Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Continued strong winds are providing great opportunities to find unexpected birds taking shelter here. It's amazing to think that they find this little place, and how relieved they must be when they've covered miles and miles of ocean and suddenly see a place to land. I often wonder how many birds are blown out to sea and never do find a landing place. There must be thousands.

Thanks to John O'Malley who has provided this image of a Pectoral Sandpiper, and thought there may have been two there today when he went to get the picture in Kingston.

These two cormorants were hung out to dry at the Watermill Dam this morning, and still there after 3pm. Although a common sight to mainland dwellers, they are only occasionally seen at Norfolk Island. They are currently being seen circling over Emily Bay and the football field in the late afternoons, and have been roosting in the trees either near the Salt House or the first bridge at Emily. (Thanks to Adrian and Merv, and to Kath for their sightings.)

Last year when the dust storms from Australia reached us in October, there was a spate of unexpected birds being seen around the island. A Dollarbird, 3 types of tern (not all i.d.'ed), a Baillons Crake and an Australasian Grebe; all highly unusual and unexpected visitors and probably just a few of many birds disoriented and blown out to sea.
I have heard it said that there is a high likelihood of another dust storm, when the extensive flooding in Australia these last months subsides and dries out. We should all be on the lookout for the unexpected when it comes.

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