Wednesday, 28 January 2015

A drying wetland near Marlay Point

It doesn't take long with a few hot days, decent winds and 10mm of evaporation each day for those ephemeral wetlands to feel the pinch. I have been visiting the one pictured above, on the Marlay Point Road, most weeks since the Sharp-tailed Sandpipers arrived in September. It almost dried out before Christmas but in early December an Easy Coast Low and 150mm of rain fixed the job for a while. Birdwise, it went quiet. The Grey Teal went to more fruitful water and even the STSs buzzed off for a while. But they are back, starting to fuel up for their coming journey.

The wetland is starting to dry out again. The Black-winged Stilts can walk right across without getting their belly feathers wet. The Red-capped Plovers and their myriad young have lots of mudflats to check out. Red-necked Stint make a potential mis-identification with the young Red-caps. Fifty or so Australian Shelduck have been around for a couple of weeks now. They feed in the deeper areas compared to the  Grey Teal. The shores are dotted with White-faced Herons and Masked Lapwing and there were three Black Swans this morning. I spent an hour standing and crouching [should have brought a chair] by the "shoreline". The Red-caps, Red-necks and Sharpies, over time, all came to within 10 metres or less of me. Neither the ducks, stilts nor swans were bothered by my presence. Mozzie count -- nil! It was very enjoyable. I trust you will enjoy the images.

Top to Bottom: Black Swans, Black-winged Stilt, Sharp-tailed Sandpipers
Australian Shelduck
White-faced Heron
Black-winged Stilt
Sharpies buzzing Stilts
Sharpie close-up
Sharpies buzzing Black Swans
Red-necked Stint
female Red-capped Plover
Magic. f8 and be there.

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