Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Bristle-thighed Curlew

Bird of the trip for me, this bristle-thighed curlew was delightfully confiding. I found this bird on an afternoon shore-line walk... and admit that my language was a little blue as I scrambled to attach a tele converter to the 500mm lens prior to getting my first record photographs. As it turned out no tele convertor was needed - this bird was fearless and would frequently walk past at an un-focusable distance. I was fortunate enough to have several sessions with this bird.

This bird was very entertaining to watch feeding - chasing crabs around rock pools (literally), then bashing them on rocks to enable swallow-able chunks to be devoured!

Bristle-thighed curlew breed locally in the tundra of west Alaska and winters among Pacific islands, it is more common in the north-west Hawaiian islands but is considered rare on the main Hawaiian islands. It's unique among waders as it is flightless during moult - perhaps a reason why there are only approximatley 7,000 left...


Stewart said...

Thats the first photo I've ever seen of one of those. What a cracker, I like its 'bristly' thighs.

oldcrow61 said...

What a beautiful photo. Lovely looking bird.