Should I stay … or should I go?

Cairn Curran Reservoir has shrunk to 34% of capacity … creating some large expanses of mudflats at the south-eastern portion near Joyce’s Creek.

The areas of exposed mud are providing excellent, albeit temporary, feeding habitat for small waders, Red-capped Plovers and Red-necked Stints in particular. Last Friday evening I observed ~ 25 Red-capped Plovers and a small number of stints. The plovers will remain through winter, shifting their location as new areas of mudflat and suitable shoreline appear on the drying lake. The Red-necked Stints are more complicated. Small numbers of immature birds remain in southern Australia over winter, while the adults make their extraordinary journey to breeding grounds above the arctic circle, typically departing from southern Australia in April. I can’t recall seeing Red-necked Stints over-wintering at Cairn Curran … the bird pictured below appears to be moulting into breeding plumage before tackling another epic journey.

Red-capped Plover (adult male), Cairn Curran, 12th April 2019

Red-capped Plover (immature)


Red-necked Stint … moulting into breeding plumage

Red-necked Stint foraging in the shallows

Red-capped Plover (foreground) with foraging Red-necked Stint

2 responses to “Should I stay … or should I go?

  1. great title and the photo shoot was well done – the reflections and clarity – so nice

  2. Superb images, Geoff. I love those little Red-capped Plovers, they are so cute.

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