• lab11
2 Feb: Should I stay or should I go?

A Barking Owl didn’t start calling last night, so I did indeed finish January on 210. Six hours into February and I was already to be on 212…

Having picked on the biggest king tide of the year, finally there was extensive mud in Kedron Brook as dawn broke this morning. It took me all of about 2 minutes to find the Common Sandpiper feeding nonchalantly along the creek edge, apparently unaware of all the angst and torment it had caused me. I didn’t begrudge it that of course – it was a stunning little creature, daintily bobbing along the muddy edge. Being originally from the UK I’m fairly blasé about Common Sandpipers, but I’ve seen so few since I moved to Australia 10 years ago, the encounter with this bird reminded me they are very nice birds indeed. I didn’t get a brilliant pic because a cool change had come in, the wind was blowing, it was overcast and drizzly. More on that later.

I spent longer than I should have at Kedron, not really birding, but just admiring the Common Sandpiper. I figured I should eventually move on, and had just enough time to check another spot on the way home. I decided on Kianawah Road Wetlands because Chris Attewell had had a Great Cormorant there yesterday. However, in the event I didn’t even need to stop as one flew low across the road toward the GJ Fuller Oval Lagoons as I was approaching the area.

Later on in the evening, Rob Morris posted the gory details of Colin Reid’s epic seawatch off Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island. “Buller’s Shearwater and Black-naped Tern, among thousands of Wedge-tailed, hundreds of Hutton’s and a hundred or so Short-tailed Shearwaters, hundreds of Common Noddies, Common and Little Terns, a few imm Sooty Terns and 1 Pomarine Skua”. I was stunned. I’d noticed the cool change coming, but hadn’t really connected it with seawatching. A schoolboy error of sorts, but only an academic one because I couldn’t possibly have gone out birding today.

North Stradbroke Island isn’t in Brisbane remember? (see this post). But Moreton Island is, and I now have the horrible dilemma of deciding whether to invoke a Moreton Island trip tomorrow. The conditions look as if they will continue into the weekend, but it’s probably easiest in terms of all round disruption to the family if I go tomorrow and come back Saturday afternoon. But on the other hand, if we organise a pelagic trip in March, maybe I’ll see all this stuff anyway. I don’t know what to do. If you don’t see an update tomorrow night, no prizes for guessing where I am.

With two year ticks today (Common Sandpiper and Great Cormorant), my year list at the end of the day rose to 212 species. I spent 32 minutes birding, walked 0.774 km and drove 0 km.