This post is for World Bird Wednesday.
The other morning I kayaked around to the roost on the south side of Mullens Creek. It is not far from all the activity at the picnic ground but too far for anyone to reach it unless they have water transport. This roost is also close to the small grass airport for private planes - hence its name. A good variety of shorebirds uses this roost with the right tide height and the right time of day. I counted well over 200 shorebirds the other morning. If you want to count the shorebirds you need to be out on the bay where you can see the whole of the sandy beach. If you want good photos you have a better chance of creeping up closer to the birds without disturbing them if you come in behind the sandspit. Unfortunately there's not much chance of doing both on the same tide so I had to opt for a count the other morning and only got what photos I could while sitting in the kayak while it rocked slightly on the water. I am not taking my new camera or long lens out on the kayak and can certainly notice the difference in the photos.
The birds were spread out along the length of the sandy beach. I saw Pied Oystercatchers, Little Egrets, Eastern Curlew, Whimbrels, Bar-tailed Godwits, Pacific Golden Plovers, Grey-tailed Tattlers, Terek Sandpipers and Common Greenshanks.
The Eastern Curlews were standing off by themselves but the others were in a mixed flock. I took numbers of photos from one end of the beach to the other so I could check my ID and counts after I got home and looked at the photos on the computer. The Whimbrels were on the beach behind where most of the Godwits were roosting. Later in the season I commonly see Whimbrels roosting in the mangroves and not on sandy beaches.
There were only 3 Pacific Golden Plovers but they were in different stages of moult out of their breeding plumage.
This is the only roost on the southern end of the Strait were we see Terek Sandpipers. They always roost with Grey-tailed Tattlers and it is not easy to tell them apart. Some of the Tattlers also showed remnants of their breeding plumage.