Monday, August 20, 2012

They're Back!

 This post is for Wild Bird Wednesday.

They're back!  The shorebirds that is!  Of course, these are just the first to arrive but I always think these ones are the promise that the rest of them will be here soon!
Eastern Curlews (Numenius madagascariensis)  are always the first to arrive and over the last week or so their numbers have been increasing.  They breed in Russia and NE China but my bird book says their distribution there is "poorly known".  They are the largest migratory shorebird that we see around here and their very long down-curved bill makes them easy to recognize.  They are not easy to get close to.  I have been told that a bird as large as this has formerly been regarded as good eating in some of the countries along the flyway from the northern hemisphere.

 I saw these ones out at Inskip Point at the end of last week.  They were strung out along the waterline where some were sleeping but others were preening with that incredibly long bill.  The three Godwits that I saw roosting with them looked small in comparison.  There were a couple of vehicles and some other people there at the same time and suddenly the Curlews decided it was all too crowded and they took off for the sand island.


 

26 comments:

  1. their bills really are something!

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  2. Exciting stuff! I know how you feel. When I first saw these birds on a trip, I was really thrilled. Love the shots of them taking off in flight. Hope you get to see more. Curlews in general are mysterious birds:)

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  3. Wonderful birds! I've only seen a few (probably not exactly the same but they had that amazing bill. Wonderful to live where you have so many. Beginning an exciting birding season for you!

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  4. What a great sight they are in mass. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  5. Very cool sighting, The Curlews are beautiful birds, I love that long beak. Awesome photos, I can not wait to see more of your shorebirds.

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  6. They are back...great photos of them ... Michelle

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  7. yes they have such a long bill, our shorebirds have left as most of the small wetlands are dry now here. Hope we get to see more of the shorebirds there.

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  8. Wonderful shots of birds. Their beak is very long.

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  9. Gorgeous! The water backgrounds are fantastic!

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  10. Very nice photo series showing.
    Wish you a good day :)
    Hanne Bente

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  11. An interesting point you make about the fact that humans still see it necessary to eat wild birds. No wonder a lot of our wildlife shuns us. Good to see your waders coming through in numbers though and your pictures show the longer bill of your curlew compared to our own.

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  12. This is a great series. I especially love the last one as they're taking off. Their beaks (or is it bills?) are incredible!

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  13. It's nice to see the birds coming back! Are you watiing for Spring now? We here in Sweden are soon going to have Autumn!

    Thanks for telling me about the australian magpie. I have now looked at pictures and see there's big difference.
    Greetings Pia

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  14. Aren't they neat? I like the whole group you've managed to capture in your photos. Around Texas, when I see a curlew, they're usually a solitary bird.

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  15. I am glad they have arrived and what spendid action images you shared~

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  16. beautiful birds, great captures. That bill looks almost dangerous.

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  17. Great shots. I have never seen the curlew, love the bill.

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  18. I'm looking forward to the fall migration here in Ontario. A few are back...but not in great numbers yet.

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  19. Great shots of these Eastern Curlews Mick! They look almost exactly like our Long-billed Curlews in the U.S. According to Wikipedia, the Eastern Curlew is larger and is also listed as Vulnerable by IUCN since 2010.

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  20. you got some lovely shots of the Eastern Curlews Mick

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  21. Hi there - good to see the waders are coming back - Its always interesting to see what sort of breeding season they had.

    With luck I may be able to go a trip to trap some Avocet this weekend - but I wont be holding my breath!

    Cheers - Stewart M

    PS: sorry for late reply - I had my own visitors from the Northern hemisphere!

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  22. That must be very cool to see, Mick. I love your shot of the birds in the air.

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  23. Oh wow!! Exciting! My husband and I are planning a drive up that way possibly on Saturday!! Inskip is a bit too far but we were hoping they are a bit further down. If you know can you please email me and let me know which is the best place... especially since I only have a 55-250mm lens for birding.
    Thanks Mick!!

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