Monday, April 16, 2012

Whimbrels in flight ...... Afternoon delight!!??

Sung to the tune of that very lame song "Skyrockets in flight ..." and no I wasn't that excited. We are at Observation Point, Phillip Island on a beautiful autumn evening. We start with flying Whimbrels - a poor photo but I was pleased to have the record because at the time I assumed these were godwits circling. I was surprised on checking my images later.

Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) Observation Point, 14 April 2012
Above & below - a whimbrel landing alongside fellow birds and some godwits
All shots from considerable distance - a good 40 metres. This one happens to be a little sharper.
The walk starts from the end of Bruce Rd, Silverleaves, heading along the north-facing beach for about 2km. It is common to get good views of Hooded and Red-capped plover as well as gulls, lapwings and terns on the way.

This Hooded plover has leg bands. As you can see the beach is subject to a fair amount of washed up rubbish. Dogs are prohibited as this section of the beach is part of the Rhyll Inlet Reserve (a Phillip Island Nature Park).

Swamp wallaby tracks (evidently put its front paws down briefly)
Red-capped plover (Charadrius ruficapillus)
The beach ends at a spit adjacent to the Rhyll Inlet mud flats. On this occasion the incoming tide is well on its way in and we perch above the high tide line among the small grassy sand dunes and just watch!

There were large numbers (about 50) of Pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris). Only a few of the group are seen here behind this Caspian tern in flight.
Caspian tern (Hydroprogne caspia) outnumbered the generally more common Crested tern
Bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) and Black swan
Eastern curlew (above & below)

Red-necked stint (Calidris ruficollis) You'll have to take my word for it - a pleasant enough scene to be included in the series I thought!
Below are a few twilight views of Rhyll Inlet looking east back towards the spit.

Pacific gull silhouetted against the sun setting on Westernport Bay.


  1. such a lovely assortment of waders there Pete and what a magnificent setting sun photograph.

  2. Quite an ambiance publication!
    Magnificent sights and wonderful photography!
    Cheers Pete!

  3. Amazing colection of birds wonderfully captured on film. So many Black Swans too. Nice to see them wild.