Friday, March 18, 2016

Killarney Beach Sanderling

Sanderling, Killarney Beach, SW Victoria, Australia
So I did catch up with some Sanderling at Killarney Beach last weekend. It took some persistence. For instance I watched a group of stint for some 45 minutes before concluding "Nope that's not what I'm after!" In their non-breeding colours they are had to tell apart if not seen adjacent.

Casting the binoculars to the far eastern sweep of the little bay I spotted a group of small shorebirds on a sandy section of the beach. Closer inspection required!

Yes, they have a cleaner, whiter appearance and are not as tiny - but the difference in behaviour from the Red-necked stint was clear. The Sanderling were moving in and out along the wet sand following the receding waves back, running away when the water comes in again, like someone in runners surprised by a wave.

I enjoyed observing and photographing. They were reasonably obliging. It was possible to pick a point that they were heading towards and wait ....

A single Double-banded plover had arrived from New Zealand
A young-looking Red-capped plover was also hanging around
The Sanderling were found close to the boat-ramp carpark at the eastern end of the Killarney Beach lagoon
I was so keen on checking my stint vs sanderling ID that I used the video setting on my camera to record some behaviour. Unfortunately it's not real steady as it is perched only on a monopod!


Bird on!


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