Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bush Stone-curlew

I photographed this Bush Stone-curlew Burhinus grallarius) this morning after trying to do a shorebird count at the Crab Creek Site. A group of these birds is living on the Tin Can bay golf course. This morning they were close to the road and easy to photograph. It was an early tide this morning so I was out on the water by 7am. However, the fog was so thick that it was almost impossible to see the birds until I was very close to them. The fog started to lift after another half hour or so but even then the birds were very 'flighty' and disturbed and flew up and away when a Little Egret flew overhead. I saw Bar-tailed Godwits, Whimbrells, Eastern Curlews, Common Greenshanks and Pacific Golden Plovers as well as the usual Australian shorebirds such as Pied Oystercatchers and Red-capped Plovers. However, I was not close enough to get good photos.Because the fog was so thick it had left water droplets on all the spider webs.There was almost no wind and the reflections in the water were perfect.Later when the fog lifted it turned into a hot and sunny day. Then by late afternoon the thunderstorms rolled through and we got over 45 mm of rain in less than an hour. (That's close to 2 inches!) It has certainly been an interesting day.To see more bird photos visit the Bird Photography Weekly.

19 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Your bush stone curlew is cool looking. And it sounds like an interesting day for counting the birds. The storm clouds look neat.

Mosura said...

"...close to the road and easy to photograph." - I'm not jealous.......much :-)

Love that foggy reflection shot!

mick said...

Thanks Eileen, we don't often get a day as extreme as this, fortunately!

Hi Mosura, I think that these birds are much easier to see up here in QLD than further south. In some places they even seem to live quite happily in the middle of suburbia.

Wren said...

Interesting-looking bird. The eye dominates the face. So glad this one cooperated so you could get the photo.

Larry said...

I love that reflection shot with the boat and the last photo of storm clouds coming in is awesome!

Fantastic shot of the Bush Stone-curlew Mick! What an interesting bird. Having never been to Australia, I have never seen this bird but it reminded me of our Greater Roadrunner over here in the states. So I looked it up.

Apparently it fills the same ecological niche in Australia as the roadrunner occupies over here.

The thing I thought most interesting is that, according to Wikipedia, they are mostly nocturnal and will freeze and remain motionless to escape predation.

mick said...

Thanks Wren, I was lucky it was so close to the road and the edge of the golf course.

Hi Larry, That's interesting about the similarity to your Roadrunner. Mostly they are well hidden in the grass and when they lie down flat with the neck outstretched their camouflage is almost perfect.

swampythings said...

Yes lovely Bush Stone-curlew Mick, they are fascinating birds. Our resident pair lost their eggs during the recent wet weather - probably predated upon ....... we had seen a hungry looking Python nearby.

Great photo essay of an interesting weather day!

Neil said...

Great photos that storm looks impressive.

mick said...

Hi Barbara. How nice to have a pair resident in your own yard. They wouldn't have much hope of protecting their eggs against a python I imagine.

Hi Neil, yes it was quite a storm while it lasted. It even sounded like some hail on the roof at the beginning of the storm.

BirdingMaine said...

WOW, the Bush Stone Curlew is awesome! Great photos Mick!

Tyto Tony said...

Good stormy stuff. All sunny up here at last.

mick said...

Thanks BirdingMaine.

Hi Tony, and in between the thunderstorms its like a sauna! Meanwhile I am trying to deal with weeds in the garden that seem to like these conditions very much!

Bob Kaufman said...

Quite an interesting day indeed! Your photo of the Bush Stone-Curlew is to die for!

mick said...

Thanks for your comments Bob.

DoanLegacy said...

How a day can change so fast, but your photos are fantastic.

Debra said...

I've never seen a Bush Stone Curlew before and I have to say it is very unique looking and I love the big eyes! Those are some angry looking clouds in that last photo....I just love storm clouds. Also, the photo with the reflection in the water is really cool!

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on my hummingbird pics. ~ Debra

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
I'm with Larry, (photographically) your reflections shot is an award winner.
Cheers
Denis

mick said...

Thanks for commenting DoanLegacy and Debra.
Thanks Denis.

NatureFootstep said...

wow, never seen a bird like it. Not even in books. Don´t think it comes up here. Seems liek an interesting morning on the lake. :)
There are still ice on mine.