Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Perhaps it would be more correct to call it a fishing frenzy. On a day of gale force winds that made birding difficult, if not almost impossible, I ventured out anyway, although my birding was virtually confined to the car. I drove along the South Arm Neck and found a mixed flock of birds frenzily chasing after what I assume were small 'bait fish' of some sort, only about 20 metres from the shore (and the road). The flock consisted of about 35 Black-faced Cormorants, 20+ Kelp Gulls, some 40 odd Silver Gulls and a small number of Crested Terns. The cormorants appeared to be driving the fish into the shallows--the water would be less than 30cms deep here--and the gulls and terns were hovering in the 40 knot wind and grabbing anything that presented itself. The shot doesn't really do justice to the scene (clicking on the image to enlarge it might help), and shows only a small portion of the action. Nevertheless, it was an exciting 15 minutes. As something of a bonus, I also managed to take a shot of a passing Swamp Harrier, also using the gale force winds to advantage.