The Bangsia Beach Comber

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The past few trips out to Bangsia Beach on Bribie Island near Brisbane has been quite productive. This last trip to photograph White Cheeked Honeyeaters feeding on the flowering Bangsia was unexpectedly refocused on a Beach Stone Curlew combing the nearby waters edge.

Never having seen or photographed this bird before it quickly became more interesting than the attractive honey-eaters which are a pain in the ass to photograph as they don’t pose where they are supposed to. The Curlew on the other hand didn’t care about me shuffling along the sand ahead of it as it patrolled the waters edge pecking crabs. Then, just as I thought I had enough keepers in the camera it found a half dead snapper and the fun really began.

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The snapper was clearly too big a fish for the curlew. It struggled to bash and stab the wriggling fish which was not going to go down without a fight until inevitably it met it’s end. The curlew, worried about gulls or eagles swooping in on it’s prize before it had a chance to eat it proceeded to stab and peck at it as it tried to carry it’s meal away down the beach towards the mangroves where it probably spends it’s days.

Eventually after struggling for about half an hour, it gave up and wandered off leaving the fish for the next beach combing scavenger to find.

Definitely an unusual and interesting sighting and event, and only us there to witness it!

 

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