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Clearwing Swallowtails

Clearwing Swallowtails (Cressida cressida)

It’s rather unusual to get footage of this butterfly as they never seem ‘stationary’ for long. The female is the larger of the two and the older name of ‘Big Greasy’ comes from the transparent appearance of their wings, appearing to be similar to greaseproof paper.

They are fairly-common butterflies in Southeast Queensland, seen mating in mid-September 2020. I’ve ‘slowed’ the clip down by 50% to improve the views.

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper
Broad-billed Sandpiper

Recently I was privileged to be invited to spend a couple of hours studying returned wading-birds at the Manly Marina Roost-site. The Broad-billed Sandpiper (Calidris falcinellus) is an uncommon summer-migrant to our area and I’ve struggled to get any imagery in the past. The pics and clips were recorded with a Swarovski STS85 scope and Sony A6400 camera.

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Unidentified mannikins (Lonchura sp) in the NT

Whilst we were near Timber Creek, NT recently Mike Eaton and I stopped at a waterhole (…around lunch-time) and saw a variety of finches drinking, there were Long-tailed, Star, Zebra, Pictorella Mannikin but can anyone identify the two immature Mannikin? (I believe they are either Chestnut-breasted or Yellow-rumped but would welcome others views. Please note that there are Long-tailed and Star Finch (immature with red tail) also in the video, plus Diamond and Peaceful Doves.

Unidentified Mannikins

Soon to be heading ‘north-bound’ waders

In early-March I received the opportunity to assist in a count of wading-birds at high-tide at Manly Marina in South-east Queensland. The birds will soon be heading northwards to their ‘breeding-grounds’ in Siberia and north-east Asia and many are starting to moult into their ‘breeding-plumage’. I was asked to help find and photograph ‘flagged’ birds to assist the ongoing-migration analysis with Arthur and Sheryl Keates of the Queensland Wader Study Group (QWSG) (…please note that Manly Marina roost is a ‘restricted area’ and is only accessible by ‘invite’)

View of roost-site facing east

Grey-tailed Tattler, Red-necked Stint and Curlew Sandpiper, note the blue flag on the leg of one of the tattler, originally ‘banded’ in Hokkaido, Japan.


Little Tern, Bar-tailed Godwit, Terek Sandpiper, Great Knot, Grey-tailed Tattler, Red-necked Stint and Curlew Sandpiper, all present in this clip.


Little Tern and Red-necked Stint

Little Tern, Terek Sandpiper, Grey-tailed Tattler, Great Knot and Curlew Sandpiper.

Bar-tailed Godwit, Grey-tailed Tattler, Terek Sandpiper Great Knot and Pied Stilt

One bird that had only just arrived moulting out of it’s ‘breeding-plumage’, a Double-banded Plover from New Zealand.
Outside Manly Marina I filmed these Bar-tailed Godwits, Great Knot and Silver Gulls on nearby Wynnum Esplanade, the bird call is a Pied Oystercatcher, there were 77 just off camera!

Pied Oystercatchers with Bar-tailed Godwits in background.

Bar-tailed Godwits, Great Knots and a single Red Knot (centre)

This Grey-tailed Tattler was photographed at Scarborough further north on Moreton Bay.

Hope this post has given you ‘inspiration’ to assist further with the conservation of the many ‘globally-threatened’ wader-species, they face many issues and need our help………..please investigate Birdlife Australia (Wader Study Group) , Birds Queensland or Wader Quest amongst others.