Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Red-necked Stints and Little Terns

This post is for World Bird Wednesday.

It was a beautiful morning out at Inskip Point. The small shorebirds followed the receding water as the tide went out. Even though the water was only a thin film across the sand, there was no wind and the reflections were perfect. There were numbers of Red-necked Stints (Calidris ruficollis). Some were still in their non-breeding plumage but others were showing red breeding color around the neck and down their front. These are the smallest shorebirds to visit Australia in our summer and they breed in northern Asia - such a long trip for such small birds!
Roosting with them in the shallow water were numbers of Little Terns (Sterna albirons).
This is the smallest tern we see here in SE Queensland. There are two distinct populations of Little Terns that we see here. One population stays in Australia all year and breeds here. The other population migrates here for the summer and breeds in northern Asia. The first photo shows a bird in breeding plumage and the second photo is one in non-breeding plumage. The birds I photographed are part of the migrating Little Terns. Some Little Terns breed in Japan and I hope they find there are still places for them away from the areas of devastation.

18 comments:

  1. It's Tern day for the both of us! :-) Lovely captures.

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  2. They are beautiful. We don't get to see them here - too far inland, for sure!

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  3. All of them are beautiful!

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  4. Great to see the Terns. Lopking forward to seeing them arrive in the UK this year. The Sand Martins have just arrived from West Africa a sign Summer is on its way.

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  5. Hi Mick. I can always guarantee to get an Aussie wader fix when I drop by. Super shots as usual. I do hope those Terns find somewhere to rest idc. FAB.

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  6. Love the focus and DOF in your first shot!
    Nice reflections as well.
    Definitely a long flight to grace your shores.

    Thanks for your visit.

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  7. Great shots. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  8. Great pictures. It is amazing how many white birds there are when you think of it.

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  9. Lovely pictures -- your shores are always so lovely. And, oh, I hadn't even thought of the effects on birds from the devastation in Japan. I hope they find another place too.

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  10. I agree with you that the life and travels of these small creatures are epic.Your pictures capture the peaceful side of things.
    Midway island and Hawaii both sustained damage to the nesting shore birds. Your reminder of the stresses put upon living things by natural disasters is welcomed!

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  11. Hi there - thanks for having a look at my blog - and yes I left a little clue as to where the bowerbirds are from!

    Nice little terns.

    Cheers - Stewart M

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  12. Lovely shots of these little fellows.
    And yes, hope they find some ground to breed.

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  13. Rarely we can see little Terns in Sweden. I have seen it on Öland teh island in the Baltic sea south of weden. They are nice to watch.
    And I enjoy your shots of the stints. :)

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  14. The Little Tern reminds me a bit of a kingfisher- same oversized head!

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  15. They are very beautiful. Great post.

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  16. Beautiful shorebirds and great photos, Mick! I am looking forward to seeing the shorebirds return.

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