Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Smallest Shorebirds.

The Mullens shorebird roost is huge and although sometimes the birds all roost together they also roost in separate places that best suit their special needs. When I had finished photographing the larger shorebirds that I posted about last week I backed off and then moved to where I could come in and pull the kayak up on the sand. I had seen small birds moving in amongst the taller vegetation and I knew that if I moved behind them they would happily come out and move along at the edge of the water. These small shorebirds prefer more open spaces to places where the plants grow too tall and thick.They can often be found at the top end of the bay where the water is always shallow and the salt marsh plants grow. Salt marsh plants grow where the tide washes up and over them at regular intervals. (I wrote two pages on salt marsh plants and this special habitat. You can find these pages listed on the right hand column of my blog. There are photos and details of the plants in Page 2.)  In this part of the bay these plants are only a few inches tall and these little shorebirds feed and rest between them. I saw both Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints. Red-capped Plovers are an Australian shorebird and stay here all year. Red-necked Stints are migrants that come down from NE Siberia each year. They are both small birds - about 15cm or 6 inches. The Red-necked Stint is the smallest migratory shorebird to come down to this area.
A Red-necked Stint roosting among the salt marsh plants. (Red-necked Stints only have red necks in breeding plumage.)

Two Red-capped Plovers and a Red-necked Stint on the right.

I know I have not disturbed the birds when some - or most - have their eyes closed and are sleeping!

All Red-necked Stints except for one Red-capped Plover on the right foreground.

There are usually a pair of Oystercatchers roosting somewhere around the bay. This time one was resting on a sand bank and the other was feeding further around the bay.

As I turned around and looked right out to the entrance to the bay I saw a line of pelicans swimming in.

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday.


33 comments:

  1. the red-caps are adorable! i always think the oystercatchers are so striking.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I always love your bird friends and your terrific captures every week, Mick!! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like a beautiful day on the water. Beautiful little birds.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow ! beautiful bird and nature photography ~ gorgeous work ~ thanks, carol, xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great outing! I love the shorebirds, especially the Red-capped Plover and the Oystercatcher. The pelicans are a favorite too. Great post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow! What a wonderful place to have access to!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kayaks are so quiet I'm sure they don't disturb the birds (well, obviously). Lovely little guys. Thank you for sharing . (I like the oystercatchers and pelicans too.)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Good to see so many stints together like that. It's a long time since i saw my one and only Red-necked Stint here in the UK but I note that one in particular in your pictures has quite a hefty bill (for a stint).

    ReplyDelete
  9. Like the oyster catcher. Would love to glide along in a kayak watching the birdlife.

    ReplyDelete
  10. lovely little shorebirds! I can never get over how far the red-necked stints come when they are so tiny. Where do the POs nest in that habitat?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful photos and bird. With a kayak in such an area must be incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm really liking the r.c.plover Mick

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really, really like those red capped plovers very much. From Findlay

    ReplyDelete
  14. You are always rewarded on your bird watching excursions and these are some lovely beauties!
    That's a pretty striking shot of the oystercatcher. Love the colors in that one.

    ReplyDelete
  15. The Red capper Plover is a new species to me, and a lovely looking bird. Great post again, I could do shorebirds every day :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Red-capped Plovers, a perfect name as they do look like they have hats on! A beautiful area you have to explore!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I just love to come here and see the shorebirds..I like the Red capped plover like everyone else but the sleeping stints are my favourite and I also like it when the birds are happy and sleeping by me.

    ReplyDelete
  18. We share proximity and affinity with similar habitats! I've been enjoying Red-necked stints recently as well. Thanks for your kayak advice recently. I had my brothers' out at the weekend - it's a Finn kayak "Gizmo" (sit on top and perhaps smaller than I would confidently carry any sort of camera on!) I'll keep investigating!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Mick... Love your Mullens spot, so full of many interesting things to explore!!
    Love those shore birds and the Red Capped Plovers are real nice !!
    The Oystercatcher is a beauty!!
    Very nice photos of the inhabitants, and this lovely place!!

    Grace

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Red-capped Plover is a new one for me. I would absolutely love this type of trek. However, you must be super quiet......me and water...well ah....I would need to practice the silent bit:) Very cool finds.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Loved seeing the 'new species for me'........the red capped plover!!!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Wonderful birds. You got some lovely photos of them. What a great day you had.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Adorei os pássaros!
    e o pelicano também!
    são lindas imagens!
    Zizi

    ReplyDelete
  24. Such beautiful shots! Your shorebird photos are always fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm looking forward to catching up with all these birds soon!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hi Mick. Glad you landed your kayak and got these great shots of these tiny waders

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really ought to get a kayak! I love how close you can get to the shore birds.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love the plovers. Great shot of them. )

    ReplyDelete
  29. The close ups are so pretty with the birds wading through the lightly colored vegetation.

    ReplyDelete