Monday, 10 March 2014

Waders of 13th Beach

Probably the best place on the Bellarine Peninsula to see a variety of small waders is the Black Rocks end of 13th Beach.

I arrived there this morning near low tide but right at the top of the beach, just in front of the dunes, was a flock of approximately 20 White-fronted Chat feeding on invertebrates in the sand and piles of seaweed. Chats are actually related to honeyeaters but White-fronted Chats can frequently be found feeding along the shore at this beach.

White-fronted Chat (female), 13th Beach

White-fronted Chat (male), 13th Beach

There were also several Red-necked Stint among the chats.

Red-necked Stint, 13th Beach

As I moved off to see if I could find the Hooded Plovers that are breeding further down the beach, a flock of noisy Masked Lapwing flew overhead.

Masked Lapwing, 13th Beach

There is an area of beach and dunes roped off where the pair of Hoodies is breeding so I walked past close to the water to try and avoid disturbing the birds but I found them at the water's edge. I knelt down amongst the piles of seaweed a took a few photographs.

Hooded Plover, 13th Beach

According to the signs on the path to the beach this pair has a chick so I didn't stay long, leaving the pair to resume their parenting duties.

There were several mixed flocks of small waders among the rocks at the western end of the beach.

Red-necked Stint, Red-capped Plover, Double-banded Plover,
13th Beach 
Red-necked Stint, Red-capped Plover,
13th Beach

It was difficult to get close to these birds as the rocky terrain means you cannot easily stay low when approaching but I did manage a few shots.

Double-banded Plover, 13th Beach
Red-capped Plover, 13th Beach
Red-capped Plover (with Red-necked Stints in background),
13th Beach

This site is also the most reliable place on the Peninsula to find Pacific Golden Plover and I managed to find them this morning along with a few Ruddy Turnstone

Pacific Golden Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, 13th Beach
Pacific Golden Plover, 13th Beach

but they were easily spooked...

Pacific Golden Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, 13th Beach

As I left the beach, the chats gave me a last look as they exploited the signs as preening roosts.

White-fronted Chat, 13th Beach

Seven species of waders and a smattering of chats made for a great morning.


  1. Those Pacific Golden Plovers are starting to look as if they'll leave soon. Good to have an update from your area.

    1. Yes, the PGPs won't be around for much longer. Last year a few got very close to full breeding plumage before heading north but I didn't manage to catch them on camera. Will try and keep an eye on them over the next few weeks.

  2. A great morning of birding I would say!

  3. Wow, wonderful pictures! Your blog is very interesting!
    We wish you a wile amazing bird observations.
    Greetings from Poland/ Michał and Piotr

  4. Some nice shots.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

  5. A great collection of old friends (although I am yet to "tick off" PGP)! Some lovely shots in there. Enjoyed

    1. Thanks Pete
      Revisited yesterday for another crack at the PGPs


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