A Migratory Shorebird

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) is a small to medium wader, with a body length from 17cm to 22cm. It has a wingspan of 36 to 44 centimetres and weighs in at 65 grams. These small birds breed in northern Siberia, then before the harsh Arctic winter sets in, migrate to spend time in the Australian summer. They mostly end up in south-east Australia.

During the non-breeding season, most of the world’s population of the Sharp-tailed Sandpipers occur in Australia.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
(Calidris acuminata)

The above photo was taken at the end of October. It was my first sighting of the Sharp-tailed Sandpiper for this approaching summer. I only observed the one bird at this time.

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata)

 

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
(Calidris acuminata)

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
(Calidris acuminata)

This morning, I returned to Lake Colac and was pleasantly surprised to see that the numbers of the Sharp-tailed Sandpipers had increased. There were about 12 or 13 birds feeding on this short section of shoreline – about 50 metres in length.

These waders will depart the non-breeding grounds of Australia in April next year. They will be one of the first waders to leave.

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Jawbone Reserve – 2

Continuing my walk along the Bay Trail, there was no shortage of water birds on display.

 

Dusky Moorhen

Dusky Moorhen,
(Gallinula tenebrosa)

The Dusky Moorhen (Gallinula tenebrosa) was nestled down in the grass and hiding in the shadows.

 

 

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Chestnut Teal,
(Anas castanea)

The Chestnut Teals (Anas castanea) were all inactive and enjoying some quiet time.

 

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Pacific Black Duck,
(Anas superciliosa)

 

Black Swan

Black Swan,
(Cygnus atratus)

This Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) swam up to me. I suspect it associates people with food and does not have any fear of humans.

Black Swan

Black Swan,
(Cygnus atratus)

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant,
(Microcarbo melanoleucos)

This Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) flew by and I had no time for composing the picture, it was a quick snap and hope for the best. A little way down the path I found it settled on a rock, however as you can see in the picture below, it did contemplate moving on as I approached. Once I had the photo I wanted I continued on and it relaxed.

Little Pied Cormorant

Little Pied Cormorant,
(Microcarbo melanoleucos)

As I continued my walk a Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes) flew by however the photo I got of it in flight was blurred. However, I did manage a shot of it landing.

Yellow-billed Spoonbill

Yellow-billed Spoonbill,
(Platalea flavipes)

Jawbone Reserve

Jawbone Reserve

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I am the copyright holder of all photographs that appear on this blog. These images are protected by copyright laws and all rights are reserved. To purchase a print please contact me by leaving a comment below with your order and contact details. I will then get back to you.

 

 

 

Black Swan Lake

The following photos were taken on a recent walk along the southern shore of Lake Colac.

It was a bright sunny autumn morning. A bright blue sky was reflected in the lake’s water. A pair of Black Swans (Cygnus atratus) was standing in the shallows, preening. My problem was, my camera was pointed north, straight into the morning sun.

Black SwanBlack SwanBlack Swan

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From Sunrise to Sunset

I have finally finished processing my photos from last weekend, which, of course, was a long weekend here in Australia. We spent our Easter break on a farm just outside Dunkeld which is the “gateway” to the Grampian Mountains and National Park.

The following photos were taken at that property.

Sunset, DunkeldSunset, DunkeldSunset, DunkeldSunrise, Dunkeld

Sunset, Dunkeld

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Lagoon

Almost in the middle of the Central Queensland town of Emu Park, there is a lagoon. My Grandfather’s house was near this lagoon and it was visible from his backyard. It features prominently in my boyhood memories.

This lagoon also has a magnificent plantation of Melaleuca trees.

Lagoon, Emu ParkMelaleuca PlantationMelaleuca PlantationMelaleuca Plantation

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Another Visit – Balyang Sanctuary

This time, on my latest visit to Balyang Sanctuary, there were some new faces on the patch. It wasn’t the best time of day to be birding; most of the waterbirds here were asleep or at least resting. They were all inactive.

There was a pair of Royal Spoonbills (Platalea regia) one of which was sleeping. Until it became aware of me, that is.

 

Royal Spoonbill

Royal Spoonbill,
Platalea regia

 

Royal Spoonbill

As it preened, this Royal Spoonbill’s mate was resting

 

Royal Spoonbill

Royal Spoonbills,
Platalea regia

 

Royal Spoonbill

As I snapped away, it decided it better be more alert

On my last visit here, the Australian Pelicans were conspicuous by their absence. I don’t ever recall not seeing any Pelicans at Balyang Sanctuary. On this visit though, I am pleased to report they were back.

 

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Australian Pelican,
Pelecanus conspicillatus

 

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Australian Pelican preening

 

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Australian Pelican Reflection

This White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) made good use of the nesting box supplied by the Workers for Wetlands who do a fantastic job looking after our birds and wetlands.

 

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A Preening White-faced Heron,
Egretta novaehollandiae

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