What a week it has been - and continues to be as well. The rest of the country has sweltered in unusual heat and strong to gale force winds and it is due to hit us today. The temperature is predicted to hit in the high 90's (F) 36 (C) which is unusual for here. The weather conditions have helped along some disastrous fires - especially in Tasmania, Victoria, and New South Wales. There has been property lost and there are still people unaccounted for especially down in Tasmania - but no confirmed deaths so far. Now, we wait and see what today brings!
The other problem - certainly not important when compared with the tragedies of the fires - I lost internet connection for 4 or 5 days! How I have come to depend on net connection for immediate weather, news, and just plain connection to friends and family! I was changing my ISP to get better speed and lower cost - and it looks as if it is all going to be worth it! - but in the process I was switched off from one service before the other was available. It will be great to now be able to watch videos on many of the bird blogs without waiting several minutes for them to download!
OK now for the birds. These photos were taken a few weeks ago on one of the very high tides when most of the Mullens roost was underwater. This one little sand bank stays out of the water and I have watched small shorebirds gather there over the past years. It's good to know they are still using it on very high tides. There is water on both sides of the sand bank and because the birds usually gather on one side it is possible to stand on the other side without disturbing them. They seem to feel secure enough to stay where they are without moving too much - possibly because they can only see my head and shoulders above the sand because I am standing in waist deep water on my side of the bank. The other week there was a mixture of Red-capped Plovers (a resident shorebird) and Red-necked Stints (a migratory shorebird). BTW the Stints only get their red necks when they put on breeding colors just before they migrate back to the northern hemisphere. They are the smallest shorebird to migrate here.
Both of these birds are tiny - about 150mm or 6 inches. The little ripples breaking against the sand looked like major waves behind the birds.
One of the Stints stretched a wing and gave me a good look at the feather details.