Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

February 19, 2009

Stockton Sandspit Bird Photography 090218

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 12:18 am

Stockton Sandspit Bird Photography 090218

18th February, 2009. Stockton Sandspit, Newcastle.

I decided to go to Stockton Sandspit after my trip in the early morning to Ash Island. The tide was about half way out, which was a good thing. I am not sure if it was coming in or going out. I have lost track of the tides since all the rainy weather. Speaking of which, today was overcast and the light was rubbish. To start my story, as soon as I got there i spied a young White-bellied Sea-eagle being hassled by a pair of Masked Lapwings. Those Masked Lapwings are aggressive birds, they are forever having a go at raptors.

On the mudflats was a mix of Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlew Sandpipers, Black-tailed Godwits, Red-capped Plovers, as well as the usual flock of Red-necked Avocets. It is extremely difficult to identify most of the waders, as they look so similar. I have a hard time differentiating the Bar-tailed Godwit from the Black-tailed Godwit when they are on land. When they are in flight, the Black-tailed Godwit is easy to identify with the white on the tail, and the white stripes on the wings. Here is what i think is a Bar-tailed Godwit. I could be very wrong, of course. Notice the the bill is slightly upturned whereas the Black-tailed Godwit has a straighter bill.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Here is a cute little Red-capped Plover. They always manage to delight and have a very high awww factor.

Red-capped Plover

There was a couple of Pied Oystercatcher down the beach and I managed to get this photograph of an Eastern Curlew in flight.

Eastern Curlew

There were a couple of species of Terns on the mudflat, the Crested Terns were just playing it cool, while this young Gull-billed Tern was flying around catching a few of them little crabs with eyes on stalks. Semaphore crabs, I think they are called. Well the Gull-billed Tern managed to catch a couple of them. I dont think it would be that hard because there were thousands of them. There is no lack of food at that sandspit.

Gull-billed Tern

Well, that’s enough for one day. I was out all morning and I am knackered!

Stockton Sandspit Bird Species List 18/2/09

Eastern Curlew ( Numenius madagascariensis)
Bar-tailed Godwit ( Limosa lapponica)
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)
Red-capped Plover ( Charadrius ruficappilus)
Gull-billed Tern (Sterna nilotica)
Caspian Tern(Sterna caspia)
Crested Tern(Sterna bergii)
Pied Oystercatcher ( Haemotopus longirostris)
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea)
Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia)
Red-necked Avocet(Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)
White-faced Heron(Egretta novaehollandiae)
Silver Gull(Larus novaehollandiae)

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