There were plenty of waders but no other birders at the Manly wader
roost today. I was surprised at the diversity and number of birds at
this late point in the season.
While I didn't see any tereks, only one sharpie and a handful of
knots, there were about 50 godwits [bar tailed as usual, a couple
coloured - perhaps the males fly off earlier, and one with an orange
flag on its right leg], 50 odd tattlers, dozens of stints [~ 30
coloured], about 2 dozen lesser sands [a couple fully coloured], over a
dozen curlew sands [none really coloured] half a dozen whimbrels, half
a dozen golden sands [one half coloured], a couple of avocets, a couple
of male chestnut teal [a 'female' teal that appeared to be dead], the
usual collection of pied oystercatchers, a lesser crested tern in with
the caspians, cresteds and silver gulls, the usual number of red caps
and stilts, a mangrove bittern, and a lone shank.
I would have thought that more of these birds would have scarpered
north to breed by now. Are we seeing more birds overwintering these
the other comment I would make is that there were the usual waders with
plumage not shown in the field guides. I keep forgetting that
non-breeding lesser sands have far larger superciliums than shown in
the guides, and that some have close to full white collars. I also
noted that some of the red coloured stints had pale lines on their
crowns similar to that of broad-billed sands.
As usual, there was the odd bird that had me wondering - at one point I
took a pic of a couple of nearby (non-breeding plumaged) stints [you
get closer to them than most other waders] - in the shot, a stint
walking on the mud looks rather smaller, less bulky, has less of a
blockhead, and has a shorter bill than the birds behind it. It has
dark scapulars and distinctly dark primaries. Probably just a small
red-neck but you never know ...
The joys of wader watching
To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)