Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Once More unto the Spit

Earlier this week, I set off for Pipeclay Lagoon, hoping that on the early morning high tide I might get a sighting, or better still, some photographs of the waders on the high tide roost. In the event the tide failed to reach any great height, and I retraced my steps to the Lauderdale Spit. This proved to be a good option as the waders reported to be at Pipeclay, had moved to this venue, (got to get lucky sometimes).
As I dodged the traffic to cross the road to the spit, I could already see waders. These were almost certainly the same birds I had mentioned in the previous blog, Double-banded and Red-capped Plover, so I decided to
concentrate on getting photos of the Double-banded. As I closed on the loose flock feeding on the edge of the incoming tide, I realised that a little further along the spit were several Bar-tailed Godwit. I must have got a little over excited at this point, as I managed to step into the only deep pool on the saltmarsh! Now sporting water filled gum boots, but eyes still firmly fixed on the 'sleeping' Godwit, I used a storm cast dead tree trunk as scant cover to get closer. They didn't move, although they were obviously well aware of my presence. I sat down on the tree trunk and in the next twenty minutes, took the accompanying shots.
There proved to be 5 Bartails and a lone Whimbrel. The Whimbrel was a bit nervous and at one stage flew off several metres, landed, looked round, realised that the Bartails hadn't moved, and ran back to join them. I like to think
it was embarrassed!
I did consider staying at this spot and letting the rising tide move the birds ever closer, but in the event decided to let them be. I did get one bonus, because as I walked back, a small flock of waders flew past and I took a shot of them. The flock consisted of Redcaps and the solitary Grey-tailed tattler that I had 'shot' on my previous visit. Photographing birds in flocks is a difficult proposition at the best of times and rarely really works. But luck was on my side, as the only bird that proved to be in focus was the Tattler! It dawned on me later, as I divested myself of wet gumboots and socks, that I never did photograph the Double-bandeds! Oh well, next time perhaps
[Images: Top, Bar-tailed Godwit and Double-banded Plover; middle, Whimbrel; lower, Grey-tailed Tattler]


Duncan said...

I'm a bit envious of you with those over wintering waders Alan. We're looking forward to next season with all the wetlands and salt marshes replenished with water, might be one out of the box.

BirdingTas said...

Hi Duncan,
Well the grass is always greener... although perhaps with all the rain you've had, your's might be the greenest! It's always great when the the wetlands and marshes are replenished, particularly after such a long drought. So far we've missed out on the heavy rain--it's drizzling as I write, and some of our wetlands have been dry for several years, so here's hoping.