Shore Bird Roosts in Moreton Bay

Four main types of shore bird roosts are identifiable in Moreton Bay
(Thompson, 1991):
• open sandy island or beach: found mainly on Moreton and North Stradbroke Islands with only two
similar roosts known on, or adjacent to, the western side of Moreton Bay. These types of roosts are
used by most species;
• salt and clay pan: scattered within and behind the mangrove fringe. Birds may find cover under
mangrove trees or shelter within clumps of samphire and sedge. These roosts are also used by most
• inland freshwater marshes: restricted to the western side of the bay and used by species such as the
Sharp-tailed sandpiper, greenshank and the black-winged stilt at all stages of the tidal cycle;
• mangroves: this is the preferred roosting situation of the grey-tailed tattler which roost standing on the
branches of the mangrove trees. The whimbrel, curlew, sandpiper, terek sandpiper and the greenshank
may also roost in this situation;
Saltmarsh and saltpan areas are integral with and generally adjacent to mangrove areas. Apart from
providing valuable feeding and crucial roosting areas for waders (Thompson and Kikkawa, 1989), these
areas also represent buffers for the mangroves and function as a source of material for detrital food

North and South Stradbroke Islands are barrier islands feeding sand sediments from ancient dune deposits
into the eastern part of Moreton Bay (Maxwell, 1970). The two islands are separated by an opening
nearly 2 kilometres wide at Jumpinpin; this bar and the Southport Bar at the southern end of South
Stradbroke Island are fairly unstable and do not allow a seagrass population to establish.


At the northern end of North Stradbroke Island a different situation occurs. Here the orientation of this island and
Moreton Island allow for large sheltered sand banks flushed twice daily by oceanic water.
From Amity Point to the northern end of Canaipa Passage shallow sand and muddy sand flats with
protection from prevailing winds and strong currents make a good habitat for seagrasses. At South
Passage sand has formed a fan-shaped bank known as Amity Banks. Further south the sand becomes
muddier with clay and silt from the mainland and low offshore islands.

Between Canaipa Passage and the Southport Bay at the southern end of South Stradbroke Island a series
of low, small islands form the deltaic complexes of the Logan, Albert, Coomera and Pimpama Rivers.
Between these islands are shallow mud flats and deeper channels. These areas, protected on one side by
Stradbroke Island and on the other by the mainland or offshore islands, offer excellent habitats for seagrasses (Kirkman, 1975).