Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pied Oystercatchers

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This morning was perfect weather for kayaking. We've had so many weeks of positively miserable weather that this was a very welcome change. My friend Sarah had visitors from Ireland and we decided to go to the south side of Crab Creek. This would not be too distant for a couple of people who had done very little kayaking before, but it was almost certain that we would see a good number and variety of shorebirds.
We had great views of quite large flocks of Bar-tailed Godwits, Whimbrels, Eastern Curlew, Common Greenshank, and Grey-tailed Tattler, as well as the resident Red-capped Plover.
The highlight of the morning was finding the Pied Oystercatchers again that last time were acting as if they had either a nest or young ones somewhere. This morning they were still acting very agitated but we could now see two other birds – not quite as large and still with juvenile plumage. They had already fledged and could fly although the adult birds were obviously happier to keep them in the same area of saltmarsh where they had nested. This was a great sighting as I have never before seen Pied Oystercatchers either nesting or with young around the bay. I have been living here for more than five years and have certainly looked everywhere for them. I have seen nesting Pied Oystercatchers down on the Noosa River, but have not seen young ones down there either.
My birding book says that juveniles have brown/black back and wing feathers with paler edges and the bill is reddish with a dusky tip.
Adult Pied Oystercatcher
Juvenile Pied Oystercatcher
Juvenile with Adult
Video of adult Pied Oystercatcher giving warning calls to Juvenile video

Sarah with Orla and Barbara from Ireland

21 comments:

  1. That was a fun trip. Kayaking is on my list of activities when I get a few projects finished. New discoveries are special. Enjoyed the video clip.

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  2. Sounds like a great morning out.

    Cannot resist asking what is the lady in the yellow Kayak "measuring" with her hands. It looks like the classic fisherman's gesture for the one that got away. But maybe not....

    Finding the baby Oyster Catchers must have given you great satisfaction. Well done.

    Nice images.
    Cheers
    Denis

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  3. H Vickie, Kayaking is a lot of fun - but the real enjoyment for me is that I can get quietly into places where I could not otherwise see birds.
    Hi Denis, No idea what the hand 'measurements' were about but it sure does look like a fisherman's gesture about the one that got away!

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  4. Well done Mick, must have felt great spotting the juvenile OC. I think DF and I are doing a 'wader count' down here on Friday - bet we don't get your kind of results!
    Gouldiae

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  5. Hi Gouldiae, our official count is this coming week-end too - but the tide is high in the afternoon which usually means the winds are up and unfortunately I can't manage to get the kayak on and off the car roof when its too windy. I must see about alternative arrangements. Don't like to just miss a month.

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  6. Lovely Mick - As you know our weather is dreadful in the UK - so seeing all your sun and sea is a real tonic.

    Lovely birds and pics as usual!!

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  7. Thanks Tricia, the visitors from Ireland commented that it was good to finally see some good 'Aussie' weather.

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  8. What a fabulous area on your doorstep Mick, I'm very envious. :-)

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  9. Thanks Duncan, I sure retired in the right place, I reckon!

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  10. Seems your visitors did indeed enjoy some luck of the Irish. Seems fitting (if I can suggest it nonpejoratively) given their origins and your blog name.

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  11. Great pics and I always enjoy the videos.

    Your Irish visitors would have been very familiar with the oystercatchers. The British species is almost identical.

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  12. Thanks Mosura. Interesting about a similar species over there.

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  13. I love the colour combos in these birds. They are very striking to me. The kayaking trip looks very inviting too.

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  14. Thanks Bernie, they're always good to photograph.

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  15. Well done with the young oyster catchers! Your pics are a asset for those of us who are waderologically-challenged.

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  16. Thanks Snail, and I love your language! Is that one result of sitting for all those hours at the computer and being creative?

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  17. Mick, you must have got a kick out of showing your friends your magical haunts. Great tha you found the juvenile Oystercatchers too. I'm sure your enthusiasm must have added to their experience of the trop.

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  18. Yes, it was fun showing the visitors a little piece of the bay and the birds. One of them said she thought she would be doing more bird watching in Australia than in Ireland where what she had experienced was mostly cold and wet!

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  19. Great shots of the Oystercatchers, Mick! They look quite similar to our American Oystercatchers.

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  20. Thanks Bob and Cynthia, you are right - there are similar species right around the world.

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