I am sure I have said before that I enjoy going out to Inskip Point. Last Thursday I did a shorebird count in the early morning then in the evening I had help from some friends to do a Tern count. Both results were very interesting but the difficulty was that I cannot take good photos when my mind is concentrated on counting the birds that I am seeing. The best I can usually do is some quick photos of the scenery.
There were the usual flocks of small birds roosting in the car tracks on the point. They were mainly Red-capped Plovers and Double-banded Plovers. Some of them were just getting their breeding plumage of bands of bright red and black.
There are always a few Silver Gulls and Terns right on the point hoping to pick up something easy from whatever fishermen are around.
The sand island had great numbers of birds all roosting closely together. There were hundreds of Bar-tailed Godwits and smaller numbers of Eastern Curlew, Grey-tailed Tattler, Pied Oystercatchers, Pied Cormorants; and Caspian, Crested, Little, Common, and Gull-billed Terns. It is not possible to see the smaller birds with a spotting scope but I know they must have been out there too because I see them when I go out there in a kayak.
In all I counted over 800 birds.
That evening I went out with friends to count the Terns. We count the ones that are already roosting when we get there then wait for the others as they fly in from wherever they have been feeding during the day. There was a nearly full moon as we waited for the birds to come in.
Many of the birds fly in to roost on the sand island which gets harder and harder to see as the light goes.
The sunset was especially beautiful as there had been a big fire burning that afternoon and the smoke made the sunset extra bright.
We counted over 700 terns that evening.
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