One of the things I love about my job is flexi time. Being the busy start of the year, I accrue silly amounts of the stuff, and I have to take it, particularly when the tide is right, and the weather is all good. So it was, that I left work at about 1ish on a Tuesday afternoon and headed down to Boat Harbour at Kurnell, with a view to seeing how many more Double-banded Plovers have arrived, and to see if anything interesting was about.
Double-banded Plover - one of 13 individuals
There were plenty of Double-banded Plovers, well up on the 2 or 3 I’d seen a few weeks ago. The Stints are also starting to colour up, and there was a Sanderling about as well. I didn’t manage to photograph the Sanderling, but I did get this shot of a very, very pale Stint that has me thinking Sanderling
– have a look and let me know what you think.
The other highlight was this Nankeen Kestrel which posed nicely on a fence post for me. In the fairly harsh direct sunlight it was hard to get a nicely balanced image, but it’s ok I think.
More shots of the trip are in the gallery.
Headed down to Boat Harbour in Botany Bay National Park today. This is easily the best place on the south side of Sydney for shorebirds, and possibly one of the best places in Sydney for terns. I timed my visit for high tide, and with the howling southerlies, I was hoping that something interesting might have blown in. On the way to the rock shelf, I saw a Short-tailed Shearwater in very close. I’m going on the pelagic out of Sydney this weekend, so unless that gets cancelled, hopefully I’ll see plenty more this week. There was also a Jaeger of some description, but I didn’t get good enough views to ID.
Common Tern in the midst of a large flock of other terns and gulls.
On the far side of the rock shelf was a large mixed group of terns and gulls, with a few Sooty Oystercatchers scattered among them. As I approached, I had high hopes for something interesting being in there, and wasn’t totally let down! There was a Common Tern on one edge of the group, allowing fairly close approach. I think the wind took all of the birds steel away from them, as I was able to get extremely close to the birds.
Common Tern - Sterna hirundo longipennis
According to HANZAB, the Common Terns we get in Australia are of race longipennis, which means this guy is getting ready for the flight back to eastern Siberia.
Other migrant news includes Ruddy Turnstones that look to be colouring up, the Red-necked Stints are getting rufous, and there’s a pair of Double-banded Plover. I didn’t want to disturb the birds as they prepare for departing for migratory flights and/or recover from crossing the ditch, and with threatening rain, I went back to the car, quite content with the mornings trip.
Want to see the full list of birds? Click more…