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.