17 comments on “Preparing to Farewell Our Migratory Waders

  1. I hope some of those beautiful migrants fly our way. I did read from our boring group that heavy storm and wind might be bringing some in from far away this spring.

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    • Thanks Lee, yes it is good to know that they will be back in 6 months. Absence also makes the heart fonder, and I do get excited when I see them on the beach for the first time each season.

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  2. Very interesting article! I’ve been starting to do my research on Australian birds because I’ve booked a plane ticket and will be in Australia from April 4-May 20th! I’ll be based in Melbourne, but might do some travelling further afield. One thing I’ve been curious about, but have had difficulty figuring out is whether there are seasons of birding in Australia. i.e. will April and May be a “good” time for birding or not. Given that every bird will be a lifer for me, I’m sure any time of year will be good… but I was still curious to know. Interesting that you do have some migratory birds and it sounds like the waders will unfortunately be gone by the time I arrive. Nice to enjoy them anyway via your photographs.

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    • Thanks Laura for your comment. Most Australian birds are perennial territorial, particularly the passerines. You will be coming early Winter and yes most of the Summer migrants will have left, though a small number of the first year babies remain and fly off next year. Our many honeyeaters move about according to eucalypt blossom. You will see many birds at that time of year but not as many as in Summer. Though in Melbourne, which will be cooler then, birds tend to move north to get warm. My blogger friend David lives south of Melbourne, near one of Australia’s top birding sites, if you look at his blog you will get an idea of some Victorian birds http://www.birdsaspoetry.com I will be away on a birding road trip from Easter weekend for 2 weeks . If you are in Sydney on either side of this time we would love to meet you. We often meet birders from Canada, USA, Europe, UK and New Zealand. If you don’t get to see Lyrebirds in Victoria (you will usually find some there in the Dandenong Ranges) we also have them near where I live. I live near the Royal National Park. Check out my meetingaussiebirder page on my website. Have a great week!

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      • Thank you very much for the information – very helpful! I’ve added that blog to my list… his photos are great. Whether I make it to Sydney will be decided once I’m in Australia. I checked out the meetingaussiebirder page and I’ll be in touch if I have a plan firmed up to be in town outside of those 2 weeks you’ll be away. 🙂

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  3. This is a wonderful farewell post to your migrating waders. I hope you will see a few wintering youngsters on the mudflats in the coming months. Your last observation based on the pelican is spot on! Congrats on your book sales as well. I hope your week has been going well and I wish you a beautiful weekend 🙂

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    • Thanks so much Tiny for your encouraging comments,I have started a new job this week and it is challenging but enjoyable, a lot of new learning to do. Have a truly wonderful and restful weekend my friend!

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    • Thanks Donna, Yes it was a plus to have the Curlew so close, usually my photos are so much cropped and enlarged with this bird. Enjoy your week, hope your leg is feeling much better also.

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      • Thanks for the well-wishes, Ashley! Unfortunately, my knee isn’t doing so great, I’m scheduled for knee replacement in May. Trying to stay optimistic on a great outcome, birds really do help for sure! 🙂

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  4. Thanks Sue, yes I always love flight shots especially when I can get the whole bird in focus, which can be difficult with a long lens from a distance. I love watching Terns fish, it is most entertaining watching them checking and then suddenly diving down into the water. Have a great week, hope it is getting cooler for you also, we are getting heaps of rain and now wind.

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    • Well, I guess you could say it has cooled down now, from 35 degrees to 30! 🙂 And it doesn’t help when the air con is on the blink either! Thankfully it should be fixed by this weekend. In the meantime, send the rain up our way, we could certainly do with some. 🙂

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  5. Hi AB, lovely to see how the waders are preparing in your neck of the woods. We had only a small percentage of them this year, mostly Curlew Sandpipers and Red-necked Stints, very low numbers of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers–they would usually be about 25% of the waders, but I suspect not much more than 10% this year.
    Most are still here and frantically feeding on the very low tidal flats. and already they are flying in large groups, which is such a pleasure to see as they turn and spiral round the beach.
    I once read a piece by a baptist preacher from the 1860s who termed the call of migration to the “Lord of the Migration”. What ever we might think, they certainly are bound to follow, and as you point out, the trip to Sibera is not an inconsequential trip for a bird like the Red-necked Stint that weighs about 40g fully tanked up. About 10 jelly beans.

    Well done on the book sales, your hard work comes to fruition.

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    • Thanks David, it is interesting to see the similarity of the migratory season in our two states. It continues to amaze me how the tiny Red-necked Stint makes that journey. How also they all know its time to go, as you shared they do it en masse. Numbers were down all over the country this year, which is alarming. I still find it difficult when I see locals allowing their dogs to chase waders in protected bird reserves, which have signs forbidding dogs. They make laws to shut the conservationists up and make it look like they care, but have nothing in place to enforce them. The extreme summer heat and drought has driven many inland birds toward the coast. We were amazed to find a flock of Long-billed Corella grazing by the Kiama blowhole yesterday, something unheard of. Now we are getting deluged in rain and wind, at least the the fire danger has lessened. Have a great week!

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  6. Lots of fantastic photos Ashley, I really love the one of the tern looking down mid flight and the seagull in flight with ruffled feathers, awesome captures! Nice pics of the bar tailed godwits too, I don’t think I’d seen them in breeding plumage before. And congratulations on your book sales, very much well deserved. 🙂

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