Sunday, April 10, 2011

More Red-caps!

There were not many shorebirds around when I walked out to the Mullens roost the other day. On the southern end of the bay there were the usual Red-capped Plovers - and, as usual, I couldn't resist taking more photos of them. Some were making great reflections in the still water.
Some were taking a bath! This one looked a bit damp all over.
This one was dipping itself in sideways in an effort to get as wet as it could in the shallow water.
However, the really interesting thing I wanted to photograph was an area of new plants. Much of the ground on the shallow end of the bay is covered with this almost black coating which dries out and cracks up when it is out of the water for long periods. When the tides come right in it gets very soft and slippery again. I don't know what it is although one book I read suggested that it was some kind of algae.
There are several quite large areas where nothing has grown on top of this black "stuff" but over the last few months I have noticed this has been changing. Areas of small plants are growing over the black and there is now a rather sparse cover of bright green.
The plants are still small enough that it is difficult to ID them. All the plants in the salt marsh are very slow growing but it will be interesting to see how these plants develops over the next year.
For more bird photos visit the Bird Photography Weekly.


  1. those cute little plovers! :) sweet captures!

  2. Beautiful pictures of the Red-capped Plovers, Mick! Yet another new bird to me. Nice find!

  3. That black stuff is bizarre. Did it just appear?

  4. that plover is a real cutie. Love the shot where it tries to get wet sideways. :) Must have been fun watching it.

    I don´t think this one will come my way.

    The ice is almost gone, but there are some troubles with the lock to the kayak barn so I don´t know when it will be OK again. My kayak is stuck inside.

  5. Thanks to all for commenting. I'm glad you all liked the little Red-capped Plovers. They are even cuter to watch in real time. Re the black 'stuff' - it's always been there for as long as I have lived here. Wish I knew what it was!

  6. ...a gorgeous little bird. The second photo really steals the show. I love the shade of red on his head...just beautiful.

  7. Great blog, lovely photography. I believe the plant is Salicornia. It can be eaten and is good, very salty. Turns a stunning crimson in the fall. I did a blog on it once. great to have found your wonderful blog, too.

  8. Beautiful photos of a beautiful bird!

  9. Thanks for commenting Kelly, Robin and Amila. I must go and have a look at that blog post of yours Robin.

  10. Love those Red-cap bath shots. That last one's hilarious :D

    The black stuff does look like Algae.
    Maybe the marsh had a problem in it's eco system and is now recovering?
    I've seen those tiny plants before, I think. Just don't know where or what it is.... :/

  11. Hi Nicole, the black stuff is present on almost all the saltmarshes around here so I think it must be a permanent feature of the marsh.