Saturday 11 April 2015

Mie, April 9: a few waders

I left the beach at about 10:40 with the gulls still in situ, Staying overnight was a real score. The next stop was to see if the Tundra Bean Goose I found yesterday was still on the fields... fingers crossed.

I drove through Tsu and onto the fields to the south between the city and Matsusaka. Before I reached the spot there was the goose was flying across the fields... talk about luck.

The goose came down on a large body of water inside the seawall joining hundreds of Greater Scaup that commute between there and the sea. Unfortunately it was so distant that even the results of digiscoping were disappointing and it eventually tucked itself out of sight in a small bay in the reeds. I headed off to another pool to check for waders and give the goose time to sleep then hopefully fly back out onto the fields.

Long-billed Dowitchers, Spotted Redshank and Black-winged Stilt.

The wader pond was productive, five Black-winged had arrived since yesterday, the spotshanks and Wood Sand were still there. There were more Common Snipe and unlike yesterday the wintering Long-billed Dowitchers came out of hiding.

The Spotted Redshanks don't seem in any hurry to acquire their stunning breeding plumage.

By contrast, the Long-billed Dowitchers are coming along nicely. Or to be more accurate, four of the five are well on the way to breeding plumage while the other, whatever its age, hasn't budged from non-breeding.

Black-winged Stilts are one of those special waders, unique structure and males have such striking plumage.  

The plumage of adults is fairly variable as to extent of head and neck markings, females are usually just slightly browner above. By comparison first winters look rather drab and boring when viewed across a pond. However when seen a little more closely and that drab brown transforms into an interesting patchwork...

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