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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

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Common Greenshank

Common Greenshank (Image ID 43985)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Fri 4th Dec, 2020 and uploaded on Wed 23rd Dec, 2020 .
Resolution1400x924
Viewed166
ID43985
CommentThis Common Greenshank pair was discovered at the Jawbone Conservation Reserve on a creek to the east of the Kororoit Creek outflow, a few kilometres from the Melbourne City Centre. They have just arrived within the last couple of months from their epic migratory flight from their breeding grounds in the Siberian arctic, some 13,000 kms across the globe to join us here in Melbourne, the only foreign tourists to arrive here for the last nine months. The one on the left is obviously taking a well-deserved nap in the morning sun. I have also posted a separate close-up of the one on the left (New Images 43983). Apparently they have spread out from their favored Arctic breeding grounds to return to their chosen summer wetland “dachas” all over the world, including to Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, Indonesia and Australia. Distance seems to be no obstacle to what has been described as their “swift powerful flight with quick wing beats and irregular turns” (www.oiseaux-birds.com/card-common-greenshank). 13,000 km? No problem at all, that is if you discount all the traps for young “shanks” along the way: bird hunters, predators, extreme storms, plastic pollution, chemical pollution, and not least destruction of wetlands at both ends and pit-stops on the flyways. Birds without borders! They are apparently monogamous, so perhaps this is a couple who make it a point to travel together between the Arctic and Melbourne every year. The photo shows them in their more restrained non-breeding outfits, with less pronounced wing scalloping and paler breast plumage compared to the bold black marked scapulars and breast streaks of their Sunday Best breeding suits. So here in Melbourne we have these new Greenshank guests to brighten the end of our lockdown and help us look forward to a better new year. Or, as James Bond might have put it, although his fictional feats can scarcely match those of these graceful but resilient visitors: “From Siberia With Love”.
EquipmentNikon Z7 with Nikon 300mm PF f/4 telephoto, TC1.7.
500mm
ISO 2000
1/1250th f13
LocationJawbone Reserve, Williamstown, Victoria
Keywordsadult, non-breeding plumage/features
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