With the changes that have happened to the Point over the last few weeks (see post for August 20) I knew I had to be out there at high tide and before anyone else was there to disturb the birds. That meant sun-up before there were any vehicles driving around and before the barge to Fraser Island started operating. There has been a lot of burning off over the last few weeks and the haze over the sea made spectacular colors as the sun first appeared. These colors disappeared as the sun rose higher.
I walked along the point to where I could see a few terns and gulls roosting. The barge was just leaving Bullock Point where it ties up for the night. I watched it come down the bay and passed a yacht anchored for the night on the far side of the sand island and closer in a few pelicans roosting on the sand spit.
As it moved passed the island I could see a line of Eastern Curlews and Bar-tailed Godwits roosting out there - but no large numbers! There were also some smaller shorebirds with them but I could not make out details without a spotting scope - and I can't carry camera gear and the spotting scope!
There were a few small shorebirds roosting at the end of the point with the terns and gulls. There were still a few Double-banded Plovers in breeding plumage. There were also a few Red-necked Stints. Some of these birds still had faint washes of breeding colors and all of them were busily feeding on the wet sand as the little waves came in and then retreated. It was good to see them but half a dozen birds are not the flocks of 100s which will soon be here.
All the time I was out there I could hear a juvenile tern "whinging" for a parent to feed it. There are always a few juveniles that refuse to take responsibility for their own food and follow a parent bird with these constant cries to be fed. At this age and size these juveniles are quite capable of looking after themselves! I eventually saw this Caspian Tern with the juvenile begging.
Caspian Terns are the largest terns we see here and the wings are really massive. This one was just stretching.
There were also numbers of Crested Terns - most of them still looked "scruffy" with plumage half way between breeding and non-breeding.
There were one or two looking very sleek with almost full breeding plumage.
This is a Gull-billed Tern in non-breeding plumage and the only one out there that morning.