Saturday, 26 February 2011

Mud Islands

My wife and I spent a wonderful day on a BayBOCA trip to Mud Islands. Our first time there and it won't be the last. Mud Islands are east of Queenscliff and north of Sorrento in Port Phillip Bay (see map).

Beach walking on Mud Islands

One of the highlights of the walk around the islands was seeing the Pelican creche on one of the inner lagoons.

Australian Pelican, Mud Island

In addition to the creche, Australian Pelicans could be seen resting and preening all over the lagoon.

Australian Pelican, Mud Islands

There are extensive sand banks on the north and west shores providing feeding grounds for a wide range of waders. I managed to see Red-capped Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Double-banded Plover, Pacific Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Red Knot, Great Knot, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, Australian Pied Oystercatcher, Sooty Oystercatcher and, of course, Red-necked Stints

Red-necked Stint, Mud Islands

This bird came very close while I was photographing a juvenile Australasian Gannet resting on the sandbank

Australasian Gannet (juvenile), Mud Islands

This Red Knot also allowed fairly close approach. It's amazing how close you can get to these birds with some patience and staying low.

Red Knot, Mud Islands

...and it was not all birds. An Australian Fur Seal was sun baking on the sand banks as we walked back along the beach

Australian Fur Seal, Mud Islands

On the way back to Sorrento, we passed by one of the channel markers with it's small colony of Australasian Gannets. It was great to see them close up, including more juveniles and some late season downy chicks, but difficult to photograph, hand holding a long lens while jostling for position with 30+ eager birdwatchers on a moving boat...

Australasian Gannet, Channel Marker, Port Phillip Bay

A brilliant day. Thanks to Tania and BayBOCA.

2 comments:

  1. 12 species of Shorebird in a single day!! Sounds like my type of spot. And you got a photo of a Red-necked Stint too. I wish more people photographed this great little bird.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Mark,
    Yes, we're spoiled with some great wader spots in and around Port Phillip and Westernport Bays. And I love Red-necked Stints too - perpetual motion machines :-)

    ReplyDelete

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