It had been a few weeks since I had been out to Inskip to look for shorebirds so I tried to make sure that the weather would be suitable for photos. The previous day had been perfect and the weather report was for "mostly fine and sunny". I checked outside my back door as soon as it began to get light and the sky looked clear. However, by the time I got out there a big bank of cloud was covering Fraser Island and rapidly moving south. It was dark - definitely not mostly fine and sunny! Weather like this gives interesting sky photos - but not great bird photos, unfortunately.
It was nearly 7am by the time I got out to the Point, and already there were fishermen and vehicles on the sand. The barge was also waiting to take vehicles over to Fraser Island. However there were still birds roosting on the sand. The first birds I saw were a group of Terns. The photo shows (from the left) a Gull-billed Tern going out of breeding plumage, a Crested Tern also in non-breeding plumage, and four young Caspian Terns.
As I was watching the Terns a line of Pelicans flew in from the north going towards the sand island out in the bay. They joined the Pelicans already roosting out there. Western Queensland has been drying out and the Pelicans that have bred out there are moving to the coast. We have recently seen a big increase in their numbers around here.
A little later another group flew in from the same direction but this time a group of smaller shorebirds were also flying towards the island. They are just visible flying closer to the water.
There were groups of small shorebirds - mostly Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints - roosting in the dry sand. I also saw numbers of Double-banded Plovers - with one "early" bird well into breeding plumage. They will not migrate back to New Zealand where they breed until it gets lots warmer over there!
Further along the point there was quite a large group of migratory shorebirds roosting close together. These birds are young birds that do not migrate until they are 2-3 years old.
There were at least 150 Grey-tailed Tattlers (paler grey on top and white below) with a few Bar-tailed Godwits (the larger birds in the flock) and a few Great Knots (smaller than the Godwits but also with heavily patterned feathers down their backs).