Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Waders at Inskip Part 2

As you can see by these photos, there were a lot of Waders showing breeding colour. What surprises me is the number of Curlew Sandpiper with varying stages of colour on them. At the time we thought maybe only a couple had colour, but after going through all the photos taken on the day there were a lot more than we thought. The smallest waders are the Curlew Sandpiper in amongst the Great Knot, with Bar-tailed Godwit at the back. The second photo is a cropped version of the first.

Curlew Sandpiper
Great Knot
Bar-tailed Godwit

The Red-necked Stint and other small waders like to use the tracks left by 4WD vehicles going over to Fraser Island as a wind break.

Red-necked Stint

As it was very early in the morning we were the only one's around, and the vehicle traffic had not started yet, so we were able to get quite close to the birds without disturbing them.

4WD Track

Knee Shuffle Track

How to get nearer to the birds without disturbing them is to get closer to the ground, the lower you are the better. One way is to hop onto your knees and shuffle along very slowly.

Sit and Shuffle Track

Or if in my case if you are a bit taller and may frighten the birds, to sit and shuffle along. After a while we were able to stand up and the birds did not seem to mind our presence as they did not fly away.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Waders at Inskip

After receiving a phone call from Mick to tell us about all the waders at Inskip Point on Wednesday afternoon, it was decided that Thursday's high tide at 6 in the morning would be a good time to meet up and check what was out there. Most were in various stages of breeding plumage.

Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis)
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris)

Bar-tailed Godwit
Great Knot

Bar-tailed Godwit
Great Knot
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)

The deciding factor for our early morning start, leaving in the dark, was Mick's report of a Curlew Sandpiper in breeding plumage. But trying to find such a small bird in a flock of over 4000 mixed waders was easier said than done. After much waiting and patience it finally paid off, and we managed to get quite a few Curlew Sandpiper in different stages of breeding plumage. We even managed to see the red starting to show on the front of the Red-necked Stint.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Great Knot
Curlew Sandpiper (Front)

Little Tern (Sterna albifrons)
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)
Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis)

Thanks Mick for the great morning out, without you we would not have been able to have a chance of seeing a Curlew Sandpiper with breeding plumage.