Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Red-necked Stints

This post is for Wild Bird Wednesday which Stewart has started after the World Bird Wednesday was discontinued. 

I am only posting one photo this week.  Of all the 50 or so photos I took out at Inskip Point last week this one was the most interesting to a shorebird watcher in the southern hemisphere.  It is winter down here right now and the only shorebirds around are juveniles and the occasional adult that has decided for some reason not to migrate this season.  The rest of the shorebirds are making use of the summer weather in the northern hemisphere for their breeding season.  The birds in the photo are Red-necked Stints (Calidris ruficollis) which are the smallest of all the shorebirds that migrate to Australia for our summer.  Although there is a small size difference between similar birds that difference is greatly magnified in the photo because of the way each bird is standing.  The bird on the right is in complete non-breeding plumage and the bird on the left is in almost total breeding plumage.  The one in the center has a very small amount of breeding color in some of the feathers down its back.  I can't remember ever seeing a Red-necked Stint showing this amount of breeding plumage at this time of year.  (Click on the photo to see a larger size with more detail visible.)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blue-faced Honeyeater

Share your bird photos on the I'd Rather B-Birdin' site.  

Blue-faced Honeyeaters are common yard birds around my place.  I hesitated about posting such a "common" bird but then decided it might look more exotic for visitors from other parts of the world! The patch of blue skin around the eye makes them look great when photographed against the blue sky.  However, this is a case of the looks not matching the nature of the bird!  They are noisy and aggressive.  They sit on the roof above my head and scold me.  They chase my cat and have her running for cover whenever they are around.  They don't like the dog because she jumps to catch them if they are down low enough - she hasn't managed it yet but they obviously think she might!  This bird is an adult - young birds have a greenish- yellow patch. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Inskip Boats

I enjoy watching the variety of boats that can always be seen on the water around Inskip Point.  I took these photos in between photographing the Terns yesterday. 
The Barge which takes vehicles over to Fraser Island comes into Inskip Point and lowers its ramp for vehicles to drive on.  It has not quite reached the beach in this photo.

There are always small fishing boats moving around somewhere.  This one was heading out the channel toward the open sea. 

This boat was under sail and heading north up the Great Sandy Strait.

This one appeared to be a large and luxurious house-boat which had just left its overnight anchorage.

This one was still at anchor. Was it staying another day or just slow to wake up?

Extra:  There has been another wash-out on the Point.  This one was west of the previous one that occurred a couple of years ago.  It was so large it almost took out the road onto the Point.  The large trees were either washed right out or were about to come down and it was definitely safer to cut them right down.  The sea is very powerful and constantly re-shaping the shoreline.

For more photos from around our World visit Our World Tuesday. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Terns at Inskip

This morning I am joining in a new birding meme called Bird D'pot which has just started over at I'D-Rather-B-Birdin. Thanks to Anni and I hope this meme keeps going for a long time.
After more than a week of grey skies, drizzly rain and weather that hasn't seemed like Queensland at all - this morning was bright and sunny.  I was out early to take advantage of the conditions - especially as the Bureau of Meteorology is warning of showers again tomorrow and for the next few days at least!
 I arrived at Inskip Point a little after sunrise and it was beautiful! Both these next photos were taken looking south across Pelican Bay.

There were only a few birds on the point.  A group of Terns were the most noticeable.   Some of them were flying out over the ocean and diving for fish but they then came back into shore and roosted with others on the northern edge of the Point.

Most of the Terns were Crested Terns (Sterna bergii) which are still in non-breeding plumage and still looking rather 'scruffy'!

I also saw three Caspian Terns (Hydropogne caspia).

There were a group of five Common Terns (Sterna Hirundo).  During the summer I see thousands of these terns here after they have migrated south from Asia where they breed.  The Common Terns I saw this morning must have decided not to migrate north this year and were all in non-breeding plumage with the distinctive dark carpal bar. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cormorant and Egret

This post is for World Bird Wednesday.

I saw this Little Black Cormorant at a park in Gympie the other week.  It was drying off as it balanced on a dead stick above the water.  It didn't look very secure as it clasped the end of the stick with its webbed feet.

A short distance away around the pond was a Great Egret looking very elegant. Although it was up on the bank it must have been watching carefully because it suddenly dived down towards the water and came up with a small fish. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mullens in the Fog

This post is for World Bird Wednesday

We don't get a lot of fog on the Bay but when we do it is a magical place!  However, I have always found it difficult to take photos that catch that magic- until one morning early this week.  The fog was just as thick as other times but it was moving and shifting fast and there were places where the light was shining through.

Where the shafts of light hit an object it looked even brighter than normal because of the contrast.

A Grey Mangrove tree was festooned with white Egrets (Little Egrets I think).

A White-faced Heron flew up in front of me.  It looked as insubstantial as the fog around it.  

Extra:  I showed a photo of two Double-banded Plovers in last week's post. On another trip out to Inskip Point a couple of days ago I saw two Double-banded Plovers getting that band of red across their front which is part of their breeding colors.  It seems a little early to me as south New Zealand (where they breed) is still very cold - and likely to stay that way for a good few weeks yet!