Wajiro is not only famous for the striking oystercatcher, but it is also well known for Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna). My first visit to Wajiro on March 3 saw me taking photos of a flock of 8 Common Shelducks that was resting on a sandy beach at high tide. They were certainly not tame, but fortunately there was a wall for me to hide behind, so I could take photos of them at really close range.
|Non-breeding male Common Shelduck|
|An immature female|
|With a Common Coot drinking water in the background|
I was a bit disappointed to see that none of the drakes was in breeding plumage. I was hoping to see a drake with large red knob on the bill but all of them were still in non-breeding plumage with buffish fringes on the head and no red knob. All of them were sleeping and bathing in shallow water. I took few videos of them while bathing. It was interesting to see that they were also drinking (fresh?) water that was running into the sea. Lots of Common Coots were joining the drinking party as well.
|Drinking (fresh?) water|
|Enjoying afternoon bath|
|It was really difficult to get the green of its head and speculum|
|An adult non-breeding male|
|Another male with buffish fringes on the head|
Wajiro seems to be a really good place for birding only if the tide is low. I've been there twice and the tide was high on both visit, yet birds were still considerably good. There were lots of Northern Pintails, Greater Scaups and other common ducks in the water. Few Black-necked and Great Crested Grebes were seen as well. Small flocks of waders have already arrived by the time I visited the place. There were Grey Plovers, Dunlins, Bar-tailed Godwits and 2 species of curlews.
|A large flock of Greater Scaups|