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Bird Log August 21st 2008

There was not much happening when I went to Stockton Sandspit this morning. The weather was overcast with sunny patches with a temperature of about 16 degrees Celsius. The wind was coming from the NOrth west at about ten knots. At first there were a flock of red-necked avocets hanging out on the sand bar with a couple of pelicans. There were a couple of Eastern Curlews down the beach who flew off with the flighty avocets. A little Egret was plonking around. Not much happening I thought to myself so I started off down the beach to go back to the car park. When I was walking along the beach, I spotted about four little birds that I had never seen before. I sat down on a log and started to photograph them. They were red-capped plovers I found out later. They came quite close to me at one stage, maybe as close as one or two metres from me. I felt elated to be near such delightful little birds.

Bird Species List

Red-capped Plover

red-capped plover
Camera settings were : 1/800 second, f/8, ISO200 with a 400 mm lens. The camera was a Canon 40D.

The Red-capped Plover has a scientific name of Charadrius ruficapillus and runs in short bursts. Their size is from 14 to 16 centimetres and they have a black eye-stripe and a distinctive red top of the head. The back of the red-capped plover is a light browny-grey colour. Their legs are not that long compared to some of the other shore dwellers. The red-capped plover is not migratory but probably moves between coastal and inland wetlands. They feed on molluscs, small crustaceans and worms. They nest in a shallow hole in the sand with the eggs usually well camouflaged. The incubation period is thirty days and is done mainly by the female.

Superb Fairy-wren

superb fairy-wren
Camera settings were : 1/200 second, f/5.6, ISO200 with a 400 mm lens.

The Superb Fairy-wren has a scientific name of Malurus cyaneus. The Superb Fairy-wren feeds on insects and small arthropods, and usually feed in small social groups. The breeding season is from july to march and the nest is a round shape made from grasses and other similar matter. The nest is usually located in a low bush and is made by the female. There are three eggs incubated by the female and all members of the group will help feed the young.