Friday, February 23, 2007

Return of the DBPs

This is the time of year that we usually start to see the Double-banded Plovers. They've always been something of an oddity in my mind. Why would a species traverse the Tasman Sea to South East Australia, to spend the Winter in essentially the same sort of habitat and climate that they enjoy in their home country of New Zealand? Not only that, but only around half of them make the journey. A population estimated to be at least 12,450 birds, of which somewhat less than half Winter in Australia, and of that half, Tasmania appears to get the Lion's share. They can be found, usually in small flocks, on many of our sandy beaches, in the East, North and West. Unlike many of our migrant waders, they seem to prefer to roost in adjoining paddocks, rather than along the shores. Small flocks may also be encountered at inland sites. I have found them at several sites in the Midlands, such as Lake Dulverton at Oatlands and Township Lagoon at Tunbridge (and in surrounding paddocks). I have also seen them at the Great Lake and Lake Augusta (1000m+ level).
By Spring they will have acquired the double bands across the breast, that give them their name, and make the return journey to breed. This bird was photographed at Pipeclay Lagoon earlier this week. One of a small number found with a flock of c.30 Red-capped Plovers.

1 comment:

Duncan said...

Thanks for the tip Alan, I always like to see them. We've just had some rain to wet the mud, I'll have to go looking. Nice pictures by the way. ;-)