Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Wild Bird Wednesday 96 - Hooded Plover (and a squeaky explanation)

As I was sitting on the Squeaky Beach photographing a wombat (!)  I noticed some movement in the plants just off to my right.

I turns out that all the time I had been watching the wombat, a family of Hooded Plovers had been watching me.  These are normally very shy birds that shoot along the beach as soon as you arrive, but these seemed a little more content to stay put.  Another alternative idea is that the other five or six people who were watching the wombat had confused the birds, and they had nowhere else to go.

When the wombat left the beach the people left as well, leaving me with the Hooded Plovers.   Knowing that they are a flighty bird I just sat still and hoped they would  move towards me - well that did not happen, so I have had to crop these images a little more than I would like.

The Hooded Plover (Thinornis rubricollis) normally lives on sandy ocean beaches on the West and East corners of Australia - and that is why this bird is struggling and is considered 'vulnerable' in Victoria. Ocean beaches are a favourite location for holiday makers (like me) and the disturbance often means that the birds fail to breed.  However, a number of the breeding beaches now have protected zones, and this summer was one of the better breeding years of late.

Given the bright sunshine, the very pale sand and the distance the birds were away, I'm happy with the images.

On a different note - a number of people have asked why Squeaky Beach squeaks -  as far as I am able to tell it squeaks because all the grains of sand are very similar in size, so when you scuff your feet in the sand they all roll over each other and that makes the squeak.



Now its over to you - and in case you are new here, all you have to do is click the "InLinkz" button and do a little bit of cutting and pasting of your blog posts URL and you are a member of the fine group of WBWers.  SM

44 comments:

Mary Cromer said...

Squeaky Beach sounds well kind of squeaky...that would be fun to walk on and hear. The Hooded Plover is a lovely coloured bird and seems to not be paying you much care, so you got some really nice images to share. Happy week~

TexWisGirl said...

thanks for the 'squeak' explanation. :) and cute plovers, too!

Carletta said...

It looks like it is posing for you Stewart. Maybe it knew it was wise to stick around. :)
A handsome bird with it's colorful eye.
Wish I could take a walk on Squeaky Beach. :)

Kenneth Cole Schneider said...

A squeaky beach is a new one for me! You did very well getting those nice images of the reclusive plover.

Chris Rohrer said...

Very nice photos today of another new plover to me. I'm glad they are protecting these birds and their nesting sites. It's the same here with our Piping Plovers. That's a beautiful plover you have featured.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Interesting about the sand size/squeaking.

Karen said...

The white sand makes a perfect background for the plovers!

Andrea Priebe said...

Hmmm ... does it squeak like the blackboard sqeaks when you run your nails over it ... I am getting goose bumps just thinking about it. Other than the opportunity to see a Wombat or and adorable Hooded Plover, I think I would pass on the squeaky beach. I assume all of Australia's beaches don't squeak ... so why thisn one. How did it end up being so different. Very interesting. Let me know if you ever find out :) Great post, as always, Stewart.

Andrea @ From The Sol

Sharon Wagner said...

A squeaky beach is indeed unique. My favorite is nice firm sand for walking.

DeniseinVA said...

I have never heard of a squeaky beach before, what fun! Also fun the idea of being able to observe a wombat in the wild, and take photos of these lovely birds.

i stora drag said...

Sweet bird and I think I know exactly what you mean about the noice in the sand! :)
Have a good week! /Pia

Margaret Adamson said...

HI Stewart wonderful shots of the Hooded Plover and your explanation for the 'Squeaky' beach. thanks for hosting.

Karen said...

It's a beautiful bird, the sand is such a great colour. Your shots turned out really well.

Carole M. said...

lovely to see Stewart

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great photos of an attractive looking bird!

Christian Weiß said...

An interesting species, beaches and breeding birds are a difficult combination, hopeful they will find some permanent nesting places.

eileeninmd said...

Stewart, you Hooded PLovers are adorable.. I love all the Plovers! Squeaky sand is new to me, I do know it is wonderful to walk barefoot in the sand.. Thanks for hosting, Your photos are beautiful. I even love the Wombat..Have a happy week!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

sweet lookin' bird

Frank said...

Super views of the Hooded Plovers.

There are a few 'Squeaky' beaches in the UK. I saw a TV programme recently which explained this phenomena just as you stated.

Cynthia said...

I've never heard of a squeaky beach before, so thanks for your explanation. The hooded plover is beautiful. I had my first ruby-throated hummingbird of the spring today, sharing the sugar water feeder with a male orchard oriole.

Al said...

That is a pretty bird. I've never been on a squeaky beach!

Montanagirl said...

Very pretty Plovers! And now I know why the beach squeaks!

Brian King said...

Love the black head and red eye! Handsome plover!

Susan said...

Hi Stewart, love those Plovers - they have such lovely eyes! Good photos too :D)

Linda W. said...

Nice pics of the plover. And thanks for the Squeaky Beach explanation!

Lee said...

Absolutely stunning...

Shey Wicklund said...

Very cute plover. I'm glad to know there are protected areas for them. Nice one, Stewart.

Small City Scenes said...

A beautiful bird and thank you for your patience. MB

Findlay Wilde said...

I really like the idea of walking on a beach that squeaks, and I really do like those Hooded Plover. From Findlay

Gunsside said...

Beautiful little bird
Grat shots in the sand

Nathalie Santa Maria said...

Bonjour Stewart
très sympa le déjeuner sur la plage avec ce petit Pluvier ! J'aimerai aussi vivre ça :)

Optimistic Existentialist said...

How serendipitous that the wombat would lead you to the photographic opportunity with the Hooded Plovers :)

Marilyn Kircus said...

A very colorful little plover. Thanks for sharing the information about it. We have squeaky sand on several creeks in East Texas and Louisiana. in the US.

Marilyn Kircus said...

A very colorful little plover. Thanks for sharing the information about it. We have squeaky sand on several creeks in East Texas and Louisiana. in the US.

Millie and Walter said...

Wouldn't it be nice if birds would come out of hiding so we could get better pictures? ;-)

That is a lovely picture of the plover.

Cindy

Mama Zen said...

The Hooded Plover is such a gorgeous bird. I think your shots are splendid!

janiceadcock said...

Love the shots of the plover. The squeaky sand looks almost like snow. Can't blame the plover couples not wanting voyeurs watching their mating. Thanks for hosting this meme.

Blessings,
Janice

Marie said...

It's a lovely little bird! And I loved the wombat when I linked over to that post as well. It isn't often one sees a mammal on a beach unless its wearing a bikini. :-)

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

The beach "sounds" like a fun place to visit and funny to think of the plovers watching you watch the wombat. I would definitely have wanted to stay for the birds.

Seraphina´s Phantasie said...

This little one is so cute ! Marvelous photos. Best regards, Synnöve

Arija said...

Like your hooded plover. Our Spur-wings sound to be nesting in the paddock.

pattisjarrett said...

That's interesting about the "squeaky" beach. The Hooded Plover is a pretty bird, thanks for sharing.

babsjeheron said...

Delightful plover photos, Stewart, and I like the notin of a squeaky beach. Here in Massachusetts, the Piping Plover is so at risk that the beaches where they nest are rioutinely closed to humans for the duration of breeding season.

Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Beautiful bird! Fantastic photos!
Greetings from Poland