With the return of Spring comes the return of our wonderful migratory waders, in particular my favourite, the Bar-tailed Godwit, featured in my book as the most endurant bird. This bird has been tracked travelling 16,000 km (9,942 miles) non-stop for 6 to 8 days directly across the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Australia and New Zealand. At the end of Summer it will journey all the way back, via the Asian coast to breed, that’s an amazing 32,000 km in one year. In a bird’s lifetime, it is estimated, they travel to the moon and back 2.5 times. You can see the orange breeding plumage they gained before they left in Autumn still blotchy as it disappears for their non-breeding Summer in Australia. Click on photo to enlarge it.
To get an idea of size and how small they are, see how tall they are beside this Silver Gull. Again you can note remnants of breeding plumage on the male.
The female is slightly larger in size with a longer beak than the non-breeding male, as seen below.
The beach where we see these birds is protected (apparently) for these birds, however, I had to remind one family to leash their dog as they encouraged it harass these birds as they fed on the tidal mud flats. The dogs are actually banned from this beach, which makes one quite angry at the selfish disregard and arrogance that many people display for our wildlife safety.
Nearby in a creek flowing onto the beach we found this lone Royal Spoonbill decked out in full breeding plumage attempting to sleep in the wind. As you will see in the footage below his afro hairdo as a humorous dimension to the bird. Spring brings with it the breeding plumage in many resident waterbirds.
These birds breed well away from humans, often with other non-migratory waterbirds, in fact they are known to permanently desert their nest should a human approach or disturb them off it. It was strange to find this bird sleeping as the tide was going out, so I think it was quite happy to stay by the fresh running water of the creek.
Also grazing the mud flats were a small flock of Australian White Ibis (nesting mates to the above Spoonbill).
Another sign of Spring was this pair of Australian Pied Oystercatcher. These birds pair for life and are often seen in breeding pairs, especially now as this is the season. These birds are now listed as Endangered in NSW due to their nests being disturbed and destroyed on beaches by humans being permitted to drive 4×4 WD vehicles on NSW National Park beaches without a concern for the delicate habitat of these very shy birds. It amazes me that they be allowed to do this, particularly on a beach protecting wildlife. The fencing off of breeding areas has worked for other bird species.
It was an enjoyable walk along the beach just before sunset, as my wife and I look forward to exploring more of the wader feeding areas in future weeks.
On closing, I share these photos of a nesting pair of Sulfur-crested Cockatoo we saw in the Royal National Park recently, protecting their nest from impending intruders. The action of sacrificial, unconditional love seen in bird parents is an inspiration to us of true parenting which when carried on as the family develops, in a love shown between spouses, is modelled for the fledgelings. As parents we always need to be aware it is our actions that speak loudest to our children, not our words. Words are given validity by the quality of the love we live and demonstrate firstly to our spouse and then to our children. Children learn most about what love is from watching how mum and dad love each other.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18
Have a wonderful week!
If this is your first visit to my blog please check out the rest of my website through my Homepage and menu.
I was greatly blessed today to receive a very extensive review of my new book “What Birds Teach Us” in a post by Jen an American blogger who purchased my book here online recently: “Birds, Blooms and all things Beautiful”
You might like read it (click on link above) and also read more reviews and information and purchase your copy through the security of PayPal on my BirdBook page.
The book is also sold in One of these Places.
NOTE: All photos, videos and music used on this website are photographed, composed, performed by the site owner and remains his copyrighted property, unless otherwise stated. The use of any material that is not original material of the site owner is duly acknowledged as such. © W. A. Hewson 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018