Saturday, June 6, 2009

Early morning at Mullens

This morning was nearly perfect. There had been some fog around earlier but it did not last when the sun got up.
Although high tide was just before 8am it was only listed as 2.41M. The tide last night by contrast was 2.98M. I could still see where the birds had roosted last night but this morning the water was well out on the sand flats and there was no reason for the birds to even come up to their normal roosting place. I saw a small flock of Red-capped Plovers and a few Double-banded Plovers. There were also a few Gull-billed Terns standing at the edge of the water. There were no other waders to be seen.
The Paperbark was in full flower and even my poor human nose could smell the honey/nectar. Lovely! There were Mangrove Honeyeaters all along the foreshore - all singing at the top of their voices! -but they are experts at staying just behind the leaves and almost out of sight. This one sat in full view just long enough for me to get a photo. I wished I had also taken my old Canon S2 which has video and therefor sound recording.
As I walked back to the car park area I could see a number of white birds roosting at the edge of the water. There are often numbers of Little Egrets in this area and I assumed that is what they were. However, as I got closer some appeared larger - and photos showed a Royal Spoonbill. Then the two birds that had been perched in the trees flew off and they were Great Egrets. It was too far away for good photos but even record shots are interesting to show birds not usually seen right here.
My dog Misty really enjoys this walk with me. (I have said before that she is a Stumpy-tailed Blue Cattle Dog - some call them Smithfields. They are born without tails.) I have had her since she was a tiny pup and although she had always been allowed to run off the lead, when I saw birds she was quickly put on the lead and made to stand behind my legs while I looked and took photos. However, things have changed now. She often sees the birds before I do and she comes up behind me and gives me a little nudge on the back of the leg with her nose to let me know that I should have the camera up and be taking photos of whatever she has seen. This morning she thought I hadn't seen the Red-capped Plovers on a rather distant sand bank so came and gave me a nudge. However, they were too distant for good photos. When I have finished and move off she runs off too and continues exploring all the interesting things she finds down there. Its always a favorite game to chase the little fish that she sees in the shallow water. With all the splashing that goes on no fish ever gets anywhere near being caught!


  1. Nice to see some photos of Misty. How clever of her to let you know you should have your camera at the ready.
    Must have been a great feeling to get the shot of the Royal Spoonbill - such strange looking birds.

  2. Hi John, thanks for your comments. Like all pet owners I guess - I think Misty is very smart! We do occasionally see Royal Spoonbills on some of the ponds around here but not usually down at the bay.

  3. Hi Mick
    The dog sounds wonderful, and really well trained (or educated).
    I have friends with a red Cattle Dog with stumpy tail. It came from Queensland.

  4. Hi Denis, I like the intelligence which has changed what I trained her to do into something even better.

  5. Clever 'Misty' & good to see her enjoying herself playing in the water.

  6. That's a good and smart girl!
    Mine are not THAT great, but at least they listen to me most of the times.
    The Dachsen sometimes chases deer or rabbits,so while there are young ones I have to keep them on the leash (well, in Hungary that is...)

  7. Thanks Nicole. I think much depends on the breed of dog as to what they naturally want to do.