Saturday, November 7, 2009

Red-capped Plovers

Red-capped Plovers are one of the smallest waders that we see around here. They are an Australian wader and are here all year round. They make a shallow depression in the sand just above high tide mark for their nest. Because they are so small they are very hard to see out on the sand. Often I hear their piping cry before I see them. A photo as close as this is always great.
This morning I heard their calls well before I could see movement out on the sand banks. They were quite a way off and it hardly seemed worthwhile to bother with a photo. However, I am so glad I did because what I saw in my very distant photos was a family - male, female, and very tiny juvenile! This is only the third time that I have seen a juvenile - and the only photos I have taken of one. The little one looked like a little colored ball of fluff on tiny long legs. The parent birds made sure I did not come too close and I didn't even try to get any closer! The parents either followed the little one or called it to follow them - which it did sometimes! They snatched the occasional bit of food off the sand but the baby was constantly feeding. It pecked bits off the sand and also ventured into the shallow puddles of water to probe for food there. The photos I took are not great but they record a really great bird sighting!
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23 comments:

Denis Wilson said...

Lovely family shots, Mick
You ought be pleased with them.
.
Your first shot is terrific quality.
.
Cheers
Denis

mick said...

Thanks Denis. It was great to see that this pair had bred and fledged a young one. This is one of the species that has a hard time with too many people and dogs around.

Neil said...

Congratulations great job at spotting that one.

mick said...

Thanks Neil, it was good to see a 'runner' after all this time.

Sorry Madahmas I lost your comment - or rather the blog did! This is a great place for shorebirds if you ever visit up this way.

eileeninmd said...

Nice post and photos of the Red-capped Plovers. Great sighting.

Mosura said...

Nice one! Do I understand correctly that you did not see them until looking at the photo?

Wren said...

I agree - good to have the record of the sighting, little shorebirds are such adorable little fuzzballs.

The first photo is stunning. That's an impressive shot by any standards.

mick said...

Thanks for your comments Eileen, Mosura and Wren. I didn't see the young Red-capped Pl. until I took the photo and zoomed in on it. I find carrying binocs plus camera hung around the neck becomes just a bit heavy on a long walk so I take the camera and when I see movement at a distance take a quick photo and zoom in then decide if I am going to walk closer. Lots of photos to delete later of course!

The Early Birder said...

Another magical momemt Mick plus a fabulous close encounter well captured. FAB.

mick said...

Thanks Frank, seeing the little bird made my day.

Larry said...

There is nothing better than seeing a family of birds with the little ones. It is so heart warming to be able to witness nature this way, then to capture it is outstanding! Great job Mick! That first shot of the adult is magnificent.

We are having the same problem here in Northern California with the Western Snowy Plover and people destroying their habitat. You can see the work of the Mendocino Coast Audubon Save Our Shorebirds here.

mick said...

Hi Larry, that is a very interesting site about the efforts of Mendocino audubon group to preserve habitat for shorebirds. Shorebird habitat is certainly under pressure all over the world. Local effort is a good place to start.

NicoleB said...

That tiny one is way cute!
I'm glad you bothered going out :D!
And that close up shot is awesome!

mick said...

Thanks Nicole.

Bob and Cynthia Kaufman said...

I love plovers and this one is a real cutie!

mick said...

Thanks Bob and Cynthia

BirdingMaine said...

Adorable little Plover it is. Lovely photos Mick!

Heather said...

What a fantastic sighting, Mick. You must have been so excited. Such cute little birds.

Midmarsh John said...

Well spotted. The first photo is a real beauty.

ramblingwoods.com said...

Awww..lovely that you got the unexpected treat of the family. They look like our (US) sandpipers a bit.. Michelle

NatureFootstep said...

what a lovely little vader. I wish we had them here.

http://nfbird.blogspot.com/

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Very nice photos, beauty of a Red-capped Plover~

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Beauties of a Red-capped Plover~ We have a species of Plover near and I cannot get anywhere close enough, even with my great lens. Very nice~