Inland Dotterel (Peltohyas australis)

The inland dotterel is an endemic shorebird (wader) of the open dry Australian inland regions. The bird is a medium-sized plover with a relatively small head, it has pretty long legs and a short fine bill. A very characteristic filed mark is a black Y-shaped band on a white breast, which cannot be mistaken. It is very often active during the night and hides in harsh daylight. Juvenile birds are not as colourful as adult birds, have fewer streaks and the black markings of adult birds are less obvious.

I have seen Inland Dotterels on at least three locations. Two of them were special. When travelling along the Birdsville track, we stopped to view and and photograph a Bustard that had caught our eye and as we were ready to go on, there was this bird standing not more than 10 meters away. We watched it, and the bird watched us - before it moved and got onto its nest! An unbelievable coincidence. The other unusual bird was seen at Shoalhaven Head's in 2017. Even if the Inland Dotterel is a wader, it is the totally wrong place to show up. This bird was a young bird, which stayed for quite some time in the company of Pacific Golden Plovers, while it was colouring up.

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