Friday, March 27, 2009

Lesser Sand-plovers

This was the second day out kayaking for me after a long break and once again the weather did not cooperate. The rain absolutely pelted down and I could only get the camera out during the brief period between showers. Then of course, once I was home again, it all cleared up and we had a fine sunny day. I kayaked around to the Mullens roost as there is always a different selection of birds there.
The smaller waders usually can be found at the head of the bay and they were still there yesterday. I had good close looks at Red-capped Plover and Red-necked Stint - but these ones are fairly easy to get close to. I was lucky with the Lesser Sand-plovers too - I sat still in the kayak on the opposite side of the bay and then let the wind and tide drift me in towards them. It worked this time! This photo shows part of the flock I saw yesterday. (A large photo)
I have been told that waders need to increase their body weight by at least one third to make the northern migration successfully. These Lesser Sand-plovers breed in inland eastern Siberia so they have a long way to go. The photos I took yesterday show all the birds looking like little fat balls. I also managed to get photos showing different stages in breeding plumage.
I had a great time kayaking - even if it was raining!


  1. I have really enjoyed browsing through your blog. Great photographs of such a lovely variety of birds and other creatures you have in your part of the world. John

  2. Hi John thanks for your comments. Part of the fun of blogging I think is reading about birds and birding in other parts of the world.

  3. Thanks for sharing the various plumages of Lesser Sand Plover - another new one for me. Have a good weekend Mick. Cheers Frank

  4. Thanks Frank. Your birds are only known to me by books and photos too.

  5. Nice to see fat waders: means your feeding grounds are meeting their needs. Let's hope for more positive change in attitudes towards conservation and 'wastelands' on world migration routes, particularly throughout Asia.

  6. Well done Mick, I've been looking at your waders with envy!

  7. Hi Tony and Duncan. Its been nice to be out again, but I'm sorry I've apparently missed most of the godwits. re conservation - this area is a Ramsar listed site - but its not stopping the state government from going ahead with plans to dam the Mary river which flows in to the northern part of the Great Sandy Straits. It is predicted that it will have a huge impact in the long term - so I guess we still need to push the attitudes to conservation here too.

  8. Delightful wader photos Mick - I particularly enjoy seeing the birds in different stages of breeding plumage. Your comment regarding this Ramsar listed site being affected by the proposed Mary River dam illustrates the ongoing problems that can occur when the environment is drastically altered.

  9. Thanks for your comments Barbara. IMO too many things are being done to the environment for short term gains.

  10. G'day Mick,
    it's beaut to see shots of fat waders - well done. Just amazing the the round trips that some of those birds do each year!
    Hope you have some joy in preventing a dam. We have similar issues down here with the Gippsland Lakes. I live in a farming district and get askance looks when I declare I'm a 'no more dams' person!

  11. What a love bird Mick - first time I've come across this one.

    You must be pleased to be back in your kayak again after all this time :D

  12. Hi Gouldiae and Tricia - thanks for your comments.

    Tricia - It was great to get close enough to get some good photos of the Lesser Sand-plovers. I definitely get closer in the kayak.

    Gouldiae - the whole issue about water and dams is a big problem. We MUST find ways to be economically and ecologically sustainable - surely there is a way to do both?