Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

March 25, 2009

Bird Photography Stockton 090324

Filed under: Birds — Tags: , , , — admin @ 12:31 am

Bird Photography at Stockton, 24th March, 2009

Today I went to the Stockton side of the Hunter River to look for the Pacific Golden Plovers that hang around the wreck. But they were not around. There wasnt much of anything around. I took a few photos of some Welcome Swallows and Magpie-larks but nothing turned out very well.

I then went over to the Stockton Sandspit under the bridge and walked towards the sandspit. There were a few Eastern Curlews with a flock of Silver Gulls and some Pelicans. There was a flock of Bar-tailed Godwits feeding in the shallow water. I do not think there were any Black-tailed Godwits with them as far as I could tell.

The easiest way to tell Bar-tailed from Black-tailed Godwits is to see them in the air. Notice the tail feathers on these Bar-tailed Godwits. The Black-tailed Godwits have a solid black bar at the end of the tail with white on the rump. They also have a white stripe on the wing.

Bar-tailed Godwits

Here is another shot of some Bar-tailed Godwits in flight.

Bar-tailed Godwits

After the Bar-tailed Godwits had flown off I noticed some smaller plovers on the beach. There were a couple of Lesser Sand Plovers(Charadrius mongolus) who were fossicking on the beach with some Red-capped Plovers.

Lesser Sand Plover

The Lesser Sand Plover was formerly known as the Mongolian Plover.

Lesser Sand Plover

March 16, 2009

Bird Photography Kooragang Dykes 090314

Kooragang Dykes Bird Photography 14th March, 2009

Note: Click on a photo, to get a larger version.

Today I had a boat ride to the end of the kooragang Dykes thanks to Liz and Chris from the HBOC. When we got there the Bar-tailed Godwits and Black-tailed Godwits were roosting. The Bar-tailed Godwits were a little fatter than the Black-tailed Godwits because they leave for the Northern Hemisphere about a week earlier in April than them.


The breeding plumage of the Bar-tailed Godwits as well as the Black-tailed Godwits is beginning to show. In this photo you can see the russet colours in some of the birds. There are also a few Pacific Golden Plovers in this photo.

Godwits and golden plovers

You can also see some of the Pacific Golden PLovers in this photo are starting to get their breeding plumage. The Pacific Golden Plovers get a black front with a white edge around it. Note that the Bar-tailed Godwit has a slightly upturned bill, whereas the Black-tailed Godwit has a straight bill which can be a little pinker.

Godwits and golden plovers

There were a few Pacific Golden Plover a little further west by themselves. Note that in one bird on the left, the white stripe that goes around the eye and down the chest is starting to form.

Pacific Golden Plover

That is about it, thank you very much to Liz and Chris for their excellent advice and for the boat ride. 🙂

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