Photo of the day is of this Wandering Tattler. This was a new species of Wader for myself and I was real pleased to see this species here on this trip. This is the second new species of wader for myself this year and brings the total number of species of wader to a respectable 50 for the year so far. Not bad seeing as it is only early April.
Photo above shows the rocky area at Kings Beach, Caloundra where this single Wandering Tattler fed amongst the rock pools. Stuart had 2 Wandering Tattler's at this location 3 weeks ago and this is a regular wintering site for this species where up to 4 birds can be seen. Another species of wader seen and photographed munching on crabs,((I like the reflecions from the water below, visible on the breast in this shot)) this bird fed in the area until it was flushed by 2 Fishermen. When this bird flew it called and gave the diagnostic trill not to disimilar to that of a soft Whimbrel like call. The primaries do not extend well beyond the tail, however after checking images of other Wandering Tattler's on the internet and going through some books it appears not all birds seem to have such an obvious projection as you would expect. The supercilium does not extend beyond the eye as it does with Grey tailed Tattler & the nasal groove on this individual seems to extend quite far down the bill. I have a very limited experience with Tattler's and I have only seen 1 Grey Tailed in at Burgh Head, Scotland in 1994 and saw around 5 more in the Sydney area on my previous visit to Australia in 2005/06. If I were to stumble accross this bird out of the area and say some where like the Azores I would not have felt confident in confirming it's identification due to the shortness in the primaries extending beyond the tail until hearing the distinctive / diagnostic call of which this bird gave. The 2 photo's above show the bird walking / feeding when the incoming tidal waves covered the area, Again, here I also like these 2 photo's. The poor flight photo below is of a Sooty Oystercatcher . There were 3 birds present today but unfortuantley they were also flushed by fishermen before I managed to get any photos of the birds feeding on the deck. This was because I spent my time concentrating on getting good views and trying to photograph the Tattler than the Oystercatcher's, luckily, again I have seen Sooty Oystercatcher on my previous trip to Australia. Other birds present today included both Little Black & Pied Cormorant's, Great crested Terns, Silver Gull's. Osprey and a Whistling Kite.
Photo above shows the town of Caloundra situated directly on the coast. The view of the bay is real nice and I must say that this is my favourite location I have seen so far in Australia. On first appearance it seems like a real nice, chilled out place. Nice properties over looking the bay, chilled out bars, coffee shops, a nice clean beach, nice rolling waves and a good , hassle free atmosphere. Photo below shows the island oppossite the town and this atracts large numbers of roosting migratory Terns. Stuart did me proud today (again) with this locality, it was a real nice, hot sunny day and at one point Stuart commented on it being a nice autumn's day where as to me it felt like the perfect hot summer's day.