Monday, January 12, 2009

For the Birds

This may be blog-post 1 (if I'm doing this right).

Yesterday was the North West Tasmania summer wader count (I'll bet many of you guys missed that, didn't you?). This involves several groups of hardy birdwatchers trekking to remote locations in NW Tas, waiting for high tide and then counting the shorebirds at their roosts. For Jean and I, the site was the eastern end of Anthony's Beach, just west of Stanley. Anthony's Beach is about 13 km long and the only road access is more or less in the middle......

Anthony's Beach.
Our destination was the vanishingly small point at the end

We set off at 9.00, with another counter, and to our surprise the walk took a mere hour and three quarters, giving us plenty of time to set up and reconnoitre before the hour of counting from 12.30 to 1.30. It was a glorious day, and that made up for the lack of exotica in the bird line; only one migratory wader, Red-necked Stints, tiny little chaps who breed in Siberia and then show their good sense by flying to Tassie for (our) summer.

Red-necked Stints
As seen down the scope. They are tiny!

We saw 50-odd of them, plus many of the more usual suspects: oystercatchers, gulls, terns, 15 pelicans and hundreds of hysterical masked lapwings.

The walk back to the car was whole lot tougher, into the teeth of a strong westerly, but we made it, and today we're having some feet-up to recover.


  1. Fabulous and 10/10 for the post layout! I'm so impressed :D

  2. Aw, you're just saying that, Jac.

    But this could be (intermittent) fun.

  3. It is quite fun! Mine is seriously intermittent too - but wouldn't want people to assume my life is always as exciting as my blog posts might look. Travel and exciting adventures make good posts in a way that studying for exams just doesn't... but thats ok! I'll look forward to reading more zoological or other insights into the Bears!