Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Flats Life

The day started out cloudy and cool, and I headed off to Panama Flats this morning to see whether the overcast conditions had dropped any new birds.

As I walked down to central bund toward the pools from the Carey Road end, I noticed an adult river otter and her 3 cubs running along the muddy shore of the northern pond.
The Canada geese got a bit flighty, but the majority of shorebirds seemed relatively unconcerned.
The otters had a splash around in what little water they could find and the animals eventually ran toward me, passing within a few feet (pictured).
Having a quick scan over the pools it was good to see that there were plenty of birds around.
I counted approximately 140 western sandpipers and 71 least sandpipers feeding in the muddy waters, but couldn't locate any semi-p sands among them.

There was a lone pectoral sandpiper, and a solitary sandpiper (pictured) present as well as 4 killdeer and a long-billed dowitcher
There were also 9 lesser and 12 greater yellowlegs in the area. 
Mallard numbers have increased too, with around 80 birds present. Among these somewhat suspect ducks were a couple of creamy-coloured 'farmyard' mongrels.

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