Monday, May 6, 2013

Greenshanks & godwits - Port Albert treats

Lunch on a cold and bleak day at Port Albert in Victoria became quite a treat when this Common greenshank and its companion Bar-tailed godwit were seen close to the wharf.

At close range the Common greenshank has the most gorgeous plumage!

Bar-tailed godwit, Port Albert
Although I failed to nail a decent shot of the godwit before it moved further away I did enjoy reviewing photographs taken of a flock of about 250 birds as they re-positioned. I have not had the opportunity to photograph a flock in this way and enjoyed the to and fro. I was also thrilled to see that a handful of birds were developing breeding plumage. I have very little experience with godwits. Breeding plumage in these southern climes is something I'd become accustomed to not expecting to see.

Bar-tailed godwit. First passed the post! I am reminded of a horse race or cycling pelleton in these shots.

One bird at the back of the head group showing some breeding colours.
Bar-tailed godwits developing breeding plumage, Port Albert, Victoria - 5/5/2013
On this grey day even the grebes looked cold! A single bird rested in the sheltered, still waters of the wharf. This gifted views of those greeby webbed feet! I noted that a group of four Hoary-headed grebe stuck together and dived together. I was curious as to how well they may be able to interact under water!
Cute as a button - Hoary-headed grebe showing propulsion device!
OK, on the count of three guys .... Hoary-headed grebes synchronised swimming
A Great egret also flew in and happily hunted right below where our group lunched.

Great egret, Port Albert
I generally find Great egret to be nervous - but not this character! Tidal mud flats with sea grass. Much more of this habitat can be seen beyond the wharf.

Mangroves and mudflats, Port Albert. The flock of Godwit seen above settled at water's edge in the top left of this picture. The hills of Wilson's Promontory can be seen on the horizon.
I have experienced a few incidents of discovering fishing tackle injury when reviewing photos at day's end. I was attracted to this Pacific gull by its unusual colouring as it progresses to the next maturity phase of its plumage.

Pacific gull, fishing tackled snared around right leg

I conclude with a pale pelican and a policeman....
At 200m away and through the viewfinder I wondered if I was viewing some sort of albino pelican at right (not to be - just a trick of the viewing angle!) 

New-holland honeyeater overseeing traffic (KEEP LEFT in Australia!)
Bird on!


  1. amazing to see them so late in the season, well done Pete

  2. beaut photos Pete though quite perturbing to view the tackle injury to the gull

  3. Great shot of the greenshank - I spent an enjoyable, but completely fruitless hour trying to stalk a group of these a couple of weeks ago!

    Feel free to link this post to WBW!


    Stewart M - Melbourne