DSCF8633The wetlands of Warrenbayne and Boho in the northern Strathbogies might seem a curious place to find migratory waders, but at least some species, like this Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata), obviously think its a bit of alright! Having navigated its way from Siberia to Warrenbayne in the last few weeks, a cool 10,000+ km(!), it’ll sit-out the Siberian winter here in sunny Victoria.

Being a wader means you find your food (mud-eyes, shrimp, snails, beetles) in the shallows or in soft mud, so the shallow margins of local dams and wetlands is important local habitat. This bird will probably remain in the district, supping on the ever concentrating invertebrate soup in local wetlands, as they dry out and shrink. Then, in about March, they head off on the return journey to Arctic Siberia, to breed. I wonder if they’re ever tempted to redeem their points for prizes?

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This bird was photographed on Kathleen, Alan & Janine Neander’s newly created farm wetland in Warrenbayne. The site is being rehabilitated as part of the Victorian Government’s Communities for Nature program. You can read more about the project here.

For more on this species go to BLA’s Birds in Backyards, or to the ARK-ive Sharp-tailed Sandpiper pages, for an international perspective.