Tuesday 31 October 2017

Dowitchers and Greenshanks at a high tide roost

There were a few late passage waders on October 27th and the first birds of the day, Great Knot, probably fall into that category. However most species I saw are likely to spend the winter locally.

The Great Knot were close enough to chance a couple of shots despite the poor pre-sunrise light. If I'd waited any longer they'd have been against the rising sun so it wasn't as though there was any choice. Perhaps it's just coincidence that the only Great Knot I ever get close to are very early in the morning and the resulting images are never satisfying.

Great Knot

If it isn't dim early light then it's strong midday sun, or that's how it sometimes feels. The regular Common Greenshank high water roost on the other hand is a different matter, it's simply a matter of going when high tide coincides with the sun at the right angle. This dosen't happen every day obviously but last Friday the timing was just right. The Greenshanks were expected, they're always there if they haven't been disturbed, but the Long-billed Dowitchers were not. I've never seen them on the estuaries before and they'd probably been displaced from a pond or lagoon by the high water levels caused by the last typhoon but whatever the reason for their presence they were a pleasant surprise.

Part of the wader roost on the steep concrete riverbank. The Greenshank can usually be found at this spot providing no one has disturbed them but the Dowitchers here are a first for me.

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