Sunday, May 8, 2011

Photographing at Inskip

When I go out to photograph the shorebirds I am usually less concerned with getting the perfect bird photo than with recording the numbers and species I see that morning. Some of my friends 'count' before all else and then keep meticulous lists. I get a better end result if I take lots of photos.
Photos of scenery or some thing that makes the day memorable are a good way for me to fix the rest of the details in memory. The other morning at Inskip Point as I looked north along the Strait between the mainland and Fraser Island there were a number of large vessels which I could not immediately identify. It appeared that they were anchored up that way and then after a while - when the tide came in a little more - they came south and appeared to be making for Tin Can Bay. I have seen similar vessels before - something to do with the army (which has a base close to the southern end of the Bay) I think.
There was a huge difference in the numbers of birds at Inskip from the last time I was out there. I saw no large waders at all. This might have been because the tide was not very high and they could have still been feeding on some of the exposed sand banks. There were approximately 150 small waders - very different from the large numbers I saw last time. (I will record this number and attach it to the photos for the morning.) They were making use of the dry sand and wheel tracks of all the vehicles. There were more Double-banded Plovers than anything else. There were also numbers of Red-capped Plovers. I have always seen these birds out there so I would have been very surprised if they were absent. Although I usually see the Red-capped Plovers roosting in amongst the other small shorebirds, this morning the Double-banded Plovers tended to be by themselves and the Red-capped Plovers separate from them.
Mainly Double-banded Plovers.
Mainly Red-capped Plovers
There were, however, places where the birds were standing together and it was possible to get good comparisons of size and plumage. Double-banded Plover on the left and Red-capped Plover on the right.
So - no great or perfect bird photos for this morning but a very useful photographic record for the area.
For great bird photos visit the Bird Photography Weekly.


  1. Cool photos of those waders - I especially love the red-capped Plover!

  2. great plover shots. Birds are finally coming my way. Not many waders, but still.
    I am not a "counter" either. I take a lot of shots, mostly because I need them for ID-ing the birds. I am not that good at it yet.

  3. Hi NatureFootstep, it's interesting that we take photos for very similar reasons. I too started out taking them only for ID but now also want records of the birds and sites around here.

  4. Oh gosh...that Red-capped Plover is just adorable! I take photos of birds for records too...some photos are artsy, some are for ID...and some for records. I'm terrible at keeping track otherwise.

  5. Hi Kelly, I guess there are more photographers than I realized who share my habit of record-keeping.

  6. Nice shots Mick, love those Red Caps!

  7. Thanks Larry. It's lucky everyone seems to like the Red-capped Plovers as I usually manage to get at least one in my photos with the other birds :-)

  8. I agree - record keeping is great, but I'll remember the experience (and the birds) much more with a photo.

  9. Hi Rebecca, you are right - the 'experience' is much more vivid from photos rather than count numbers.