Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 86 - Curlew Sandpiper

Shallow wetlands are often a real draw for waders and other wildfowl.  Exposed mud is even better.  And a combination of both is paradise.

An area of old shell diggings at Point Lonsdale - called Lake Victoria - is a good example of this combination.  Lake Victoria is a shallow saline lake that in part was formed by the digging a deposit of  shells, local known as shell grit.

I was wandering though the area a while ago and found it busy with waders.  Many were rather long way away and as I can either carry a long lens or a telescope, but not both, I could not get brilliant views of the roosting birds.

This is one of the better shots of the largest roost. (You need to click on the image for the best view)


The flock of birds contains Curlew Sandpipers, Red Necked Stints and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers.  Behind the main flock are some Chestnut teal.  The large, pale wader in front of the flock is a Common Greenshank (well, I was watching Greenshank a few minutes later, and only found this bird in the image when I looked at it at home!)

I waited a while and managed to get some images of birds that were rather closer - the best of these were of Curlew Sandpipers - Calidris ferruginea. 

The Curlew Sandpiper breeds in North East Siberia and spends its non-breeding time in Australia (and many other southern countries as well).  When it is in breeding plumage the front of the bird is a wonderful red colour.  This is where the ferruginea part of its name comes from - remember that Iron is red, and Fe is the chemical symbol for Iron.





If you ever get a chance to visit The Bellarine peninsula I would recommend a walk around this lake.

Now its your turn - and please don't forget to limit the text in the widget to your name and a location.


39 comments:

TexWisGirl said...

packed together like sardines. :) i like those little feet stepping shots. :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Great image of the sandpiper in flight!!!

Lots of shallow water and mud here....must be paradise and I didn't realize it. LOL

Chris Rohrer said...

So many Sandpipers. These are on my list....very fun birds to ID:)

Sylvia K said...

Love those sandpipers and, like Tex, the feet stepping shots are perfect!! Hope your week is going well, Stewart!!

Andrea said...

I don't see any ferruginea so I am guessing it is not mating season :) Beautiful shots both close and far, but especially the Sandpiper in flight with the slight reflection in the water ... very artistic.

I have been to the Grand Canyon several times, but never in the winter. I can only imagine how striking it was. You might find Chicago boring ... just another big city, but then we have Peregrin Falcons that live on our high rises and I am guessing there are other things you would enjoy. Don't know if your work ever brings you this far, but I would love to be your tour guide :) if it does.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Gunilla Bäck said...

That's a lot of birds all packed together.

Findlay Wilde said...

Waders are amazing birds. I think they are one of my favourite types of bird to watch. They always look to busy. From Findlay

Mama Zen said...

The sandpipers are so pretty. Great reflections, too!

Montanagirl said...

Lots of birds piled into that one shot - I had never even heard of a Curlew Sandpiper. Very pretty birds.

EG CameraGirl said...

They really like the feeling of togetherness, don't they?

Phil Slade said...

Curlew Sands are something of a "prize" here Stewart, normally migrants in Autumn.you took some very nice pictures of them.

Neil said...

Great shots of the Curlew Sandpipers.

Carole M. said...

well I hope I might happen to get there some day; great photos Stewart

Sharon Wagner said...

I will be walking with the sandpipers very soon. And it is a good thing.

eileeninmd said...

It seems a lot of birds like the mudflats. Your Curlew Sandpiper is a pretty bird. Great shots. Thanks for hosting, Stewart. Have a happy week!

edenhills said...

What a lot of birds! I love that last image.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Love the little Curlew Sandpiper!

Stuart Price said...

One of my fave waders...........

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I adore shorebirds.

Brian King said...

Beautiful shorebirds! Since I live inland, I don't get to see these guys. Nice shots, Stewart!

thewovenspoke said...

Great shots of all those Curlew Sandpipers I really enjoyed the close ups.

Karen said...

Terrific captures! I love the last one. looks like a bit of engine failure! You saw squirrels and jays, in Arizona? I'm a tad jealous, I have always wanted to go to Arizona!!!

Jo said...

I love waders and waterbirds and your Sandpipers are gorgeous. Have a great day!

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures of the Curlew Sandpiper, Stewart.
The last picture is my favorite.
Greetings Irma

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Stewart Fantastic shots of the Curlew Sandpipers. great close up. Have a great evening.

Gordon said...

Great shots Stewart, I sometimes mistake them for Dunlin.
All the best Sewart, Gordon.

A Quiet Corner said...

They are always so busy...always moving, always going...:)JP

Mary Cromer said...

In your first image, they all look like a pan of cinnamon rolls, ha, it is breakfast time here. Their feather colouration all together resting there are so wonderful. Nice that you could get a few close up shots as well. Hope you are enjoying your week~

R. Mac Wheeler said...

great shots

Kerri Farley said...

Looks like a great place to visit! and I LOVE your Flight shot!!!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Fantastic shots. I love waders. One of my favorite sights whenever I go to the beach!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

The first photo would make an amazing print. xo

Small City Scenes said...

Neat bird. We have Sandpipers here and also Curlews even a Lake Curlew and a Curlew State Park but both a little different than yours.
strange world eh>

Maybe whoever built your house had big hips or else always wanted to live in a barn. No help I suppose right!! MB

Gail Dixon said...

How awesome to see the curlew sandpiper. Love the flight shot and the ones as they take steps. Precious!

bailey-road.com said...

I don't get to see many shorebirds where I live. These are beautiful.

bailey-road.com said...

I don't get to see many shorebirds where I live. These are beautiful.

Adam Tilt said...

Great selection of photos. I've been lucky enough to see just a couple of Curlew Sandpipers but never as well as this.

Shey Wicklund said...

This is amazing to watch. It looked like stones packed in one area for a moment there. Great captures, esp. love the flight pic.

babsjeheron said...

Very fine photos, Stewart, especially the ones where the bird seems to be prancing on a reflection.