Frequent flyers

It’s that time of year when migrating waders arrive in small numbers to Cairn Curran (and surrounding natural wetlands in a wet year).

I’m always on the lookout for a surprise visitor. Sharp-tailed Sandpipers breed in northern Siberia and are regular visitors to our area, albeit in small numbers, during Spring and Summer. Curlew Sandpipers also breed in northern Siberia, but are much less common than ‘sharpies’ – in fact the species is listed as critically endangered. Both species make the 10,000 km trip twice yearly between the continents, an amazing feat for a 60 gram wader!

While life is not always easy in Australia their main threats are habitat loss at key staging points on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway where the impact of development and habitat loss are increasing.

At the weekend I was delighted to spend some time with a flock of ~ 25 Sharp-tailed Sandpipers at the lake … a lone Curlew Sandpiper keeping them company. The birds were particularly confiding, foraging to within a few metres as I watched in awe.

Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, Cairn Curran Reservoir, 6th October 2018

II

III

IV

V

… and a lone Curlew Sandpiper

2 responses to “Frequent flyers

  1. great to see them on our shore Geoff.

  2. Poor lonely Curlew Sandpiper – what have we done to our migratory waders??? 😦 But lovely photo Geoff and adore that unusual shot of the Sharpie No. V. 🙂

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