Our morning workshop on the 7th was at Two Dog Hermit, where large mixed groups of waders gather on the off-shore rocks as the mud flats disappear under the incoming tide before moving to the beach.
A sea research team from the Netherlands identified over 280 different mud creatures from thin the Roebuck Bay tidal flats. The waders stick close to the edge of the tide as they feed, following the bivalves that are close to the surface at the water’s edge, but bunker down deeper into the mud as the tide recedes.
Eventually, as the tide brings lunch to a close, birds can catch a quick nap.
But instead of simply moving higher on the beach they were feeding on, they strangely commute up to 120kms a day between shady roost sites and the exposed mud flats. Beaches that held huge flocks the day before, may be empty the next day.
As the tide gets higher the hide tide mark is too close to the cliffs for the birds to relax. This day the birds were edgy, with flocks arriving and leaving alternately. The ten metre tide eventually lapped against the edge of the Pindan cliffs, and the birds had gone, perhaps to the plains or the wetlands of the sewerage ponds.