14 comments on “Summer Shorebirds – The Plight of the Pied Oystercatcher

  1. Hello Ash,

    Our local birds have been very quiet this season too. Could it be a reflection of our unusual times? There is one area relatively close to home that is well-known as a haven for the Pied Oystercatcher, but alas, we have not been able to make the trip this year. Seeing the shy Easter Curlew is a real blessing and treat indeed – I do worry about their future. Seeing the Pied Oystercatcher trying to “befriend” the Curlew brought a smile to my face – as did the colorful Rainbow Lorikeets and the battalion of Light Blue Soldier Crabs. Your wife’s explanation of the passage on forgiveness feels very spot-on and true. May you and all your family have a blessed week ahead!

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    • Thanks Takami, Yes the unusual weather patterns all over the world are having an impact on our birds this season and many are displaced geographically as a result of trying to find kinder environments. Our bird date Friday was surprisingly birdless in a place that is usually full of bird song this time of year. The cicadas and wet cooler than usual weather may have driven them away to better places. Thanks for your kind comments, and enjoy your week my friend 🙂

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  2. Hi Ashley, in spite of having been in lockdown, so many things seem to have gotten past me the last couple of weeks.
    Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers are a great fav of mine.We don’t have an endless supply of them here, so its a great day when their chortling calls are heard along the beach.

    Our local birdlife is very quiet to minimal at the moment. I’m hoping the turn on the weather into autumn will bring about a new range of visitors settling in for the winter. Time will tell.

    Kestrel’s don’t make it easy do they. Although I’ve often found that they hunt over a small range and quickly become confident of human presense in the area, and will work close in without fear.
    Yet that great shot is always against the sun. I think they do it on purpose.

    Have a great week

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    • Thanks David, Likewise, we were amazed on our birding date yesterday how quiet the forest was of birds, considering all the rain and lack of fires this year, maybe the cold windy weather drove them off or the cicadas, it is a mystery. Though the Rufous Fantail, the least expected bird is hanging around. These are strange times, where nothing is as it was. Further south they have the main breading areas for the Pied Oystercatchers on the beaches and signs have been placed warning people of the sensitivity of the area, but many people don’t obey signs, even if it threatens them with a penalty, as we have experienced with the dogs on leash laws. At Lake Wollomboola further south, an important shore bird area. they put signs and string fencing around the area, but birders still get too close at times. It is a struggle for the birds, not to mention the risk of raptors like the Kestrel.I agree they like to make it difficult for a good photo moment. Enjoy your weekend !

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  3. Wonderful shots of your Pied Oystercatcher (almost identical to our American Oystercatcher); and I just LOVE those blue soldier crabs, always enjoy when you share them! Nice sighting of your Eastern Curlew, I love the curlew’s bill. We have the Long-billed Curlew that I’ve not seen yet, it is a western U.S. breeding bird, they generally go south to Texas coastline and Mexico for the winter. I’m actually about 100 miles south of the Florida coastline where some come for the winter, although this is considered scarce. I’ve been keeping my eye out for one in case one ventures my way. 🙂 And thank you for another treat of the Rainbow Lorikeet video and photos. We do love those colorful birds of yours, Ashley!!

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    • Thanks Donna, your Long-billed Curlew looks much the same, it is probably the geographic demographic which gives it its name as a sub species, as they both migrate for warmer weather, though the one I photographed stays all year round, which is very unusual, he has been doing this for several years now. I will often see him in winter on the beach alone. Yes I like to include a Rainbow occasionally to brighten up your day, especially when I catch them feeding in the sun, which we have not had a lot of lately with this very unseasonable wet cold weather. I did see a a rainbow in the sky last night, which is something we have not seen for over a year with the drought and fires of past season. Stay safe and warm my friend. I hope the cruel weather is not affecting you, we have been seeing the mazing snow storms over there. 🙂

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      • I am in sunny, warm weather in Florida, temps are low 80’s F (27C) during the day, high 60s/low 70s at night. So I am warm and safe! We’re in Florida for another month or so. Home just finished getting snow, maybe about 6+ inches. Nothing really bad like so many other areas around the U.S. 🙂

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  4. A collection of lovely photos Ashley, the pelican coming into land was a great shot. I’ve never seen a young crested tern before, they look like they lack the character of the adult but are still cute. Hope you are able to enjoy the last few weeks of summer up there, have a great week! 🙂

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    • Thanks Sue, we usually see the young Terns and Gulls begging with their usual head bowing jig, but this one seemed quite content and just stood quietly. Summer this year is the complete opposite of last year, thankfully no smoke but many days of rain cold wind, with storms. It is a nice change but the birds didn’t think so and many have cleared out. Enjoy your week, Feb is the best month in Tassie. I have spend several Valentines days over there, and it snowed on Mt Wellington the day I left one year 🙂

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      • Haha yes I have heard of weird weather like that in Tassie, mostly in Hobart. Here in Launceston it’s quite warm, and heading into high 20s from tomorrow for a few days. Summer has finally arrived! 🌞

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    • Thanks Deborah, they are a funny little crab to watch as they form hundreds of battalions and run across the sand. They can feel the vibrations of my feet and cleverly move as a group away from my feet. They are larger and have harder shells then the crabs the birds like to eat, which they extract out of the sand. Enjoy your week my friend and stay warm 🙂

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