Tuesday, March 3, 2015

So Many Birds

After the extreme weather conditions out at Inskip (which I posted about last time) I was very anxious to get out there again as soon as possible. By Monday of last week the main roads were only just beginning to open from the floods and I assumed that there would be very few campers out at Inskip  - and that meant more room for birds out on the sand point. It didn't take any persuading for birding friends from Gympie to join me! The sand point used to be much longer and the barges to Fraser Island came in and picked up vehicles part way along - which left the last part for use by the birds. Here is a photo from my archives of what the sand point looked like on a high tide back then.

Then about half of the point was simply washed away and although there was still plenty of room for the barges to pick up vehicles there was very little room for birds to rest without disturbance. Again from my photo archives -

The barges were working on Monday morning but there were very few vehicles and we could see birds out on the end to one side of the barge. We slowly walked out along the sand and the closer we got the more birds we could see. At that stage there were no other people out there and no cars even waiting for the barge. Perfect! Here are the birds at the end of the point - Bar-tailed Godwits, Silver Gulls, Caspian Terns and Crested Terns.

The tide was still coming in and there was not much of the sand island left in the middle of the Strait. More and more birds had to move from there and they spread out along the tide line on the point and then moved to join the larger group right at the end.

The birds packed in more tightly! There were quite a number of Pied Oystercatchers with them.

Then the inevitable happened - a group of vehicles came along the point to wait for the barge! The people in the vehicles all jumped out and they were young foreign tourists. They were very polite and didn't try to get in front of where we were standing with our big cameras and lenses! They were all holding up smart phones and trying to photograph the birds with those! Then I guess it was also inevitable - they decided they needed "selfies"! It was all so exciting! They moved away from us a little bit - then danced happily closer - and the birds started to fly!

We were still left with quite a lot of birds to photograph but I estimate that two thirds of the flock flew off to find somewhere on Fraser Island to roost more quietly! It was interesting to see that the birds really didn't want to burn up the energy necessary to fly - and even put up with small waves washing around them.

The flock had some Godwits with most of their breeding plumage.

Looking carefully at the birds I could also see Great Knot with the start of their breeding plumage and one or two Curlew Sandpipers with the first faint wash of color.

There were good numbers of Terns roosting close together and beside the shorebirds. There were adult Crested Terns and juveniles with their distinctive "spotty" plumage. There were also quite a number of Little Terns and they were showing the yellow bills and black tip which they get before they fly up north to breed.

In this photo the juvenile Crested Tern is crouched down beside the adult and begging for food. (They are quite capable of feeding themselves by this stage but they still try to get the adults to help them!) There is a Little Tern behind these two. 

For more scenery from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds visit Wild Bird Wednesday



27 comments:

  1. The beach is beautiful! And I love all the birds, the terns, godwits, oystercatchers and the pretty Great Knot.. Gorgeous collection of bird shots. Have a happy day and week ahead!

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  2. love the russet coloring coming in! and the terns are always neat!

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  3. What a lovely place, Mick!! I do love the water!! And what great collection/variety of birds!! Wonderful captures for the day!! Have a great new week!!

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  4. I like the one of the godwits all looking in the same direction.

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  5. Wow! What a place and so many beautiful birds ~ Great photography!

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

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  6. Whoa! that's a lot of birds. Great shots.

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  7. Quite a spectacle while it lasted. Great photos!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Mosura, nice to have you back to blog-land! I tried to comment on your page and blogger won' let me! Sorry!!

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    2. Thanks for letting me know about the problem with commenting. It took me a while but I figured out where the problem was.

      Cheers.

      Alan

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  8. Would be amazing to see so many birds in one place. Terrific shots!

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  9. Great to see the size comparison between the Littern Tern and the Crested Tern. There is quite a difference. Really great images too.

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  10. oooh terns! cool. we have fairy terns here and unfortunately they're highly endangered. There are various areas around the sand dunes where people and animals aren't allowed to go near cos of their breeding.

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  11. Great morning out at Inskip great lot of birds.

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  12. Lovely photos of these beautiful birds!

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  13. The average Joe doesn't know or care how they should behave around birds. I don't think many realise that birds have eyes and ears and that to most birds a human is a dangerous predator.

    The aftermath of the storms gave you some great opportunities amongst all those birds. The Bar-tailed godwits are in a good mix of plumages for birding and photography. Great comparison shots of the terns - the Crested looks huge against a Little Tern. Shame that I rarely see Little Tern now as they have declined over here.

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  14. The crested tern babies are wonderful...and your photos are wonderful! In spite of exuberant youth! :-)

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  15. Great to see all the birds looking healthy as they gain their breeding plumages. I guess it won't be too long before many of them head northwards. Great series of images.

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  16. Well you got some great photos of the shorebirds even if the tourists came and took selfies. You have a great number of shorebirds there. I liked seeing the terns and all the other birds. Your photos are so crisp and clear and close up!! Excellent.

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  17. Wonderful serie, so many details to study closer!
    My birdpost: https://hanshb.wordpress.com/

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  18. Great photos! The third shot of the birds with the splashes of color here and there is my favorite. Lovely shots of the terns, too.

    Iowa Voice

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  19. so many great birds and so colorful they are. Love to see it. Thanks for sharing the view.

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  20. These shots make me smile with all the different birds and the sheer number!

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  21. Wow Mick, those shots are incredible. A shame a lot of the birds were frightened off but at least you got a lot of shots in.
    Had a little smile at the juvenile still wanting to be fed, just like our magpies here - they try it on!
    Cheers now :D)

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  22. What a super place to see tons of birds!

    It's amazing how much storms can recreate the landscape.

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