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Seasonal occurrences and abundances of six common migratory waders in Botany Bay, 1942-1966, a documentation and analysis of Arnold McGill's long-term data set

Keast, Allen
The Australian zoologist 1995 v.30 no.1 pp. 34-38
Palaearctic region, birds, breeding sites, coasts, data collection, habitats, migratory behavior, reproductive success, New Zealand
Times of occurrence and abundances of five Palearctic, and one New Zealand, migratory waders in Botany Bay over the period 1942 to 1966, are documented from Arnold McGill's unique data set. The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper occurred from early September to the end of February; Red-necked Stint from beginning of September to early March; Bar-tailed Godwit from September to April; Golden Plover, October-April; and Double-banded Plover from late March to late August. Taking into account birds on passage the sandpiper was most abundant in the first years, the stint from 1952 to 1959; godwit from 1952 to 1959: curlew sandpiper from 1957 to 1966; numbers of the two plover species were relatively constant. It is suggested that the variation reflects level of success on the breeding grounds, not changes in the quality of the Botany Bay habitat since degradational changes in the latter had not then occurred. The study emphasizes the great importance of Botany Bay as a wader habitat; it is still a good place to “see” waders but only future quantitative munts will show its current status. Data on quality of the feeding habitat, in addition to changes in area, is needed. Future wader conservation necessitates a simultaneous study of all major feeding grounds for waders along the east coast.