On Saturday, prior to my incident with the quicksand, Ruth and I paid a
visit to Marlo in eastern Gippsland, Victoria to look for, and hopefully
photograph, the vagrant Beach Stone-curlew that has been reported there
recently. Thanks to help from local birder Len Axen (who, I think it can
safely be said, knows all the birds on his local patch), we managed to find
the bird in roughly the area it was previously seen - at Frenches Narrows,
opposite Mots Beach. We initially located the bird by scanning the far side
of the Narrows from a lookout about 100m east of the Mots Beach carpark. We
found the bird sheltering under a bush almost directly opposite Mots Beach.
Once we were sure we could identify the location, we headed back to the
beach itself and managed a few photos from across the Narrows. Len had told
us that it was possible to wade across the water at low tide, unfortunately
it was now high tide (around 12:30pm). We decided to attempt the crossing
anyway, so after sending Ruth out for a test wade, we loaded ourselves up
with our gear and waded across. The water reached about thigh deep in the
middle, and then became progressively shallower as we neared the far shore.
Surprisingly, the bird was very accommodating, allowing us within about 20m
- I say surprisingly, because most other people have reported that it is
skittish or flighty, maybe it simply wasn't expecting anyone to come from
out of the water? The bird only moved away once we broke the 20m "barrier",
and even then it simply walked away from us.
I have posted my photos from the visit to my website:
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