Sunday, December 21, 2008

Summer Solstice Birding

The people over at Birdstack suggested that the world birding community might make some bird observations and share them. It was suggested that 12 hours on either side of the solstice would be OK for observations so I started at dawn this morning. I could hear the usual dawn chorus even before I opened the door - a Brown Honeyeater, Rainbow Lorikeets, Noisy Friarbirds, a Common Koel, and Peewees (Magpie Larks) Once again it was overcast with a threat of rain but also areas of broken cloud.
I decided to risk the rain and take one of my favorite walks down at the bay. Driving down I saw Galahs, Sulphur-crested Cockatoos, Masked Lapwings, Crows, Kookaburras, Blue-faced Honeyeaters, Figbirds, and Crested Pigeons.
The bay was as beautiful as it always is! The sun was shining directly across the water and the shoreline was in silhouette. The sky was still cloudy. The tide was in so the walk was close up under the paperbark trees, the she-oak trees and the mangroves. Mangrove Honeyeaters were calling all around but mostly hidden.
It was not a very high tide and around at the roost the shorebirds were strung out across the bay. I saw Bar-tailed Godwit, Eastern Curlew, Whimbrel, Common Greenshank, Grey-tailed Tattler, Red-capped Plover, and Silver Gulls. (I have left these photos large to show the size of the roosting shorebirds. )
As I rounded the end of the bay I saw an Osprey sitting high on a dead branch of a tree. A couple of Willie Wagtails first scolded me and then spotting the Osprey decided to chase it off. Even an Opsrey doesn't like these little birds attacking and it soon flew off.
A very nice start to the day - and I am sure rather different from the solstice in the northern hemisphere.


  1. Mick - what a great day you've had - all those wonderful birds.

    And yes - you're quite correct - a very different day to those of us in the Northern hemisphere!

  2. Hi Tricia, yes a great morning - even though it started raining soon after I came home. Didn't last but enough to cool the air a little.