Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 36 - Mud Islands

I have mentioned in a couple of my last post that I took a trip around Mud Islands on the Saturday of a recent long weekend.

I tell you more about the trip on my wordy blog - the post will be called Perimeter Walk - but for now I'll just post some of the birds I saw.

At this time of year the Islands were not over populated with birds - but we did find a rather splendid mixed flock of waders at one point.  We normally don't get to see the waders in their breeding  finery - they spend the summer with us, but head back north in our winter to breed.  So most of the time while they are here they are in non-breeding plumage.  (Of course its crazy to call it "winter" plumage as its our summer!)

Mixed Flock - Red Knot (centre), Great Knot, Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper (yellow / green legs)

Red Knot, Ruddy Turnstone on LHS
Sharp Tailed Sandpiper in front of Red Knot
There were also some Godwit coming into breeding plumage - not that you can tell in this picture!  I think the flash on the leg of the RHS bird is a band / ring.

Bar Tailed Godwit


Black-Winged and Banded Stilt.
You can see that I have cropped these two images for effect.  The second of these pictures is not the best in the world - but I have included it because it shows both Banded and Black Winged Stilt.  The banded have an all white head and the adults have a chestnut breast band.  The Black Winged have a black strip on the back of their head.  There have been very few records of either species on the island and the Black Winged is a very unusual record.


There was a small flock (maybe 5) of Ruddy Turnstone at the back of the mixed wader flock - but they always stayed rather too far away.

Australian Pelican
There were always pelicans to be seen - the island has a breeding colony at the right time of year.  And as we were leaving a Welcome Swallow perched up to say see you later!


So, all in all a good day.  And I still have a few pictures up my sleeve!

If you have not already done so, you may find a visit to my other blog to be a worthwhile way to pass a few minutes - people have said it's a good read.

But whatever you do dont forget to click the link below to join inWBW!



56 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

the red knot sure is pretty! i love the stilts.

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

A splendid series. Great photos in my opinion. You sure know your bird stuff.

jane said...

How wonderful is that Australian pelican - the last Pelican I saw was in Hyde Park in London a fascinating bird - wader pics are good - Jane UK

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

The little swallow is perfect! Many great captures of the waders, particularly the red knot, the pelican, and black-winged stilts. You had an awesome day for birding, it appears! Looking forward to more.

Rebecca said...

Love the last photo of the swallow... I have had a purple martin house for years, but have yet to have a martin move in. - The starlings seem to approve of the house though :(

Karen said...

Wow Stewart, that mixed flock is huge! Covering the shore. Love the pelican in flight. (I was early for WBW this week as I am only doing one or two posts weekly, while I recover from my accident).

i stora drag said...

So many birds you saw at the same time, interesting! But the pelican, wow, that one I really would like to see!
Greetings Pia

ADRIAN said...

A productive day out.
Good to see so many waders. A grand place.

Ken Schneider said...

Those stilts were a nice find! The Red Knots are now following the egg-laying cycle of the Horseshoe Crabs and they migrate up our eastern coast. On Florida's Gulf Coast I saw one faded knot last week wearing a flag and bands that had been placed back in 2005.

lindaakacraftygardener said...

Lovely birds, most of which we don't see in my part of Canada.

Stuart Price said...

Great wader shots.

Richard Pegler said...

Great images, Stewart, but I particularly like the Red Knot!

HansHB said...

Great photos, interesting to study the details!

Marcia said...

You won't believe what I thought the first photo was. I thought I was seeing oysters! not birds! Very neat. It reminds me of "March of the Penguins" which we just saw this weekend on dvd when they huddled together to capture each other's warmth. Not sure what your birds are doing there though.

You travel to some neat spots.

Andrea said...

I am running out the door and just had enough time to post ... will be back later to comment on your pictures and other posts ... Have a great day!

Andrea @ From The Sol

Findlay Wilde said...

What a brilliant selection of waders. From Findlay

Findlay Wilde said...

What a brilliant selection of waders. From Findlay

Jeanne said...

Very interesting birds for sure! I love pelicans and have never seen one like that!

Karen said...

Love those black stilts and the pelican. All good shots Stewart, have a nice day.

mick said...

Great to see the migratory waders from down your way and a very interesting mix of species in the flock.

Heather Wilde said...

The Godwits always remind me of the wooden carved birds that nautical shops sell - I'd fill our house with them. Thought of you the other day, there was a Yorkshire tweet on twitter talking about the new perp (pope)!

DeniseinVA said...

A lovely selection of photos, enjoyed these very much. Thank you Stewart and thank you for stopping by. I have linked up.

Amanda said...

what fun, sounds like a great day. Love the mixed flocks.

Carletta said...

I'd say that was a pretty good birding day indeed Stewart!
Always wonderful images of your finds!
We should take a tip from nature and all learn how to get along. :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Excellent collection of photos of the birds....the images of the red knot amongst all the rest is amazing...such wonderful natural camouflage.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Lovely, as always! The Pelican might be my favorite today.. but it's a tough call. They're all great! Thanks for sharing your part of the world with us, and for hosting Wild Bird Wednesday.

eileeninmd said...

Awesome birds and photos, Stewart! The Redknot and Turnstones really stand out in the mixed flock! Sounds like a great birding outing! I love the Pelican too but the Redknot is one of my favorites. Thanks for hosting, happy birding!

Ebie said...

My first here, hoping to learn the names of the birds. Thanks!

Kerri said...

Truly marvelous captures Stewart ... I love all of their muted tones :) My kind of colors :)

DIMI said...

Very intresting post Stewart!I realy enjoyed seeing so much different birds!I like most the Australian pelican!!Great captures my friend!!Hope you have a wonderful week!
Dimi..

Nora at Island Rambles said...

that is such a great group of shots of shorebirds, I could just stare at them all day....we have not had any, any and I mean none, shorebirds show up. I am wondering where they are. I think I need to read the long version of this post. See you over there. cheers.

Pam ;) said...

Awesome shots of the pelican in flight, red knot and black winged and banded stilts. I'd say you had a fantastic day Stewart.

Brian King said...

Fantastic shots, Stewart! Some of them look like paintings (like the first three). Some wall material here for sure!

dancingaspensfarm said...

Love the pelican and the red knot! All of them are great!

TheChieftess said...

Interesting shots of the waders...they really blend in with the terrain!!! And I love the Pelican in flight!!!
Well done!!!

Bob Bushell said...

Brilliant photos, my favourite is the Stilt, superb.

Phil said...

Hi Stewart and thanks for your comment which made me laugh. I think I've created a McDonalds Seed Bar to fatten the finches. Good to see the mix of waders in your pictures, especially Sharp-tailed, something of a major rarity here of course. I love that name "Welcome Swallow", a week or so and we'll welcome them here if the weather warms up.

bailey-road.com said...

What a lot of beautiful birds. I sure do like that Pelican in flight!

Gary said...

Great shots from that great site!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

grammie g said...

Hi Stewart....I loved this WBW post, especially the photo's of the huddled pile of waders, at a distance I think they would look like rocks : )!!
The Australian Pelican, is a fabulous
shot!
I will be glad to see the Swallows return here in spring...well it is spring ,but we had 12 inches of snow yesterday :(!!
Grace

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

What a great collection of birds in one day. I love watching waders when I go to the beach.

thewovenspoke said...

Fantastic photos, just joined your site. I love bird watching

Gillian Olson said...

Lots of shore birds, and seeing the pelican is a treat. Thanks,

Fergiemoto said...

Cool shots! The pelican in flight is awesome. But since I just love swallows, I have to say I am drawn to that photo the most.

Larry said...

Shorebirds are so cool aren't they? I love those Red Knot shots you got Stewart.

Neil said...

Good to see the waders in colour for a change.

Mama Zen said...

Gorgeous shots!

Kateri said...

Love that little swallow perched on the twig--he (or she) looks so dainty.

Marie said...

You found some incredible birds to photograph! The first shots make the birds look like stones on the shore. Those sandpipers all lined up..wonderful! They are all delightful!

Black Jack's Carol said...

Always interesting to see your captures. Like Jane, I am fascinated that you get to see pelicans. We saw one flock here, about four years ago. And like TexWis, I find those Red Knots very pretty.

lessandragr said...

Hi Stewart - What a great group of waders. You really know your birds! I had to put out bird seeders just to get some pixs of some mourning doves and sparrows and finches. Not too much variety around here. BUT I saw three buzzards circling in a ring over the vacant lot across the street from my house -wish I had had my camera!

NatureFootstep said...

wow, so many birds. It is amazing! I envy you.

pattisjarrett said...

So many birds! So many pretty patterns of detail on them.

Andrea said...

Well, I am finally back to take a look at your water birds. My goodness, I don't think there is one in the bunch that I have even heard of. Are these all strictly native to Mud Island? Or do you get them on the mainland too? All have beautiful coloring and the Black Winged and Banded Stilts are striking. I keep telling myself, I want to go to Australia and see what you see ... how blessed you are.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

My week has escaped me once again, and yet I shall try to rectify my missing out on posts. The waders are terrific and I LOVE the Swallow at the ending. I saw 2 Tree Swallows just yesterday...very nice!

Dave said...

Another stunning post Stewart, really wish for some sunshine and blue sky here