Friday, April 12, 2013

Double-banded plover at Silverleaves

I've had a few instances in recent times noticing something a little bit different about the shorebirds at Silverleaves. It is possibly that I'm getting better at recognising the "odd bird out" having become very familiar with the most commonly seen locals, Hooded and Red-capped plovers. As well as the recent Visit from Red-necked stints I'm also noticing Double-banded plover on the beach. Last weekend several Double-banded (left below) and Red-capped plovers were grouping and moving together.

One day while bathing, Reg noticed the other birds were different.
Double-banded plover with Red-capped plover at Silverleaves, Phillip Island
I'm impressed that while the four small shorebirds mentioned above are similar in size and in choosing to frequent the same bit of Westernport beach, they differ vastly in their movements and range:

Red-capped plover - a predominantly Australian coastal bird, it breeds throughout the country, even inland if conditions suit. Abundant in some areas individual populations may be either sedentary or nomadic.

Hooded plover - endangered shorebird of Southern coasts, breeds spring & summer, stays put or disperses locally.

Red-necked stint - abundant summer migrant to Australia (most in NW or SE) leaving to breed in Arctic Siberia and Alaska during the Australian winter although some "overwinter" in Australia.

Double-banded plover - breeds in New Zealand. The birds we get in Australia apparently migrate annually from New Zealand's South Island to our slightly warmer southern coasts for winter.
Quite sensible really!

Away from the beach the bushland birds of Silverleaves perhaps tend not to vary as much!

New Holland honeyeater "hawking" for insects
Back on the perch
Acrobatic Silvereye
Horsfield's Bronze-cuckoo
Little wattlebird
Grey currawong
 Bird on!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent collection Pete! You captured the Silvereye at a perfect moment.