I was fortunate to make two trips to Palau's Southwest Islands (courtesy of Conservation International and Cheesemans Ecology Safaris expeditions) in April and May. Some stunning tern and booby colonies.
A personal highlight for me was this group of 12 red knots on April 12. I had assumed they were red-neck phalaropes, but the camera advised otherwise. Which called into question an earlier group of 12 "phalaropes" on the same day.
They heading north at Lat 3.2058 Long 131.7052. This is about 27km NNW of Helen reef island and 470 NNW of the Birds Head peninsula in Irian Jaya
I was surprised they were flying so low, just above the waves, straight into a 15 knot headwind (pun not intended). Whilst it is possible they stopped on Helen reef island, that it would have been very brief, as I did a full island survey the day before, and would not have missed them.
Does anyone know how high red knots would normally fly on over-ocean migration?
Red knots have only been recorded three times in Palau previously - single birds in each case.
If anyone wants to look at the original photos to see if subspecies identification is possible please get in touch.
Birds of the islands and waters of the South Pacific.
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