Jill has a friend visiting from Switzerland and she came out with us. Trudi was interested and enthusiastic about the birds, the way the sea surrounds the Point on three sides, the way the tide was coming in and undermining the lip of the sand which had been built up over the last month, and everything else which she saw or we pointed out to her. It was no trouble to walk out there with us and she kept up as we walked over the soft sand. She was exactly the kind of visitor it is a delight to show around! Trudi has a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks time and she will be turning 94. What a great example to follow! I hope I can stay as active and involved and enthusiastic as this lovely lady!
Now about the birds. The tides over the last few days have been exceptionally high so that the sand island where the birds usually roost was almost covered. As the water rose around the island the birds flew in to roost on the Point. There were small numbers of Terns but most had already left for their fishing grounds out at sea. There was a flock of 820 small waders. There was also a flock of 1140 mixed larger waders. This was made up mainly of Bar-tailed Godwits, Whimbrels, and Great Knots. The small waders were on the north side of the point and the larger waders were strung out along the south side of the point. Jill counted and I recorded and then I started to move a little closer to get some photos. Before I got anywhere near the birds they all flew up! A White-breasted Sea-Eagle had flown over and frightened them all. With the island almost under-water and the Point a less desirable place they all set off towards Fraser Island and in the direction of Hook Point.
Mainly Godwits and some Great Knots.
The small waders followed them. There is no recorded roost site on Fraser Island in that direction but I have seen birds set off in that direction a number of times.
Part of the flock of small waders - Red-capped Plovers, and Red-necked Stints.
Eastern Curlews were the last to leave the sand island.
Some of them came in and roosted at the very end of the Point and persisted there even with the waves beginning to break over the area.
Curlews and two Common Greenshanks
The tide was coming right over the Point by the time we left and it was still an hour or so until high tide. The barges which carry vehicles to Fraser Island would have had to move before too much longer.
For more bird photographs go to the Bird Photography Weekly.