Red-kneed Dotterels are endemic to Australia and are usually found around the muddy edges inland freshwater lakes and swamps. The unprecedented wet years of 2010 and 2011 drenched the country and there was large scale breeding of many species. Since 2011 the interior has returned to its normal aridity and many species, including the dotterels, have moved to wetter coastal areas. In order to take these photos I employed my son’s old boogie board and a bean bag. I placed the bean bag on the board with the camera nestled on top. It was then just a case of lying down behind the board, in the mud, and slowly sliding towards the birds. The ‘slick’ bottom of the board allows it to move smoothly over the mud and shallow water and I just ‘elephant seal’ along behind. The dotterels are actually quite inquisitive
and, after their initial nervousness, will often approach this strange new inhabitant of their swamp. Eventually they just go about their feeding, preening and other behaviours as if you’re not there.