Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mainly Knots

Great Knots - Calidris tenuirostris - that is!

This post is a continuation of last week. The Bureau of Meteorology was right! It has been impossible to get out with a camera for most days this week. We have not had the really huge rainfall totals of the previous week but on top of an already saturated earth it doesn't take too much for water to reach flood levels again. We had 164mm (6 1/2 inches) in the last week (measured in my back yard) and even this was enough to cut the road into Gympie again yesterday. 

Since I have written so much about Inskip Point at high tide over the last few weeks I should should also show what it is like at low tide. There are huge expanses of sandy flats which make perfect feeding places for shorebirds. (These photos are from my photo archives as I have not been out at Inskip at low tide for quite some time.) Migratory Terns also roost along the tide line after feeding out at sea.

Shorebirds spread out across the flats. There are also lots of small crabs - known locally as "soldier crabs" - and it can be challenging to spot the smaller shorebirds among so many other small moving objects.

The other morning after the first couple of vehicles went by some of the shorebirds spread out along the edge of the water. This made it much easier to see individual birds.

I focused on the parts of the flock where I could see smaller birds. The Bar-tailed Godwits  (Limosa lapponica baueri) were scattered among the flock and made a good comparison for size. There were lots of Great Knots and a few Curlew Sandpipers (Calidris ferruginea).

The Curlew Sandpipers are the smallest of these three birds and were showing almost no breeding plumage. Their breeding colors are a beautiful brick red all down the front and up over the head.

Most of the Great Knots were showing lots of breeding plumage. This bird is in almost full breeding plumage. The back view of this same bird showed the rufous markings on the scapulars.


Eventually a vehicle drove by and most of the flock took to the air. I was lucky enough to catch one shot which clearly showed the under-wing markings.

For more photos from around the world visit Out World Tuesday

and for more bird photos visit Wild Bird Wednesday


27 comments:

  1. Great tour of low tide!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  2. amazing the rains you're getting. nice bunch of shorebirds!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the low tide shots, it is great seeing all the shorebirds. Especially when comparing the sizes of these birds. The Great Knot is cute. Thanks for sharing your world!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the shot of them taking off.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Marvelous captures and I do love the sandpipers! Beautiful! Great look at your world!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. High or low tide, it's a lovely shoreline.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great pictures. Thanks for posting.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great set of shots - so Its a real help to ID birds when you have a size marker!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    PS thanks for the early link to WBW!

    ReplyDelete
  9. A wonderful post the images are fantastic... beautiful birds to see.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wonderful images! What fun to photograph, I'll bet.

    ReplyDelete
  11. would love to visit one day! you've done a wonderful job of showcasing your patch.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Excellent images Mick!! [wishing it would rain here in Texas, USA]

    ReplyDelete
  13. your shots are so great. And it was nice to see the low tide as well. I saw some low tides in Scotland, it looked pretty much like your shots here. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great views of the shore birds. What a great place.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great image series showing :) Hanne Bente

    ReplyDelete
  16. You have large expanses of shore to work with Mick which must make getting close hard on most occasions. The mixed shots are really good, especialy to see Great Knot, bar-tailed and Curlew Sandpiper together for comparison purposes.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So much rain makes it hard to get out and about- a great variety of shore birds seem to enjoy the wetness tho.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love the capture of row of birds.
    Makes a beautiful header shot.
    Happy WW!

    ReplyDelete
  19. weather sure can make a mess out of having any fun! you live in such an interesting area, so blessed to see and capture such wonderful wildlife! great shots, my shaky hands and little P&S camera do not create such dramatic views. thanks for sharing & stopping by to comment. I am so enjoying this new HOP as birds are one of our fav hobbies, mostly feeding & watching from indoors.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful flock of shorebirds.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hope the weather improves for you soon!
    Great shots of what it looks like at low tide.
    The shorebird photographs are wonderful. Their subtle coloration is just beautiful. I know it will be interesting to compare some species once they achieve their breeding plumage.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi there!
    Nice bird pictures from your part of the world. I do hope it will stop raining at your place very soon.

    Thanks for your nice thoughts and comments! I'm now home again after my hospital stay and recovering at home after surgery.
    Greetings Pia

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hoping for better weather for you soon. When we're on the West Coast, I love to visit the beach at low tide...your pictures -- although from so far away -- make me homesick.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Another wonderful series, Mick!!
    I'd love to witness these at a much closer range.
    I do love the shorebirds!

    ReplyDelete