The king tide was this last week-end and there was certainly a lot of media attention with photos of the high tide eroding away beaches. Up in my area it was a non-event! I was hoping for some spectacular photos of what rising water levels in the future might do to our life-style here on the coast - but - it just didn't happen!
I went kayaking on Friday to the Crab Creek Roost. The tide was earlier and there was less wind predicted. I got some nice photos of birds but the tide at that roost was not as high as I have seen it on previous very high tides. I thought the next day might be considerably higher so I went back to the foreshore at Crab Creek to photograph the water levels. I have taken photos at this place a number of years. Here they are: (The photos are my own - the tide heights are from a friend who has kept her tide books from a number of years past.)
This photo was taken in 2009 when the tide height from the charts was 2.83 meters.
This photo was taken in 2010 when the tide height from the charts was 2.81 meters.
This photo was taken this last week-end when the tide height was predicted to be 2.82 meters.
A wider view of the same piece of pathway shows where the water has risen over a little bit of the foreshore.
So I am left with a big puzzle. Why was the actual tide height so far below what was predicted. I have been hearing some most interesting ideas - some of them very fanciful! However, this is taken from the Bureau of Meteorology site and seems to me to be the most likely explanation. -
"Variations in tidal heights are mainly caused by unusually high or low barometric pressure or by
prolonged strong winds.
Low-pressure systems tend to raise sea levels and high-pressure systems tend
to lower them. The water does not, however, adjust itself
immediately to a change of pressure. It responds, rather, to the
average change in pressure over a considerable area."
These photos of shorebirds were taken at the Crab Creek Roost around the high tide on Friday. Only the bigger shorebirds were roosting as the sandbanks gradually went under water. It was interesting to see so many Eastern Curlew roosting together, and beside Bar-tailed Godwits. Eastern Curlews are the largest migratory shorebird to come here.
As the water rose the birds started disturbing, flying around overhead for a few moments, and then landing again only to find that the water was getting even higher.
Eventually I watched large flocks flying off to the north-east. At times like this I wish I had the ability to take off with them and find out where they go.
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and for more bird photos visit Wild Bird Wednesday.