offshorebirder

Show us your shorebirds (waders)

206 posts in this topic

@@offshorebirder Looks like the Black-necked stilts have brought all the nesting material into the depression to make the nest. Is it in an open area or surrounded by vegetation? Those willet nests look well hidden.

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Posted (edited)

Broad-billed Sandpiper (Limicola falcinellus)


A small shorebird with a longish bill that has a distinct downward kinked tip that. It breeds in Scandinavia & Siberia and migrates to East Africa, the Middle East, China Indonesia & Australia.


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This species often associates with other small shorebirds and is the proverbial needle in the haystack to find. Here it is foraging with Red-necked Stints.


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Edited by Geoff
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Posted (edited)

@@offshorebirder Looks like the Black-necked stilts have brought all the nesting material into the depression to make the nest. Is it in an open area or surrounded by vegetation? Those willet nests look well hidden.

 

@@Geoff - the Black-necked Stilts were nesting on a 300-meter long wetland cross-dike that is a work in progress and mostly bare, with patches of low vegetation. It is a fairly wide dike, with a taller center section and lower side sections, surrounded by canals and large impoundments that historically were rice fields. Within just one 50-meter stretch there is a Black-necked Stilt nest, a Willet nest (second or third of the year on that dike), and a Wilson's Plover nest. A Common Ground-Dove was also doing little hop-flight-land territorial displays, accompanied by much vocalizing.

 

I will have some photos of the dike and BN Stilt at the end of this post.

 

Stilts are funny and their nesting tastes vary. Some nest in short stubble or grass, some nest in taller stubble or grass, and some nest in little divots out on bare or muddy expanses. When nesting in the open, they usually nest between dirt clods, or small pieces of driftwood or other low shielding objects. At certain game lands and wildlife refuges around here, the Stilts and other shorebirds have learned that there is enough time during the annual draining of the impoundments to nest and raise chicks. After leaving the nest, the chicks head for the reeds and grasses in slightly higher adjacent ground and come out on the edge of the flats and canals to feed when it's safe.

 

Here is a Google Map I made with a few examples of nest locations marked. The BN Stilt nest @@Geoff was asking about is the southernost red marker, in the little multicolored cluster of markers. The Google imagery is about a year old - dike is more substantial and has more vegetation now.

 

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=z-r4CJxF2sAQ.kY8FDXYCUNZI&usp=sharing

 

 

This Black-necked Stilt on a nest (in a large stubble-covered flat of a drained impoundment) is from May 17, 2014 - it is the northernmost red marker on the Google map.

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This photo was taken on April 26, 2015 a few dozen yards away:

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Here is the dike-nesting bird of interest to @@Geoff - doing a broken wing display to distract me. I was heading for a spot not far past the Stilt nest where a Wilson's Plover was apparently nesting.

 

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Here is a view back down the length of the dike (Stilt nest is out of frame at top right) - some Spartina grass is growing on part of the low section of dike on the north side. Note the Common Ground-Dove taking off as part of his display ritual:

 

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Here is the female Wilson's Plover keeping an eye on me and showing good tradecraft:

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* Don't worry - no more dike work is taking place until well after nesting season. I can only imagine how hard the parent shorebirds have to work the broken-wing display each night with all the Raccoons, Foxes, Bobcats, Opossums,Coyotes, and other nocturnal predators. Not to mention rodents, snakes and other threats.

Edited by offshorebirder
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Here is a less-cropped view of the Black-necked Stilt's dike nest:

 

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Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)


Breeds in the Arctic tundra of Siberia & North America and migrates to South America though small numbers regularly turn up in Australia.


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Posted (edited)

Lesser Yellowlegs can get quite aggressive towards each other during spring migration. They often descend into physical confrontations over feeding space. They bump chests, kick at each other and slap at each other with their wings.

 

These two are engaged in a standoff:

 

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This shot is from a moment later - I call it "Yellowlegs Kung Fu"

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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Posted (edited)

A male Wilson's Plover (Charadrius wilsonia) in a drained ricefield on South Island, South Carolina. He and a female raised 3 young successfully.

 

This species has only been documented breeding in managed wetlands at the Yawkey Wildlife Center in coastal South Carolina - they normally breed on the front beach.

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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Keeping this thread alive - would love to see some photos of African shorebirds that anyone could share.

 

Short-billed Dowitchers are tricky for acquiring good photos. It seems like they are always feeding (bills or face underwater), sleeping or preening.

 

This is a Short-billed Dowitcher finishing its transition into breeding plumage in early May:

 

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Dowitchers have a distinctive feeding style. They feed by probing straight down, with regular push-pull motions. They look like sewing machines stitching up and down, up and down, with regular movements. Here are a couple of Short-billed Dowitchers at the bottom of their downstroke:

 

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Southern lapwing (Barranco Alto, Pantanal)

 

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For a long time, I thought it was a solitary sandpiper, but now I am inclined to think that it is a greater yellowlegs.

 

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Excellent Lapwing photo @@Bush dog - and yes, that is a Greater Yellowlegs.

 

Thanks for sharing.

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Posted (edited)

I was able to enjoy some "Grasspipers" today - Buff-breasted Sandpipers (Tryngites subruficollis), Upland Sandpipers (Bartramia longicauda), and Pectoral Sandpipers (Calidris melanotos). Buff-breasted and Upland Sandpipers have such a subtle beauty.

 

Grainy photo montage (rainy morning) of Buff-breasted Sandpiper bathing, foraging and stretching+fluffing:

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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Black-tailed Godwit

 

Photographed at Toorbul, Brisbane, Australia in 2015

 

Very much less common than the Bar-tailed Godwit in our area and often a challenge to ID correctly against Bar-tailed. ( well for me anyway)

 

 

Cheers

 

David Taylor

 

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Grey-tailed Tpost-47774-0-93064700-1446413382_thumb.jpgpost-47774-0-37744600-1446413378_thumb.jpgpost-47774-0-51991000-1446413373_thumb.jpgpost-47774-0-36454700-1446413368_thumb.jpgpost-47774-0-68776400-1446413363_thumb.jpgpost-47774-0-68658200-1446413358_thumb.jpgattlers

 

Various images of this species photographed around Moreton Bay, Queensland

 

Such a sleek bird these - very photogenic species!

 

Cheers

 

David Taylor

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Oops - Topic title should read Grey-tailed Tattlers - can moderator fix

 

PS - there no edit function once one posts a topic?

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@@theplainswanderer Dave, nice find with the Black-tailed Godwit and I especially like the group tattler image.

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@@theplainswanderer

You can edit for an hour or so after posting

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Oustanding images of the Godwit and Tattlers @@theplainswanderer. Thanks for helping populate this thread - @@Geoff and I had been carrying the load for the most part, with some help from @@Bush dog, @@Tom Kellie, @@kittykat23uk, and others.

 

* I am hoping others will share their shorebird images - particularly African shorebirds or European ones wintering there.

 

-- Yesterday (despite gloomy conditions) I was able to get some decent photos of Marbled Godwits - one of my favorite shorebirds. At one point, a Godwit attacked another one for straying into its "feeding zone".

 

Photos taken on the north side of Charleston Harbor at the Pitt Street mudflats. This spot is where JJ Audubon painted a Long-billed Curlew with the Charleston skyline in the background.

 

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~ @@offshorebirder

 

Your photos are so fine that it's a daunting prospect to consider uploading fresh wader images.

Thank you for the lovely Marbled Godwit images.

Wonderful to view such attractive birds from the other side of the planet.

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

Here is a short video clip of one of the Marbled Godwits feeding (vigorously). You can see the Godwit pulling up and consuming two Polychaete worms.

 

** Be sure to set the video quality to the highest setting (1080p) - and expanding the Youtube window to full-screen size helps as well.

 

Given how plentiful the worms are in this submerged mudflat, I don't understand why the Godwit was so aggressive towards its neighbor.

 

Edited by offshorebirder
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Common Greenshank photographed at Toorbul, Queensland recently

 

Regards

 

David Taylor

Brisbane, Australia

 

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Posted (edited)

Bar-tailed Godwits photographed recently at Toorbul, Sth-east Queensland

 

I was particullarly happy with the top image with the two birds together - such a serene feel to the shot.

 

regards

 

David Taylor

 

 

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Edited by theplainswanderer
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Wow @@theplainswanderer - more super photos. I like how you work with the riffles and little wave crests in some of your shots.

 

I also did not know Greenshanks had hinged tongues!

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Gday offshorebirder

 

Many thanks for your comments. The particular place these were shot is a tidal beach so it can produce some nice gentle ripples when the birds roos close to the shoreline at high tide.

 

Yes the hinged tongue on the Greenshank surprised me as well!

 

Nice to be involved with this topic and to see some of your Northern specialties!

 

cheers

 

David Taylor

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Terek Sandpipers ( amongst Grey-tailed Tattlers)

 

These photographed recently at Toorbul high tide roost, South-east Queensland - gotta love this species - one of the cutest of all the shorebirds for mine with that quaint upturned bill and flashy bright orange legs!!

 

Cheers

 

David Taylor

 

 

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Sharp-tailed Sandpipers

 

Various different birds all photographed at a lagoon at Hemmant in Brisbane, Australia.

 

Some of these photographed very early morning

 

Regards

 

David Taylor

 

 

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