Esacus neglectus (Mathews, 1912)
Other common names Beach Thick-knee, Large-billed Stone Plover, Shore Plover, Beach Curlew
Other scientific name Burhinus neglectus
The Beach Stone-curlew is listed as an Endangered Species on Schedule 1 of the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 (TSC Act).
The Beach Stone-curlew has been observed around the north coast of Australia and associated islands from near Onslow in Western Australia to the Manning River in New South Wales (Lane 1987).
However, the species has largely disappeared from the south- eastern part of its former range, being rarely recorded on ocean beaches in NSW. It has been estimated that at present the Australian population may not exceed 15 breeding pairs (J. Martindale pers. comm.).
The range and distribution of this species, within NSW, is thought to have contracted as a result of urban and industrial development and recreational activities in coastal areas
(summarised from Marchant & Higgins 1993)
Tail: 110-137mm Bill: 70-82mm Tarsus: 82-96mm Weight: 1kg
The Beach Stone-curlew is a very large, thick-set wader. The body size is similar to the Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis and slightly larger and more thick-set than the Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius.
Adults have a large head, massive uptilted bill, hunched profile, stout legs and thick ‘knees’. The upper body is predominately grey-brown with distinctive black and white patterning on the face, shoulder and secondary wings. The throat and breast are a paler grey-brown and the belly and wings are white with some black on the tips of the wings.
During the night, breeding Beach Stone- curlews use a harsh, wailing territorial call which is higher pitched, harsher and less fluty than that of the Bush Stone- curlew. When alarmed, the species may vocalise with a weal yapping.