South Coast Birding

Sturt Pond and Pennington Marsh ~ 19th October 2013 ~ 

On Saturday, my friend and I headed down to the south coast for a day of birding. We were aiming to see the Red-breasted Goose that has been present at Sturt Pond for over a week now.

As high tide approached, we finally picked out the Goose which was surprisingly inconspicuous given its rather brightly coloured appearance! It was about 100m offshore and was with 100's of Brent Geese, however as the tide rose, the geese came closer, and closer, and closer still, until the Red-breasted Goose was a mere 15m from us. We never expected to get such amazing views of the bird and it more than made up for the soggy trousers I got (note to self: don't lie in puddles when wearing jeans!!)

Anyhow, the bird drifted parallel to us for about 10 minutes before flying off with a few Brent's to some nearby fields.

Here are a few shots of the Goose:

After we were satisfied with our views, and positive that we had some decent images, we headed over to Pennington Marsh where we hoped to catch up with an american wader, a Long-billed Dowitcher.

Upon arrival we were told the very worst news possible - that it had gone, and hadn't returned after being spooked by a Peregrine flying past. We were then told by a different birder that it had simply taken shelter in a clump of vegetation and hadn't yet reappeared. Unperturbed by any of this news, we trained our bins and cameras on said clump of vegetation, and hoped that the bird had done the latter and was still present.

After about 15 minutes with no sightings of the bird, and the number of birders now increasing, I decided to take a stroll and head along the path towards the next lagoon, thinking it may have flown there when nobody was watching. I had only walked 20 metres when I looked back at the clump of vegetation and noticed a greyish bird on the edge, near the back. I looked through my bins at it and knew at once that this was the Dowitcher. Knowing that it was still hidden from the view of the birders, I signalled to them that I had it, and they made their way over, some more calmly than others.

A few remained sceptical that I had pointed out the right bird, but the majority agreed and were very happy to have seen it.

As it was fairly distant, a record shot of the Dowitcher will have to suffice!

Long-billed Dowitcher (left) standing next to a Common Snipe (right).

Throughout the day we saw some other birds as well, including 5 Mediterranean Gulls (one of which is pictured below) and some very obliging Turnstones:

Needless to say that great company combined with some great birds had resulted in having a terrific day!! 

As always, thank you very much for reading and you can keep up to date with my activity on Facebook and Twitter and view my website here.

No comments:

Post a Comment