Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Morning Bonus--Eastern Curlew

Still feeling the after effects of recent surgery, I decided I didn't want to undertake anything too strenuous and opted for a quiet early morning drive down towards the South Arm Peninsula. I knew the tide would be high and there was a fair chance of photographing the large flocks of Pied Oystercatcher roosting close to the road. In fact at Lauderdale, I quickly found a large group on the spit, but I also knew that approaching them would be pointless as they would take flight at my approach. I drove on to Pipeclay Lagoon. About an hour later, I returned to Lauderdale. By now, the tide was very hgh. Opposite the shops was a Pied Oystercatcher roost of, I guess, about 120 birds, forced close to the road by the height of the tide. I slowed, and as I did so, I realised that a solitary Eastern Curlew was standing on a submerged mound just off shore, and presented a good possibility for photography. Parking the car across the road, I approached the oystercatchers cautiously, afraid that they would fly and take the Curlew with them. They became very restless, but as you see I got my picture of the Curlew. It may all seem a bit melodromatic, but getting close to these magnificent birds isn't easy. Until this morning's episode, I don't think I've managed to get closer than about 3 or 4 hundred metres, so getting one close enough to photograph, was from my perspective, a triumph. It certainly capped off a great morning.

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