Monday, March 22, 2010

Little Egret

I took these photos last week of a Little Egret. The photo shows the breeding plumes on the back of the head. Meanwhile it has rained nearly every day for more than 3 weeks and that makes it very difficult to get out and watch the shorebirds. Of course we are lucky that the recent cyclone was north of us and we didn't even get any of the heavy rain. I am still seeing numbers of Bar-tailed Godwits in breeding plumage. (This next photo was taken yesterday.) I wonder if the Godwits have delayed their departure rather than flying directly into the path of the cyclone. All members of the QWSG who regularly count shorebirds have been asked to keep a special watch for flagged Godwits from New Zealand that left just when their migration path would have put them on track to meet the cyclone. Some of them may have been driven back onto the Queensland coast.For more bird photos visit the Bird Photography Weekly.

17 comments:

  1. I will await whatever shorebirds are coming here. But that lovely egret will not come this far. :(

    But maybe I will spot it in France. I will go there for a week in the beginning of May. To Camargue :)

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  2. Hi NF, I hope you see lots of shorebirds soon. Your planned trip down to Camargue sounds wonderful. I look forward to seeing your photos after that.

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  3. Hi Mick
    I remember reading that the Godwits leave Alaska, after a huge storm, to pick up suitable tail winds, which can literally blow them half way across the north Pacific.
    Maybe something similar works for them on this end too.
    .
    Glad you didn't get washed away, or blown away. I have been noting your comments on the rain you have had. Tough on bird-watching.
    Cheers
    Denis

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  4. Hi Denis, I think our strong SE-erly would have blown the godwits up into the wrong place in relation to the cyclone. The ones in NZ asking for info re any flagged birds are involved in the on-going study of tracking them on their northwards migration. AFAIK those winds that give the godwits such a good start from Alaska are not cyclonic.

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  5. Nice to catch the egret in his fancy duds with all that weather going on around you. I hadn't thought about it affecting migration patterns until just now.

    And yes, our white ibises are quite different from yours, despite sharing a name.

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  6. Hi Mick
    You are right about the winds, cyclones have clockwise winds, so it would not help, unless they get a kick off after it passes.
    It was that part of the story I was remembering from the northern hemisphere story, too. You are right that those storms are not cyclonic, but they can be major weather events, none-the-less.
    But the point is after the storm passes, the wind direction could become a tail wind for them.
    So any already in FNQ when the Cyclone arrived might have got a kick start off to Indonesia.
    Cheers
    Denis

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  7. Hi Wren, yes it was good to see the egret's plumes - BUT - they would have looked better with blue sky behind!!

    Hi again Denis, well I hope the cyclonic winds did help the Godwits and not hinder them. Looking for tags is like looking for a needle in a haystack - but who knows? - sometimes you get lucky!

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  8. 3 weeks of non-stop rain--oh no. Hope it clears soon. Sounds like you've been through the wringer. Beautiful photos of the egret in breeding plumage. I just love seeing egrets!

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  9. Thanks Kelly. Webbed feet might be a good idea right now!

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  10. Lovely that you've got egrets around. Haven't seen any for ages up here.

    Bummer about the weather! I was hoping for a few sunny days with Ului passing to the south of us, but no. One stinker yesterday and back to rain!

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  11. Hi Snail, I wonder what happened to the perfect Qld weather? The BOM is predicting showers for the rest of the week! It's still so humid that it's no fun to put on a rain coat.

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  12. Awesome captures of the Little Egret in breeding plumage Mick. I especially like the in-flight shot.

    And the Godwits in various plumages, very impressive!

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  13. Thanks Larry. I hope to get more and better photos of the Godwits before they all leave - IF the weather permits.

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  14. Gorgeous photos! Especially the second one! You perfectly captured the elegant takeoff of that lovely egret!

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  15. Ugh, sorry about all the rain! great little egret shots. Everyone's in their fancy breeding plumage now, makes for good photos!

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  16. Nice plumes! Hope the rain has cleared a little.

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  17. Nice motion capture on the egret!

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