Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Missed Out Again

I had a surprise visit from Bill and Els late on Sunday afternoon. They had just seen and photographed an Arctic Tern at Lewisham Lakes--the Forcett Lakes Golf Course lake to be precise. The Arctic Tern is a rare visitor to Tasmania, and several of the records are of beachwashed birds rather than live ones. Foolishly, I didn't ask for a copy of any of their shots. Actually, they persuaded me that the bird would still be there the following day, and I might get better shots. Can't imagine why I believed that, probably let flattery get the better of me! As you probably guessed, despite two visits, one in the morning and another in the afternoon, there was no sign of any terns, Arctic or otherwise. Despite that, this venue is a pleasant place to bird, and there is usually plenty to see. I didn't come away completely empty handed as you can see from the accompanying shots. Bill had mentioned seeing a few Sharptailed Sandpiper at the lake, and during the morning visit I saw 3 flying round. In the afternoon, I wandered round the margins of the lake near the club house, and while trying to photograph a pair of Black-fronted Plover, I came across this solitary Sharptail seen at left. Sharptailed Sandpipers aren't rare in Tasmania, but in recent years, I've seen very few. Both Orielton Lagoon and Barilla Bay were good spots to see them at times in the past. This is my first attempt to photograph them, and probably because this bird was alone, I was able to get surprisingly close. This venue has the possibility of 'hosting' the odd Pectoral Sandpiper too, being fresh water.
[If you're intending to visit this site, I suggest you ask at the club house, as I did. It isn't always manned though]

1 comment:

John & Shirley Tongue said...

Sorry you missed the Tern - we've NEVER seen an Arctic Tern! I' don't think we'll race out there, even though we have found it a productive spot for birding, too.
Nice shot of the Sharpie, though. It's generally hard to get very close to them, we find.
We also don't see many around, though Shirley did see 'numerous' (couldn't get an accurate count) on the last remaining bit of water in Lake Dulverton (near the island) last Sunday.