a shot before lots of people were about. Late afternoon I heard one or more Little Wattlebirds from the back yard, but couldn’t see it or them.

With the two good year ticks at Sandy Camp (Australian Little Bittern and Little Bronze-cuckoo), my year list at the end of the day was 196 species. I spent 1 hour 46 minutes birding, walked 3.097 km and drove 32.0 km.