Sunday, August 10, 2014

DBPs with colour, Phillip Island

Double-banded plover Charadrius bicinctus, Phillip Island, 9 Aug 2014
I was interested to see photos of Double-banded plovers taken recently in Werribee, Victoria. The photos showed breeding plumage so I was inspired to pay a visit to Observation Point yesterday as I knew that these birds had frequented the sandy spit in our autumn earlier this year.

I have never seen them in colour before until yesterday. What handsome little birds!

They have intrigued me as they have a unique migration pattern - breeding in New Zealand and wintering in Australia. Pizzey states that part of the South Island (NZ) population migrates annually and spends February - September in Southern Australia.

I think we have a male (left) and female (right) in this shot. Rather than black, the female is said to have a brown upper band and less black and white markings on the forehead.
Female DBP feeding
While enjoying these birds' breeding colours for the first time there was an unexpected visitor ...

I have not seen a Ruddy turnstone at Observation Point before. It wandered around and fed in characteristic fashion.

Something about the angle of shot and posture of the turnstone implies that the two species are a similar size although the turnstone is generally slightly larger than the DBP
Ruddy turnstone vigorously flicking seaweed and other debris out of the way in characteristic fashion 
RT: "Yeah, I couldn't be fagged flying all the way to Siberia this year. "
DBP: "Choice Bro"
Another migrant dropped in for a real meeting of ways. Now we have (L-R) DBP, Red-necked stint and Ruddy turnstone
Red-necked stint
Caspian tern
Caspian terns, Observation Point, Phillip Island, Vic
Crested terns

Jeff lacked subtlety at times

The "usual plovers" being Hooded plovers (a nice gathering of four birds) and Red-capped plovers (just a single bird identified) were far outnumbered by the Double-banded visitors.

Having already had an interesting and enjoyable outing I was treated on the walk back to a White-breasted sea eagle fly-by.

Something up ahead!!!
White-bellied sea eagle, Observation Point beach, Phillip Island
When kids get hold of your phone .... I hadn't noticed till too late that my iphone camera was applying filters to today's shots. Thanks Hannah!

Sharing with I'd Rather B Birdin'

Bird on!


  1. Great post and pictures Pete. I recently finished a beautiful book that I borrowed from my local library, about Australian shorebirds by David Hollands & Clive Minton. After reading about the lives and trials of these waders I have a new respect for them and their plight. Highly recommended!

  2. Extraordinary!! What beautiful shore birds. They're gorgeous. And, I really appreciate you linking up this week at the Bird D'Pot and hope to see you again soon.

  3. The plovers are so pretty. I like the terns as well.

  4. An enjoyable post. It is interesting about the Double-banded Plover migration, but then I think the more we learn about birds, the more interesting they become!