Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mangrove Roosts

This morning I took advantage of an early tide and good weather to kayak around to a shorebird roost that I haven't visited for a few weeks. This roost is quite close to the channel leading out from the Mullens picnic area. However, immediately in front of the roost the water is very shallow – great for a kayak but I don't think even a small fishing 'tinny' and outboard would get in here.
A passing fisherman

There is a small stretch of sandy beach and sometimes there are birds roosting there. However, the mangroves fringing the shoreline always have roosting birds. It is the only place that I have found Terek Sandpipers around the bay. There is usually a mixed flock of Terek Sandpipers and Grey-tailed Tattlers, but the Tattlers are also found in lots of other places around the bay. This morning my estimate was at least 150 birds roosting in the mangroves, but I was not fast enough to see how many Grey-tailed Tattlers and how many Terek Sandpipers. Both these species prefer a mangrove with exposed branches where they can get a good view of any intruders.
A mangrove tree with roosting Terek Sandpipers

I then paddled up the creek to where I have sometimes found Whimbrels. These birds also roost in mangroves but they roost in the higher more leafy branches and are very hard to see. There are always one or two birds on an exposed top branch which seem to act as look-outs for the ones that are lower down. If you get too close the whole flock will fly noisily out of the mangroves. The birds this morning were not settled and portions of the roosting flock kept flying up and then resettling. I estimated about 40 birds but there could have been considerably more that I could not see.


  1. Wow! Kayaking and birding! Must be quite a thrill.

  2. Hi Bob and Cynthia, kayaking is the only way to get around the bay and see birds. Boat engines are too noisy and there are no tracks around most of the shoreline.

  3. Heaven is any stretch of water without an outboard to be heard.

    Had a white-plumaged Grey tattler up this way a while back. Seen anything similar down there? They really stand out, so not a great survival factor.

  4. I agree about the outboards - although its a big bay down this end and not as popular as up around Inskip Point. That Tattler sounds interesting - never seen anything like that down this way.

  5. Hi Mick
    Interesting to see "waders" not wading, but perched in the mangroves.

  6. Hi Denis, this is the preferred roost for these two species, however on lower tides I do find them on sand bank roosts.

  7. Another nice one Mick, with photos showing waders roosting where we southerners never see them.

  8. Thanks Duncan, its interesting to see waders roosting in the mangroves. However, in the case of Whimbrels its very frustrating as its almost impossible to get a complete count - and its hardly fair to make them fly just to count them.

  9. What a spot and great shots. Thanks for visiting, I hope to share with you these visually beautiful photograph of people, plants, animals, architecture, landscapes and life of a Malaysian (where I live)more in the future.

    Come again if you like.