Now is the time each year when we farewell flocks of migratory waders, as they make their extraordinary journey back to their breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere.
Earlier in the week at Cairn Curran I came across this flock of Red-necked Stints, mixed with a two other wader species (of which I’ll post later), sheltering from a brisk southerly by the shoreline. The birds were quite tame and allowed me to approach within ten metres … patience and slow wandering movements were the key.
Like most of the migratory waders, Red-necked Stints undergo a remarkable plumage transformation in preparation for breeding. This change begins before the birds arrive at their breeding grounds, with some individuals (like the one pictured below) starting before they leave Australia.
Come late September and the stints will be starting to arrive back in Australia – it’s sad to see them depart but I wish them ‘bon voyage’.