Tapora and Miranda – 23 & 24 March 2002
Well that hex David Lawrie mentioned seems to have finally worn off (with a little help from chocolate – cheers Gillian/Gwen)!! Visited Tapora on Saturday 23 March and despite getting the tides wrong (or they were very low!) managed to get wicked views of the Mongolian dot!! There were about 15 golden plover at the north end of the salicornia flats at Tapora, and then at the southern end the main flock of banded dots and other birds were roosting. There were quite a few turnstone, c. 40-50, 1 red-necked stint, quite a few wrybill, 13 NZ dots (inc a colour banded bird metal on the left, yellow over black over green on the right), and the absolutely splendid near full breeding plumage Mongolian dot!! Got great views before the bird flew and then located it again on the eastern side of the channel and got a couple of distant record shots of the bird.
On sunday headed over to Miranda to catch the high tide and despite many of the godwit having already departed, got great views of some really beautifully coloured red knot and bar-tailed godwit. The Arctic skua was also a nice addition! Well done David, Tony and others!
The next few weekends will I think be spent quietly at home….
Although not great shots, the above two photos clearly show the diagnostic features of Mongolian dotterel (lesser sand plover). This bird is obviously an adult male.