Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wild Bird Wednesday 59 - Red Knot

Reports are starting to come in of the waders returning from the Northern Hemisphere to the coasts and wetlands of Victoria.  This is always an exciting time - and with luck I may be able to get out this weekend to have a look for some.

So, it a desperate attempt to segue between that and todays WBW I have decided to post some pictures of waders - Red Knot - getting ready to fly north a whole breeding season ago.

The Red Knot - Calidris canutus - is a chunky looking wader of about 25 cm.  It only takes on its eponymous characteristic in its breeding plumage.  In other words, it generally looks at its best when its not in Australia.

However, I was lucky enough to find a group of these birds on Pope's Eye - an island I have mentioned a few time in posts - last autumn (thats last spring for you up north!)

A few of the birds were beginning  to "red up" into breeding plumage - which meant that a). they look splendid and b). they were easy identify! That's the kind of double win I like!

It's hard to believe that these birds are about to fly off to N.E. Siberia!  And its even harder to believe that if I manage to see the leg flagged bird again, it will have flown from Australia to Siberia and back between sightings.    The leg flagged bird (A7) was flagged less than 20 km from where I saw it, so it obviously just popping out for some milk and the paper before it heads north!






As ever there is some fun to be had from looking at the origin of name of these birds.  The origin of Knot is (sorry) not know - which apart from anything else demonstrates the baffling use of silent Ks in the English language!

Calidris is derived from the Greek for "speckled water bird", although there is very little chance that Knot were the bird that help come up with this name.   canutus comes from some form of association with the Danish and English King Canute.  It seems he may have liked to eat them!

Anyway, enough of me, now its your turn!

Most of you know the drill by now, so click on the link and off you go!

If you are new to WBW - welcome! and click the link below and follow the simple instructions to join in.  Cheers - SM


43 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

the full-color plumage is gorgeous! i laughed at all the one-legged perching on that rock. so cute!

thanks for hosting, stewart!

Nette Cecilia said...

Lovley bird ,the colours are very beautiful in your photos ,have a nice evening ,Nette

Brian King said...

Gorgeous! I love the second shot! Very nice lighting and wonderful detail!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Love those little cuties...nice plus that you found them in their red plumage. I always thought the name was because they gather tightly together...the truth makes more sense. Like usually!

stiefbeen said...

Heel mooi en dan zoveel bij elkaar heel mooi gezien.

amanda | wildly simple said...

I always enjoy your birds, Stewart!
You may not have any hummers on your continent - but you have an endless & amazing array of creatures - feathered & more - that we don't have! :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Goodness Australia to Siberia...how many thousands of miles is that? It's amazing how far birds migrate.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Stewart Love the colour of these birds in their breeding plumage. great post and thanks for hosting. Will hopefully put mine on tomorrow.

Richard Pegler said...

That's a stunning transition into breeding plumage, Stewart. Beautifully captured!

Ken Schneider said...

The Red Knots we see in Florida breed in the Arctic and winter at the southern tip of Argentina (Tierra del Fuego). This past spring I photographed one on Florida's west coast that had been flagged over seven years previously in New Jersey. It is so exciting to consider their migratory journey, 9,300 miles each way. In spring they follow the breeding cycle of the Horseshoe Crabs northward, feeding on their eggs.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I like the ones that 'stand out' in the crowd!!!

mick said...

Great views of the Red Knot - I only see them around here on their migration through - whereas some Great Knot stay all season.

Montanagirl said...

Such a beautiful bird! I really like his coloring.

Andrea said...

They look like a cross between the Plover and the Robin ... what a funny little bird and what beautiful coloring. Your pictures are awesome ... hoping you will get more when they actually return to your beaches. Have a great week Stewart ...

Andrea @ From The Sol

Gary Phillips said...

Great colour on these fellows!! Boom & Gary of the vermilon River, Canada.

Mama Zen said...

Gorgeous birds!

Andrew Fulton said...

Lovely images Stewart....

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, love your pretty Red Knot! It is colorful, I have seen them once during their migration thru Delaware. Great shots, thanks for hosting.

DIMI said...

Beautiful birds Stewart!!Very preety colours!!Exellent shots and pictures!!!
Dimi...

Neil said...

Hope to see some this time round.

Rebecca said...

Enjoy reading and seeing your photos of unfamiliar birds. Thanks for hosting! :)

Christian Perrin said...

Beautiful photos of a bird I usually only see as a distant speck on some backlit mudflat. I especially like the second photo - you can almost hear them happily crying out "group shot!" :)

Chris Rohrer said...

A colorful little bird that I have yet to find:) Nicely shot!

Carole M. said...

fantastic pick up Stewart; would love to see them. I loved your comment about the milk and papers..

Gunilla Bäck said...

Cute little birds. The red plumage is beautiful.

Digi-Irma said...

Beautiful birds, Stewart.
The red bird is a beautiful color.
Sharpness is perfect for all birds.
Greetings Irma

Kerri Farley said...

What a great find!!! Beautiful!!

Babs Helferich said...

wow beautiful. regards Babs

RNSANE said...

Your pictures are incredible! How pretty the birds are when you their breasts turn red. Sadly, I am not really up to date on birds except familiar ones like robins and cardinals.


My Wild Bird Wednesday is at:

http://rnsane.blogspot.in/2013/08/wild-bird-wednesday-59-kites-not-those.html

Wolfy said...

First time submitter to WBW - found you via Brian Kings blog. Great photos on your blog and all the WBW submissions. Mine are amateurish at best, but I love to take pictures.

Thanks for the opportunity to participate!


joe

dancingaspensfarm said...

Wow! So pretty!

bailey-road.com said...

What beautiful shots of these birds. The one in breeding plumage really stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Linda said...

Cool looking birds! That second shot is a work of art.

CabinGirl said...

I love these birds. Not sure if it's their shape/silhouette, their coloration, but something about them just grabs me.

And, I've never seen one in person so it's such a joy to read about them and see them on your blog, Stewart!

Hope to join you next Wednesday for WBW :-)

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Beautiful...

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Stewart? You mentioned in your comment to me today " Pickled onions with strong cheese - its some kind of heaven!"

Have you ever tried pickled boiled eggs? [by the way, the pickled onions sounds great, will have to try it.]

Wally Jones said...

It's amazing when you consider the enormity of the journey some of these shorebirds manage!
Superb shots of the Knots!
Love the breeding plumage.

Thanks again for hosting WBW, Stewart!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I am so late at arriving at blogs this week, but I shall begin with your entry. What lovely birds and such fascinating info shares. Wow they have a long flight coming, or going...
Have a great weekend Stewart.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I have had a cat in the home, or several my entire life...first one as a child and at nearly all times since~

Shey said...

Awesome shots and fascinating birds. Love its breeding plumage too.

Pat Tillett said...

A cute and plump little guy! Nice photos Stewart.

Phil Slade said...

That second shot could just as well have been taken on a clump of rocks off Knott End beach. I don't know of any birders here who refer to Knot as Red Knot, simply because we rarely see them red, just grey as you do. Great Knot is a major rarity here. Nice pictures Stewart and thanks for hosting again - so many places to visit on a Wednesday and the rest of the week.

Dave said...

Wonderful post, love the contrast between the grey and red. I have recently read "the flight of the Red Knot"...... Very interesting read.

Great post Stewart

Liz said...

Gorgeous images, Stewart. I haven't seen a Red Knot before (well I don't think so anyway). I did photograph some Knots last year but I couldn't get close enough to work out what they were.