Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Waders are Coming!

Waders, or shorebirds, have always been my favourite group of birds.I never tire of watching them. There's always so much to see and so much to learn.

So as soon as migration gets underway I tend to abandon the forest birds and head for the mudflats.

This year I've decided to try to watch one site on the island regularly, to get an idea of what passes through and when.

A friend and I came across this site early this year during the northward-bound migration season, and found that it held a good number and variety of waders, as well as herons, egrets and terns.

It's nothing much to look at from a human viewpoint; some quite badly polluted mudflats just off the north-east coast of the island, just a stone's throw from the city, McDonald's, Starbucks and high-rise blocks of condominiums. Formerly the area held a good stand of mangroves and a Black-crowned Night Heron colony, but now all that's been cleared to make way for a new housing project. For the time being, the construction site, a flat area of red earth and seasonal pools, forms an undisturbed oasis where waders can roost at high tide. By the next northward migration season, all of this area may be gone, but the next month or two at least, it's a place for the birds.

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