Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Inskip in Mid-Winter

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).

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more bird photos visit Wild Bird Wednesday.

29 comments:

  1. Great series. I really like the head-on shot!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  2. really cute line-up of shorebirds. i love the terns.

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  3. Superb captures for the day, Mick!! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. Although the day started off dull you ended up with some amazing photos.

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  5. Hi Mick, great collection of shorebirds. I love the terns, especially the young Caspian Terns. Great capture of the pelicans flying by. The Plovers are cute birds. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing!

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  6. Beautiful light in those skies and nice bird shots!

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  7. you still got some fabulous photos despite the weather - cloud formations often make great photos, and the cloud covering is a wonderful difuser!
    Have a great week and thanks for stopping by my blog today.

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  8. Great sightings for this time of year.

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  9. Nice set of birds - I like the leaves (?) in that last picture.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  10. Love your photos, especially the bird ones. My favourite is that cute lineup of terns. Such cheeky birds.

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  11. I really like those young Caspian Terns. From Findlay

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  12. Don't you just hate those weather people some times when they give us birders duff gen and when we are looking forward to a few hours with the camera? Dark clouds can make for good pictures though as you show Mick. Love the four tern species in one shot - how lucky are you to have that happen - regular I guess?

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  13. I love seeing the terns....I have never seen the baby terns before...we get the adults here in summer on the islands. this is a wonderful birdy posting, really enjoyed it.

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  14. Beautiful birds, so many of them in one place.

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  15. . . . and you call that 'not many birds'? For me it is heaven. Great clouds as well. I always enjoy terns and low flying pelicans.

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  16. Three different kinds of terns in one shot would have made my day after seeing those glorious rays beaming down! And, the numbers of birds later. I'd say a good walk. :)
    Have a great week!

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  17. Beautiful skies, and beautiful pictures with the many birds.
    Kind regards, Irma

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  18. Wow....the sky images are extraordinary...and the bird photo collection you've shared is superior! Love 'em all, but I think the close up of the pelicans in flight is my favorite.

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  19. What a nice day at the beach. Terns and Tattlers galore.

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  20. I like the look of mid-winter in your part of the world! Wonderful shots!

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  21. Hi Mick Lovely selection of shorebirds. great photographs. Margaret

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  22. You have captured the clouds so beautifully. The birds look spectacular in their huge numbers. Take care. Chel

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  23. Lovely photos. I love the terns.

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  24. I love your bird pics - they are so delicate. My favourites are the last three- beautiful seeing them in such a mass. Thanks for your visit:)

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  25. What fun birding adventures you must have...very nice!

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  26. lol, the bills of the young Caspian terns looks like stars. :) Great shot.

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  27. Caspian terns really get around! We have them here too!

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  28. What a rich harvest of images despite the weather conditions. These past tow weeks I have had the opposite problem in sunny Arizona, as the sunlight is so sharp and bright from the crack of dawn that I have to deal with harsh highlights and deep shadows. Thanks for visiting my blog in my absence!

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