Saturday, 15 October 2016

Go North 02 -- Weipa

Ethan and I caught up with the others just as we got to Weipa to hear the news that the 60-series had a touch of overheating! A job for the next day. One workshop had a three day waiting list just to be seen so we checked out another who dealt with the problem. However, the following day the problem recurred and it became a radiator and water pump transplant requiring the vehicle's presence in Weipa for a week whilst parts were sourced from Cairns.

Thus, while that was being sorted, Ethan and I were able to bird a bit of Weipa. We stayed in the caravan park [there is only one] which was pretty good. It has a westerly-facing beach which had plenty of activity and was close to various lakes around town.

Green Pygmy-Goose Nettapus pulchellus
Black-necked Stork Ephipiorhynchus asiaticus
Black Kite Milvus migrants trying to outpace a jet!
Osprey Pandion haliaetus
 Almost the entire time we were walking in the shallows and mud of low tide, a pair of Ospreys were hunting and diving into the water, sometimes quite close, say 50 metres. We saw two fish captured.
Three Red-necked Stints Calidris ruficollis on the left
and one Red-capped Plover Charadrius ruficapillus
Lesser Crested Tern Sterna bengalensis with the orange beaks
Crested Tern Sterna berg with the yellow beaks
Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus in the foreground
Darter, female Anhingas melanogaster to the right
Terns in the background
Whiskered Tern  
Gull-billed Tern Sterna nilotica with snack
Little Egret Ardea garzetta
Finally, the stars of the day. Weipa beach is renowned for the presence in the evening of significant numbers of Frigatebirds, both Great and Lesser, "surfing" the on-shore breeze as they gather to communally roost. It is a pretty impressive sight to see about eighty of these birds wheeling across the sky without one wingbeat by any of them.
Great Frigatebird, male Fregata minor
Great Frigatebird, female
Lesser Frigatebird, female
Lesser Frigatebird, male Fregata ariel
Magic. t1,250 and be there.

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