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Bird Log September 1st 2008

Today I went to the STockton Sandspit at the Hunter River estuary, newcastle, Australia. The weather was sunny with a temperature of about twenty degrees Celsius. The wind was coming from the north west at about ten knots or so - a beautiful start to spring. There were a bunch of Ibis feeding around the water holes on the flats and a group of red-necked avocets and curlews on the mudflats. The curlews were a bit skittish so I assumed that they had newly arrived from their huge migration from Siberia. There were hordes of Soldier Crabs running around the flats and they were like armies. I guess that is why they are called soldier crabs.

Bird Species List


Red-capped Plover

red-capped Plover
Camera settings were : 1/2000 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. They feed on insects and small crustaceans and breed from August to March in the coastal regions and from June to September in the interior regions of Australia. The nest of the red-capped plover is just a depression in the sand that is sometimes lined with broken bits of shell or tiny pebbles. Red-capped Plovers are vulnerable to feral animals that take their eggs and chicks as well as human encroachment onto their habitats.

Caspian Tern

caspian tern
Camera settings were : 1/2500 second, f/8, ISO200 with a 400 mm lens.

The Caspian Tern has a scientific name of Sterna caspia. The bird above in the photo was in the process of diving for a fish. It was hovering above the water then turned and dove bringing in its wings and then hitting the water and emerging straight away. It was a delightful sight to see, but difficult to photograph.

Eastern Curlew

eastern curlew


These Eastern Curlew possibly may have just arrived, having flown all the way from Siberia. I cannot even imagine that. It is quite remarkable.