Once that loose end had been tied up, we headed down the coast to Ray's rest, where we saw spoonbills, all three gull species, oystercatchers and Banded Dotterels and ate some delicious chips.
Because none of the dotterels were thoughtful enough to turn into Lesser Sand-plovers, we headed further along the coast, to Miranda itself. It was just coming up to high tide, so the birds were pushed up near the hide. About 150 Bar-Tailed Godwits remained on the shellbanks and mudflats, as well as 4 Red Knot, about a thousand Wrybill, one or two NZ Dotterel and a few Banded Dotterel, about 40 Royal Spoonbills. Constant Harriers flying over ensured the birds kept taking to the air, making it hard to count, although I managed a few nice photos of them in flight. Our first spot was the Stilt pools, where a single White Heron (Great Egret for you foreigners :) ) preened itself. Lots of Paradise Shelducks, Black Swans and of course, Pied Stilts. As well as all the usuals we had EIGHT BLACK-TAILED GODWITS! This is a huge number, and they were a lifer for me so I was very pleased. After searching for the Aussie Shelduck with no luck, we moved back to the hide, where we saw one Whimbrel hanging behind the godwits. Tick. A solitary Pacific Golden-Plover brought the count up again, then our time was up and we headed home.
|Black-Tailed Godwits among more common birds|
Did we see the Aussie Shelduck? Of course not.