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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

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Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Image ID 45431)
Photographed byMichael Hamel-Green on Tue 16th Mar, 2021 and uploaded on Sun 21st Mar, 2021 .
Resolution1400x733
Viewed56
ID45431
CommentI watched as a large flock of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers were feeding near the outflow of the Little River. As the photo shows, the flock all moved in the one direction, systematically working their way along the water’s edge, with some birds peeling off to overtake the already feeding birds ahead, or turning around to start over again. As the tide continued to rise, the whole flock might suddenly take to the air and begin again from one end. These Sharp-tails need to build up their body fat and strength in preparation for their astonishing annual 13,000km migration to their breeding grounds in the Siberian Arctic. They will probably start departing over the next month or so. As they wade over the mud, wings folded, they seem so small and frail to be undertaking such a long, debilitating and dangerous journey. Each weighs only 57-100gm, less than half a block of butter. However, the ones in the air offer a clue as to the secret of their capacity for such epic journeys: their beautiful wide wings that enable them to make the most of the wind currents. And they do look like they are plumping up for their journey!
EquipmentNikonZ7ii Nikon 300mm f4 PF TC1.4 420mm ISO 1000 1/4000th f8 Monopod
LocationWerribee Treatment Plant, Werribee, Victoria
Keywordsfeeding/with prey, in flight, adult
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