Next day the high tide was a little later in the morning, so we went to One Tree to look for birds in the mangroves and get images of individual waders feeding on the mud flats.
First bird of the day was a broad-billed flycatcher, moving between three favoured perches to sing in the early morning light, followed by a mangrove grey fantail who proved more of a challenge to capture as he constantly flittered through the mangroves. White-breasted wood-swallows perched in the dead trees on the other side of Crab Creek, and yellow white-eyes were in abundance.
In George Swan’s guide to birding the area, he recommends birding the Big Crab Creek trail close to a neap tide as you need to cross Little Crab Creek and you will get stranded on a higher tide. He also gives specific instructions on where to cross Little Crab Creek to avoid the deepest mud. We crossed in plenty of time, and for the most part we stayed out of the mud. We were given specific instructions to be back at the creek crossing within 30 minutes, and divided up into ones and twos to creep up on individual birds feeding. It was a successful morning, with the valuable lesson learned that “40 minutes” isn’t really close enough to “30 minutes”. We had to go further upstream to cross Little Crab Creek and ended up knee deep in mud and thigh deep in water, ferrying cameras and tripods over our head. My shoes stuck in an underwater mud bank, and I left them there.
But using our newly learned birding and photography techniques, we did capture some great images of the waders.