Eighty Mile beach is actually near on 200 miles long and is a brilliant place where the wader ringing expeditions have been taking place for the previous 30 years.
Image above & below shows you Reece with a Shovel nosed Ray. There was plenty of these present just in the waters edge on the tide line as well as Lemon Sharks. This took place once we had set the nets and were waiting for the waders to come close enough before we could start twinkling them. I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that we also saw Snub nosed Dolphins just off-shore whilst at Broome during one of the wader catching sessions. Anna Plains cattle station is around 250 KM's south of Broome and the drive here took just on 3 hours.
Reece is a cool guy, Australian based and seems to pick up all creatures from Lizards to Rays and so was named the next Steve Irwin.
Above photo gives you an idea on how close you can get to the flocks of waders when twinkling in vehicles on the beach. There were 3 4x4 vehicles present to the north and 3 4x4 vehicles to the south of the waders and we then twinkled them in to the catching area. Vimeo clip below also gives you a better idea. This is a very skill-full exercise and takes a great deal of both patience and experience.
As soon as the canons were fired we all drove to the catching area and ran to the nets. As I began extrating birds from the net I scanned through the waders to see what we had caught and noticed an Oriental Plover and so I had to extract this beauty. Photo above and 2 below shows you the Oriental Plover in the hand once it had been ringed and processed. I was really pleased to not only extract this species but to see it in the hand as I have only ever seen Oriental Plover once before and that was at least 5 years ago whilst in Cambodia.
The bird in this set of photos is an adult Oriental Plover which is just starting to show some some signs of breeding plumage with the red just starting to show on the upper-breast feathers. " What a great surprise to the first catch at this location"
Grey tailed Tattlers featured heavy in this catch and again this was great to see, luckily I was on the Grey tailed Tattler processing team today and enjoyed banding / ringing them & having this species up close & personal in the hand.
Terek Sandpipers also featured heavily in this catch and again seeing these in the hand was really good as in the photo above and below.
Yesterday, Day 4 of the expedition was spent packing up expedition kit and travelling down to Anna Plains cattle station where we are to be based over the next 10 days. On the drive down everyone advised me that Australian Hobby should be easy as they saw them flying around the base camp every evening during last years expedition so I was hoping for a repeat this year as Australian Hobby is a species I have been hoping to see in Aus during my previous visits. Photo below shows you sunset over the bush on this, the first day of the expedition. "No Australian Hobby this evening"