Sunday, July 6, 2008

Shoreline Birds

I went out today with friends to do the July wader count for the QWSG. It was a nasty blustery cold day (for southern Queensland that is!) Along the Tin Can Bay foreshore there were very few waders as it is mid-winter and only juveniles and some old birds over-winter here. Gull-billed Terns are back after breeding in inland areas during the summer.

There was also a small flock of Bar-tailed Godwits with their bills tucked back under their wings. A Caspian Tern and some Silver Gulls stood at the edge of the water with them.

Winter flowering Gums and Paperbarks were still in full flower and the small nectar feeding birds were all among them. However, with the blustery conditions they were very hard to see in the tops of the trees.

Coastal she-oaks (Casuarina equisetifolia) line the shore at a number of places. Today we heard Mistletoe birds and then found that the mistletoe plants in these trees were also in flower. These plants mimic the host tree so that they have have similar shaped needles (leaves).

The little male Mistletoebird (Dicaeum hirundinaceum) came down quite close but the trees were short and shrubby and there was plenty of cover to keep me from getting good photos of the bird. In the end the only clear photos were ones taken looking up and against the light. I shall try again later and hope for better conditions.


  1. Beaut photo of the godwits Mick. Bet you it wasn't as cold as down here!

  2. I'm sure it wasn't Duncan. I've just been reading Gouldiae's blog and we sure don't get weather like that.

  3. It all sounds rather wintry. Glad I'm down here in in Tassie :-)

    Love the Mistletoe bird. We don't get them here as there is no mistletoe.

  4. I guess "cold" is relative! We did set up our spotting scopes in knee deep water to get better views of the waders at one site! The water was a nice Queensland temperature! It was the wind that was cold.