Martins get the message
Juvenile Fairy Martins (Hirundo ariel) don't look too happy at the lack of service from their parents at Tyto yesterday. With good reason.
No food or obvious parent turned up in the 15 mintues or so I watched. The youngsters seemed finally to get the message and set about doing a bit of hawking for themselves.
This pair of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers (Calidris acuminata) near some mill treatment ponds appeared more content. Flocks of Sharpies have been much smaller this season and other waders sometimes seen in small numbers have not shown up at all.
I've been chasing one markedly dark bird, without much success in getting close enough to absolutely satisfy myself that it is a melanistic Sharp-tailed. It sometimes stands apart from the other birds and seldom joins flock flights. The behaviour is puzzling. But then waders often puzzle me.
There are few to ID at Tyto now. The reed shallows reached a tipping point as temperatures soared last week. Suddenly, shortage of shallows. Over the last three days scarcely a wader to be found - apart from three Latham's Snipe (Gallinardo hardwickii).
And hope it hops close to me, as did this White-winged Triller (Lalage sueurii) today as I rode home through an industrial estate. Wish more birds were so open!
So, too deep when most of the migrants were passing through. Too dry to attract any strays. Looks like being a low wader species count this season. Just have to hope for a Yellow Wagtail before Christmas.