Northward Migration of Waders

Way back in the 1980’s, I did a lot of wader study including banding and counts.  Waders are generally rather drab shorebirds with many species migrating vast distances from the tundra and steppes of the northern hemisphere to the tidal mudflats of the southern.  They fly for days at a time on migration covering thousands of kilometres.

It’s coming in to breeding season which means they are changing from boring brown bobs to their breeding plumage of various hues of red, russet, black and orange.  We only rarely see summer plumage in Australia with the adults on migration.  So yesterday I headed off to  Umm Al Quwain lagoon and the other lagoon up near Ras Al Khaimah to have a gander.

A few ticks – Crab Plover being the standout.  But it was finding a high tide roost in Umm Al Quwain of about 2000 smaller waders mainly Lesser Sand Plover, Dunlin and a few Curlew Sandpipers in various stages of breeding plumage that was the highlight.  More flamingos, quite a few camel wandering along the mudflats and few Finch Larks to keep me amused.

Had a guy wander up in his car offering me a beer (at 10.30 in the morning) to his best new buddy which I politely declined.  I think he was still going from last night and I have no idea how he got out there in one piece but thought it best to leave him alone. 

Came back early as I went out last night to the at the Grosvenor Hotel before leaving the sumptuous spread to head off to Wendy’s (Finance person) for a party.  A big day and a quiet one then today to catch up on some washing, emails, posts and a bit of work.


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