Saturday, 28 July 2018

Another day at Mallacoota

The cold which I mentioned in yesterday's post has not yet gone away.  It can do so just as soon as it feels like it. 

The morning sky was very pleasant!

 The morning walk from the fishing jetty into town was very pleasant and scored 30 species of birds, without anything exciting. 

After breakfast and a rest we went to Bastion Point.  Dino had come down with us and with Frances' assistance posed looking out to sea.
 I had stayed in the car, with a view to demolishing an excellent pepper pie and decided to scan the ocean to see what was there.  I decided that a line of largish white birds on the water were resting gannets.  I then noticed some interesting breakers out beyond them, where there is no reef.  This caused cetacean thoughts to arise, confirmed almost immediately as a spout of water vapour shot up.

The mammal didn't oblige again so Frances went to the rocks to see what she could find there while stayed in the car.  After ingesting about 3 times my daily calorie requirement I joined her.  The most interesting sighting was a huge number of small mussels.  In this image all the black on top of the rocks are mussel shells.
 Here is a close up.
 The Inlet is still closed and was hosting a good array of waders today.  (There were next to no terns, explained by a post on the Mallacoota Birds Facebook page that hundreds or thousands of terns were out at Gabo Island feeding on a pilchard run.

The first waders spotted were Bar-tailed Godwits who decided to stay at Mallacoota rather than fly to Siberia to breed.   We saw 5 in total.
 There were many Red-capped Plovers around.  Every bit of shoreline seemed to have a few.
Mixed in with them were some Double-banded Plovers that have moved here from NZ.  They will head back there to breed so no need for Peter Dutton's goons to deport them.  I've flagged a couple of them in this image.
Here is a close-up: it shows how taxonomists have made a tragic mistake (by their standards) and actually given the birds a useful name.
 As we returned I noticed a rather larger wader on the top of the dune blocking the Inlet. It seemed to be about twice the size of a nearby Red-capped Plover.
However on looking at my photos and my Field Guide it is just another Double-banded Plover.  The apparent hugeness is an illusion brought about by the relative distance of the two birds.
Also when looking at my photographs I found that one flock of small waders contained about 10 Red-necked Stints as well as some Red-capped Plovers.  The stints are yellow arrows and the plovers are red  arrows.
That just about finished me for the day so the afternoon was spent resting and reading some light fiction.  I suspect the choice of material is avoidance behaviour  due to me needing to be strong to get into the second volume of Jimmy Barnes autobiography!

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