Mikey Hidetoshi Kudo | Cairns Area Coordinator
Wave the Waders Goodbye was magical again this year! As far as I remember the Wave the Waders Goodbye events have never clashed with a rainy day in the last 10 years, even though the event still occurs in the Wet Season. March 19th 2023 started with a wet morning, but the rain stopped by lunch time and we enjoyed a good foreshore viewing in the afternoon!
As this event was combined with the Annual General Meeting of BirdLife Northern Queensland this year, it was a great opportunity for us to present the latest results and trends of the regular wader counts to a wider audience.
We had two guest speakers: Sally Sheldon and Paul Fisk. Sally summarised the results of the wader counts and explained the population trend, as well as the additional counts that target particular bird species. They have found that more than 500 Whimbrels roost at Casuarina Point. Paul has been working on beach-nesting birds. This time he showed us the nest locations of Beach-stone Curlews and explained their breeding activities in past years. He also showed us some video footage of very interesting nesting behaviours of Beach-stone Curlews.
The presentations were well received by over 35 participants. During the foreshore viewing session, we saw some well-coloured-up Bar-tailed Godwits and Sand Plovers in perfect tidal conditions. Since our marine environments change over time naturally and artificially, and these changes are often unnoticeable until they reach a certain point, I am hoping these wader count activities can help us to recognise arising issues before they get too critical. I really appreciate all the support from the participants and volunteers who have supported the wader count activities.