Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Odds & Ends at Pipeclay Lagoon

A short excursion to Pipeclay Lagoon this morning, at the top of the tide, produced a few interesting observations (and photo. opportunities!). I had actually gone there, I'm talking about the small marsh past the oyster sheds, to take some more shots of the spirited confrontations between Pied Oystercatchers. On that, I bombed out, as the flock had moved elsewhere, but I have quite a few shots that I will blog later. Approaching the marsh, several pairs of Red-capped Plover circled me, calling, suggesting that they're still breeding. A few Pied Oystercatchers followed suit, as did a flock of 30 odd Masked Lapwing, which made me grumble to myself (something I do frequently), as I guessed their alarm calls would make close approach to the migrant waders, difficult. As it turned out, the flock of some 300+ Red-necked Stint (photo top left) were reasonably obliging, and apart from a few short excursions, remained on the marsh edge. Among the flock, I noted a single Curlew Sandpiper, and soon afterwards, a solitary Knot (photo bottom left). The unmistakable call of a Fairy Tern next caught my attention, and as I watched it fishing out in the lagoon, it was joined by another, probably the same pair that I had seen on my last visit, several weeks ago. They alighted back on the beach, alongside another migrant, a single Bar-tailed Godwit ( photo middle left), that I hadn't previously spotted. A slow, measured approach, enabled me to get just close enough to get the shots that are published here. The overcast conditions not making for great shots, but it more than made up for the "missing" Oystercatchers. [Footnote: While looking at the images on the PC, I noticed an orange flagged stint, which would indicate that it had been banded in Victoria.]


Duncan said...

It's always good to spend time with migratory waders Alan, wonderful birds. Flight shots are nice.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this.