Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Shorebirds at High Tide

A good high tide and no wind make perfect conditions to view any of the shorebird roosts around the bay. This time I went with friends around to the Mullens roost. It is possible to view this roost by walking there but you can only see a small number of birds unless you can kayak or canoe to the opposite bank.
We got an early start and were on the water about quarter past six. The reflections were perfect making even a common bird like this Silver Gull look rather special.

Around at the roost the reflections were even better. This was one of the two Little Egrets that were around there and roosting in the mangroves.

One leg tucked up in front makes a funny looking little pouch under the feathers.

The larger shorebirds were spread out along the water line on the far shore.

I have never yet taken photos that I am really pleased with on that side of the bay. Brownish colored birds and brown colored vegetation are not very dramatic! Also, the water is very shallow on that side and it is not possible to drift in very close. If you get out of the kayak then the birds usually move off elsewhere. This is a line of Godwits.

We then paddled slowly to the far end of the bay where the smaller shorebirds often roost.  We got out of the kayaks to try to get closer to the little birds. These are both sit-on-top kayaks - the red one is a two person kayak.

Red-capped Plovers are very curious and will often come closer to check you out!  These ones were in among the salt marsh vegetation in the shallow water. There is one Lesser Sand Plover in this first group.

There were a number of small birds on the far sand bank and one of my friends walked out in the water to try to get closer. It made a great photo with the reflection in the still water.
A special thank you to the friends who went with me and helped me!

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

On The Bay

I always enjoy kayaking around the bay - and even more so when it has been some time since I have been able to get out there. The other morning it was nearly perfect. There was almost no wind which makes it all so much more beautiful. This is an opening through the mangroves that many of the boats use to get out in the deeper water of the creek.

These boats have been sitting here for months. I have seen the one with the mast and sails move out every now and again but not the other one. When the tide goes out they are resting on the sand.

This is not where I expect to see fishermen. When I first saw them they were out beyond the mangroves and in waist deep water.  As they came in past me I asked if they had caught anything and they said they had.

These birds were strung out along the sand at the Airport Roost.

At first I thought they were all Godwits but when I zoomed in on them I saw Great Knots, Grey-tailed Tattlers, Pacific Golden Plovers and one or two Eastern Curlews.

I heard these Greenshanks long before I saw them. By that time they had moved out to one end of the main flock.

These Pacific Golden Plovers had been walking along the sand to the rear of the other birds but then they moved over the back of the sand spit and into the lagoon behind. The water was not very deep in there as the tide that morning was not very high.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, January 4, 2016


This title seemed appropriate for a first post in 2016. I hope it is going to be a good and productive year with fewer eye problems than last year. My specialist reminds me that I still have sight and anything else is really secondary!
These flowers are an Australian native commonly called Kangaroo Paws - from the species Anigozanthos. I think the more common one is red colored but these plants were given to me and they have grown with very little care. All the honey-eaters (birds that feed on nectar) like them and often the birds are so much bigger than the flowers that the stems are bent right over to the ground.

This flower head was growing under a palm leaf and I think that is why it has grown in this rather different shape.

The fresh flowers have this little red center but most of the ones left on my plant have dried out and are forming seed heads,

What could be more Australian than a Kookaburra? I always like the patterns of light and shade on the birds perching on the tree branches.
This one eventually flopped down on the grass. My friend did not look too happy to see this bird and when I asked why she said that they were sitting out on the front veranda and  enjoying afternoon tea the previous day.  There was a bit of squawking in the tree top then the Kookaburra came down onto the lawn with a tiny naked bird in its beak and proceeded to eat it in front of them.! Kookaburras seem to enjoy eating just about anything that moves!

This bird is a Noisy Fiarbird (Philemon corniculatus) and wouldn't really be thought of as an Aussie Icon!  However, these birds are associated for me with hot summer family beach camping holidays. I had grown up in New Zealand and these were not birds I had ever seen or heard before. I can't think of anything nicer than those long ago camping holidays - in among sand hills just back from the beach and under small trees which grew in that kind of habitat. Back then we called them "Leatherheads". This bird had just been cooling off in a bird bath.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday