Monday, December 27, 2010

Waders: Red-capped and Hooded Plovers

These two residents were both new birds for me, with the Hooded being a particular bonus.

Most plovers adopt a 'Look-walk-peck' hunting strategy. These plovers were odd in that they did the opposite - 'peck-walk-look'! They would always make a little run after pecking at the surface.

These two males were in breeding plumage. They looked very similar, except that one had more black on the sides of the neck and breast.

Two birds in fresh plumage. I'm not certain, but I think the bird on the left is a juvenile, and the other is a non-breeding adult.

I was fortunate to come across a pair of Hooded Plovers on a beach in Victoria. They had young, so I kept my distance.

The other 'bird' in several of these pictures is a Short-tailed Shearwater corpse. The tideline was littered (e.g. 20 birds in a 50 metre stretch) with these wherever I looked, in both Victoria and NSW. I don't know whether such high mortality rates are 'normal', or what causes them.

As I lay prone on the sand, one bird wandered over, whether to check me out or just by accident I wasn't sure. Great birds!


Tun Pin Ong said...

Looks like your trip to Australia is not bad with these Hooded Plovers, despite it was not the best time for waders and there was not much during our half day trip NW of Sydney. Tun Pin

digdeep said...

Thanks Tun Pin for taking me round when I was pretty sick! I still have the flu - it hangs around a long time!

All the best for 2011


Wong Tsu Shi said...

Nice and handsome Hooded Plovers, Dave.

Anonymous said...

Yea! Waders n Shorebirds are not exactly my favourite - But the Hooded plover may make me change my mind. Real cute!
Choo Eng

JRandSue said...

Stunning birds,stunning shots.
Love the Hooded Plover images.
Happy New Year.