Monday, January 14, 2013

King Tide

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. 

For more photos from around our world visit Our World Tuesday
and for more bird photos visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

31 comments:

  1. the curlews look really neat w/ their long bills. sorry you were disappointed w/ the lack of high tides.

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  2. I love the birds and I can imagine what a disappointment the lack of high tides was!! Hopefully better next time! Have a great week, Mick!

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  3. Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  4. Wow! What an experience to witness these birds reacting to Nature! Fascinating post and great photos!

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  5. A terrific series of shots! Love the curlews!

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  6. I cannot being to fathom the problems that would be caused by rising tides. It depresses me sometimes to realize how much I don't understand .

    You got some wonderful pictures -- Envy your ability both just to see these birds regularly but also to photograph them, especially in flight. A skill I think I'm too old and too slow to master ever.

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  7. Would people be happy that the king tide was not as bad as predicted? I love all the birds, the Curlews are my favorite. Awesome photos.

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  8. Fantastic photography of nature's wildlife ~ post is most informative and we truly need to begin to take care of nature ~ ever read Rachel Carson ~ she was so right ~

    (A Creative Harbor)

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  9. I always love your bird photos, they are wonderfully clear and colorful. It's interesting about the tide. I think we need to figure out some more facts about it before we can appreciate it.

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  10. You've got to love those little shore-birds .... so cute. Pity about the high tides Mick it would have changed the landscape but unfortunately it wasn't to be.

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  11. A delightful series of shots Mick - the preceding post too was fantastic. Thanks for sharing these marvellous creatures (and for stopping by my blog).

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  12. Really interesting that the tide was much lower than anticipated. All we hear these days is about the rising tides.

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  13. This would be an excellent place for some long-exposure photography, I think... Nice shots!

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  14. Yep, it's curious that the tides were lower than expected. I love the photos of the curlews in flight. It makes me wonder how they manage to navigate with such long beaks.

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  15. Those Curlew pictures are brilliant. From Findlay

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  16. Lovely serie of photos!
    Great photowork!

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  17. Hi !
    Thank you for visiting us on "Les Fous du Cap".
    To answer your comment, it's also difficult for us to imagine a beach range or it is never cold
    ;-)
    Céline & Philippe

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  18. Interesting story and very nice pictures of your nature and the birds!
    We don't have any tide in Sweden.
    Greetings Pia

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  19. oh love the curlew shots! jealous!

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  20. interesting observations on the tidal non-event Mick, and I especially loved your Eastern Curlew photographs

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  21. sorry the tide dissappointed you. :) But maybe it was for the best. Thanks for the photos of tide level. :)

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  22. Tides can go from a trickle to a flood in the blink of an eye. Not good either way.

    Great shots Mick

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  23. Great image series showing the tides and birds. Hanne Bente

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  24. Wonderful shots of the place with great looking birds.

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  25. Great shots Mick - especially that last one - really love that one!
    Wouldn't it be nice if we could have just one chance to 'fly' away. :)
    Interesting info on the tides.

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  26. Beautiful shots of the Eastern Curlews Mick. I especially like the in-flight photos!

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  27. I like the birds in the sky. No often I get the opportunity. Around this time, we have the King Tide.

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  28. Those Curlews are wonderful and I really enjoyed the flight images of birds...great series!

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  29. Great set of pictures - I got some godwit this week - but missed out on shots of the curlews.

    Tides are a mystery to me!

    Thanks for the link to WBW.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne.

    PS: sorry for slow reply - I been out of internet range in Tasmania!

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  30. Your bird shots are beautiful, and I hope the water didn't get too far inland..

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  31. Really nice photographs, Mick! Interesting information on the tides. One thing we can always count on in nature is the unexpected!

    Belated Happy New Year to you!

    --Wally

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