Red-necked Avocets

Red-necked Avocets with a Black-winged Stilt in the foreground

Helidon Spa, Queensland, Australia

Maybe earlier last year...or the year before...

Here's some pictures of the very beautiful Red-necked Avocets with a sprinkling of Black-winged Stilts in amongst them.

This was on a nice day out with Kev and Kay Williams and Michael Atzeni of the Toowoomba Bird Observers Club.

Hope you are all well. Long time, no see.

Stilts I have known

Black-winged Stilts

Himantopus himantopus

"Seitaka-shigi" - Japanese

Rice field next to Fukushimagata, Niigata, Japan

Nikon 1 V1 + Nikon ED50 Fieldscope

May 24, 2014

Last weekend, Saturday May 24 2014, I was carrying digiscoping gear around at Fukushimagata in hope of finding Common Kingfishers when a couple of Black-winged Stilts flew in front of me and landed in an adjacent rice field. I followed them and got most of these shots. It was my first try with the V1 camera attached to my Nikon ED50 Fieldscope. (I just got an adaptor a few weeks ago to try out, being the gear head I am) I'm not so excited by the shots when I pixel peep but the subjects were 50-80 metres away so I think the results are nice enough.

It was my first time to see Black-winged Stilts outside Australia and I noticed how their heads have black patches on top compared to Australia's version, Himantopus leucocephalus, which has a white face with black on the back of the head/neck. - Check out the last image.

I found 7 stilts there on the Saturday and went back the next day with my D800 and 400mm lens and found 9. It's interesting with the big camera that even though I was much closer to the subjects I had to crop the pictures significantly. The V1 pics are not cropped.

I admit I'm not so good at Digiscoping and it a an art form worth investigating. I'm not so patient, however.

May 25 with Nikon D800 + AF-S 80-400mm and two below.

These are Black-winged Stilts, Himantopus leucocephalus,
seen at Cape York, Australia

Note the black on the back of their neck and not on top of their heads.

Photo with Nikon D800 + Nikkor 300 f4 + 1.4 TC


Black-winged Stilt
Himantopus himantopus

Lockhart, Cape York, Queensland, Australia

October 18, 2012

 Some Black-winged Stilts up at Lockhart, Cape York last year. Actually it was my first close encounter with this species since I got nice pictures on film back in the 1990s down at Westgate Park, Port Melbourne. It is a vast distance between Lockhart and Port Melbourne. I'm amazed by these birds as they just look so fragile to me. I remember going towards one in Melbourne and it attacked me. I must have been wandering onto its nesting site. I was worried that if it hit me it would break into pieces. They just remind me of little flying Pinocchios. 

Really cold wet rain here yesterday and just a dull Sunday for photography. Enjoyed studying the Pizzey and Knight Birds of Australia Digital Edition which is installed on my pc. 

I recommend you click on that link and check it out. It helped me with a virtual escape of Niigata's weather and my room has been full of Australian bird sounds arising from Altec Lansing speakers. So much to study and I'm really enjoying it. Pearler picture of a Laughing Kookaburra at the Bunya Mountains.

Magpie Geese, Pink-eared Ducks and Black-winged Stilts.

Some more from the outing with Michael Atzeni of the Toowoomba Bird Observers on December 30, 2009.
We encountered these at the Gatton campus of Queensland Uni.
Above and below: Magpie Geese with Pink-eared Ducks in the background.

Below: A pair of Pink-eared Ducks pass in front of the Magpie Geese.

Above and below: Some Pink-eared Ducks in the company of Black-winged Stilts.

...and below: Portrait of a Black-winged Stilt.