Monday, October 02, 2006

Wednesday 27th September

I took Daisy O'Neil on a tour of my patch today and, for the first time in weeks, the sun appeared in a blue sky. We were in for a roasting!

I had set up a new hide on the roost site, but we opted for the mud, as the tide was still well out and the birds were feeding when we arrived. Daisy took the photo above, which shows me 'in my element'! Thanks to Daisy for allowing me to use the pic.

Unfortunately the high tide wasn't really high enough for photography today, but we had a good look at the birds through the scope, and managed to get a reasonable count done. With the fine weather, some birds had understandably moved on since yesterday. Unfortunately for Daisy, the Ruff was among the absentees. I did pick out the odd stint again at the roost, but before I could get Daisy onto it, a White-bellied Sea Eagle flushed everything and we were not able to relocate it.

Here's the count:

Whimbrel 122
Bar-tailed Godwit 75
Pacific Golden Plover 260
Lesser Sand Plover 350
Greater Sand Plover 20
Ruddy Turnstone 15
Great Knot 9
Curlew Sandpiper 60
Broad-billed Sandpiper 11 (5 juvs, 6 ads)
Greenshank 10
Redshank 285
Red-necked Stint 500
Terek Sandpiper 33
Marsh Sandpiper 23
Little Ringed Plover 1
Common Sandpiper 12
Little Tern 30
Total 1816
Little Egret 4
Great Egret 2

Compared to yesterday, numbers of stints and sand povers seemed to have gone up, and the Broad-billed Sandpiper total was the highest so far. Godwit and Marsh Sandpiper numbers were pretty static, while there were a lot fewer Pacific Golden Plvors and Whimbrel around today.

Here's a Greater Sand Plover doing a typical dash across the mud. It's a useful way of picking Greaters out at a distance. Lessers tend to walk and stop, walk and stop, and almost never sprint like this, unless involved in a territorial dispute. But wait, what is that blurry wader with the blob-shaped bill in the lower right corner?...

Sadly, it's only a Red-necked Stint! The mud was very sticky today, and the stints would accumulate quite a blob on their bills before periodically flicking it off.

This slightly more detailed view removes all possibility of Spoon-billed Sandpiper!

1 comment:

lee kok chung said...

Great pictures & write-up !! Good Work !