Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Double-banded Plovers

This post is for World Bird Wednesday.

I had no intentions of photographing more small shorebirds when I went out to Inskip Point the other morning but when there are literally hundreds of birds spread out on the sand in front of you it seems a shame to not get a few more photos. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
Most of the birds were Red-necked Stints showing even more red color around the face and neck than when I last photographed them a couple of weeks ago. They will leave on their northern migration soon. There were also some Red-capped Plovers in among them. The Red-capped Plovers stay in Australia all year. In this photo the birds are roosting down in a car track in the sand. There are 3 Red-capped Plovers in the rear.
As I took more photos I noticed a few other shorebirds roosting with the Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints. Some of the flock moved out to the edge of the water as the tide fell and I followed trying to get some good photos of these other birds. They were Double-banded Plovers which are sometimes called Double-banded Dotterels (Charadrius bicinctus). These birds are different from all the other migratory shorebirds that visit Australia. They breed in the braided river channels in the south island of New Zealand. The winters are too severe for them to stay there all year so they fly over to the east coast of Australia for the winter. Then in early spring (the southern hemisphere season) they fly back to New Zealand again to breed there. I am told that there are also some birds that remain in New Zealand year round in places where the climate is not so severe. In the first photo there is a female Red-capped Plover in front and a Double-banded Plover behind.

20 comments:

  1. these are just adorable birds. :)

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  2. Beautiful shots of that Double-banded Plover Mick. I really like the one with the Red-capped Plover in front for comparison.

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  3. Excellent images as always Mick! I agree, the Double-banded Plover is awesome.

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  4. You have somr beautiful birds on your patch. Lovely images.

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  5. Hiya Mick,

    I had no idea that NZ has such a harsh winter climate that the birds have to escape to Australia.

    These are very sympathetic birds.
    2jo.co

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  6. I'd love to see those Red-capped for real. Thanks for sharing the info and the Double-banded, a chunky looking species.

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  7. When in Rome do as the Romans do and when on the beach take shorebird pictures! It's like an impish kid jumping around the yard, it's hard not to take their picture. Your Plovers are magnificent and worthy of your attention for sure. Excellent!

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  8. Hi Mick
    Nice post. Is it in non-breeding plumage?
    I might not have recognised it for what it is.
    Denis

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  9. Thanks to everyone for commenting. I should have said that Double-banded Plovers only show their 'double-bands' when they are in breeding plumage. Then they are quite spectacular.

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  10. They are beautiful birds. Great photos. I think Plovers are so cute.

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  11. Those Red-caps are a beautiful little shorebirds. Great job.

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  12. Very interesting birds and post. Love those little birds.

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  13. A few more photos of some very photogenic beauties!
    Great shots!

    I like the puffed up looks in the second photo.

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  14. "it seems a shame to not get a few more photos"

    I hear ya ;)

    Those photos are fantastic again. Love the DBPs :D

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  15. More splendid shore birds - as ever.

    I still think its interesting just how many birds only occur in Tasmiania - its not really that far from the rest of the country!

    Cheers Stewart M - Australia

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  16. Great shots mick!! I never get tired of the plovers. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  17. Superb captures of these beauties!

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  18. Amazing photos---great to get so many in one shot!!!

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  19. I agree - it would just be wrong NOT to take advantage of this photo op -- and I can't see too many photos of these wonderful shore birds. I will try to get some plover pictures when we are back in Oregon. There are some there.

    The beaches that we can get to easily here where we stay in Florida are very busy with people -- you are fortunate to have such a quiet natural beach area.

    (I don't really hate people... they just aren't very good photo ops -- especially most of the ones on Florida beaches, tourist ads notwithstanding). ... We do have many quiet nature areas here and I've posted pix from them. Just not on the beaches so much.

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  20. I love the second shot! Cute birds.

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