‘Down and dirty’ with Red-kneed Dotterels

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Red-kneed Dotterels are endemic to 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 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

 

Ministry of Silly Walks
Catching the last rays of the sun
If I crouch down will I fit in the frame?

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.

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Rob Drummond

I am a school teacher and live with my wife, Lou, in Hamilton, a town in south western Victoria. We have two boys who live in Melbourne. I've been a keen birder for 50 years and started photographing them in the mid 1980's. I made the switch to DSLR in 2006. My wife and I have travelled extensively in Australia, taught in Zimbabwe for two years and have spent some time photographing and birding in Asia.

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Rob Drummond

I am a school teacher and live with my wife, Lou, in Hamilton, a town in south western Victoria. We have two boys who live in Melbourne. I've been a keen birder for 50 years and started photographing them in the mid 1980's. I made the switch to DSLR in 2006. My wife and I have travelled extensively in Australia, taught in Zimbabwe for two years and have spent some time photographing and birding in Asia.

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