Monday, December 7, 2009

High Tides - and High Winds

This last week should have been perfect for birding. The high tides were early and the highest so far this season. However, we also had high winds and I just can't manage to get my kayak up and down from the car roof racks - safely! - in these conditions.
On the one perfect morning I did a count of the birds at the Crab Creek site. The birds were disturbed and flew from both areas of the roost. I could not see what had disturbed them from one area but in the other area I saw quite a big goanna walking around - and the birds walking rather hurriedly away from it. Two Pied Oystercatchers followed along behind and looked as if they would have liked to get a few good pecks in if they had dared. Off to one side of the roost I saw these two Sharp-tailed Sandpipers roosting next to a little clump of samphire.
Yesterday we kayaked north from the Carlo boat launch to try to get a better idea of where the birds roost in the big roost site that we have been told about in that area. We found a very extensive mangrove roost with both Whimbel and Godwits roosting in it. This is the first time I have ever seen Godwits roosting in trees. However, we also saw a huge cloud of birds disturb from further north again and could not find a way to get through the mangroves. The wind was quite strong and we only managed to get as far as we did because we had shelter from the land and also from the mangroves. I took these photos as we paddled back to the Carlo boat ramp with the wind behind us. The first photo is looking west towards Tin Can Bay in the distance, and the second photo is looking south to the Carlo boat ramp area.
For more bird photos visit the Bird Photography Weekly.


  1. christmas on the beach? A strange thought for a person that lives "up north". :)

    It will take half a year before I can see any vaders again. Nice to see yours. :)

  2. Sounds nice about kayaking the way you do. I have a kayak but only kayakes in a lake where I live. I am not strong enough to paddle in the ocean.

    And, now it is in winterstorage. :(

  3. Sounds like a lovely outing on your kayak. Great birds and photos.

  4. HI Naturefootstep - I kayak in the bay where the water is (mostly) nice and calm - definitely not out in the surf! Christmas at both ends of the world is very different!!

    Hi Eileen it was a good kayak outing but very frustrating that we did not find the full extent of the roost. Maybe next time!

  5. A beach without ice...nice.. My neighbors bought two kayaks this summer as we live near several creeks. I asked my husband about it and he laughed. Now he used to crew, but me..that is another story. LOL. Lovely photos...Michelle

  6. Too bad the weather wasn't cooperating, Mick, but you got some nice photos nonetheless.

  7. You've found a new roost site - that sounds exciting! I'm sure you'll be back when the weather is more suitable.

  8. Hi Michelle I'm sure you would enjoy kayaking with the right kayak - that is a nice steady one difficult to turn over!
    Hi Bob and Cynthia, guess it can't be perfect weather all the time even if we want it.
    Hi Mosura, so many things to investigate around here and just not enough days or hours in the days. Still this last site must certainly be looked at again.