13 years of weekly posts – 10,000 Birds

As I sit at my desk scripting this submit in regards to the newest try at breeding for one in all our pairs of Pied Oystercatchers I realise I’ve written 677 posts now for this web site. This pair of Pied Oystercatchers are utilizing the identical nest website as final yr, which does make it simple to seek out. The nest website has moved often since I first noticed one on Cable Seaside in 2000. If there are modifications to the place folks stroll via the dune techniques then they may regulate their nest website accordingly. This explicit nest website is the furthest again from the seaside throughout this time interval and the individually marked male Pied Oystercatcher “A1” has been making an attempt to breed right here since 2008.

This rocky space excessive up past the seaside sand presents nice camouflage and safety. The Pied Oystercatchers can see far and vast and monitor the realm for threats from floor stage and above. The picture under exhibits the precise nest with the eggs in, however that is probably not initially clear to you, so I’ve underlined them in a replica of the picture under.

Eggs in a Pied Oystercatcher nest

I at all times stroll by briefly to substantiate the variety of eggs, however it is rather not often greater than two eggs in Broome. The color variation will be fairly excessive and there may be at all times sufficient variation within the eggshell sample to determine the person eggs. I’ve additionally famous the eggs largely seem to level in numerous instructions, however they’re additionally continually being rotated by the dad and mom. Each dad and mom are answerable for the incubation, which takes twenty eight days.

Pied Oystercatcher eggs

It’s Winter right here in Northern Australia which implies loads of cloud-free blue sky and there are undoubtedly worst locations to be sitting for twenty eight days watching the world go by!

View from the nest website in direction of the Indian Ocean at Cable Seaside

View from the seaside wanting again on the distant nest website

Very often I observe “damaged wing” show from this pair of Pied Oystercatchers. I suppose they know me! They are going to do it for different threats as a distraction to guard their eggs or chicks. A menace from above when they’re nest-sitting tends to contain the grownup going as flat as doable.

Pied Oystercatcher “damaged wing” show

It’s at all times apparent when the eggs are because of hatch, as a result of each dad and mom will stay on the nest moderately than one being absent feeding. They are often two or three kilometres away, but when the nest-sitter calls the opposite one will quickly arrive to assist defend. I believe they fairly presumably have significantly better listening to than you’d give them credit score for. The male Pied Oystercatcher is standing guard while she does the sitting on this picture under.

Nest website

On my subsequent go to I used to be not stunned to see them nonetheless on the nest website, nevertheless it was not till I checked out my photographs at dwelling that I realised that I had a photograph of a Pied Oystercatcher chick standing within the nest. As soon as once more I’ve positioned a replica of the picture under exhibiting the place the closely camouflaged chick is.

Pied Oystercatcher grownup and chick

I had walked broadly across the space and brought just a few photographs and observed that there was now one egg and one chick and naturally they had been nonetheless properly camouflaged.

Pied Oystercatcher chick and egg on the nest website

Over the next days I might return to the seaside and stroll alongside the excessive tide mark. I may observe the place the household had come right down to the ocean at night time on the massive tides. The footprints within the comfortable sand confirmed their actions as they moved nearer to the excessive tide space. I may see their most popular vegetation for hiding the chicks.

Pied Oystercatcher household footprints within the comfortable sand and right down to the excessive tide mark

The 2 Pied Oystercatcher chicks had been obedient and hid after they had been informed by their dad and mom. They’d typically select completely different hiding spots and stay fully immobile till the dad and mom made a special name they usually knew that they may then come out. As an observer the small footprints that they made allowed me to rapidly observe the hiding spot and transfer off.

Pied Oystercatcher chick hiding in vegetation

Pied Oystercatcher chick hiding beside a rock

Typically the 2 Pied Oystercatcher chicks would go to the identical vegetation in the event that they had been shut collectively. Typically they might be with one grownup every, however they’d began to maneuver North over just a few days and strolling collectively the chicks may cover collectively. As soon as once more their footprints within the comfortable sand was a giveaway! You’ll be aware that the footprints are fairly massive for a small hen, however they seem to hatch out prepared for strolling.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pied-Oystercatcher-chicks-14.jpg

Following the footprints brings you to the 2 Pied Oystercatcher chicks

The dad and mom had been shifting North via the busiest part of Cable Seaside, however making an attempt to maintain the chicks secure within the dunes.

Pied Oystercatcher dad and mom

I want I may have satisfied the Pied Oystercatchers to not preserve going North and attempt to get via the four-wheel drives, folks and canine. I perceive they knew the meals was higher to the North and all of us take dangers, however……

Anyway, inside days there they had been. Alone. Nothing to do for just a few days aside from stand round on a rock collectively and ponder one other try at breeding. That is no completely different to another yr you probably have adopted my weekly posts over all of those years. Usually inside ten days there shall be two extra eggs, one other twenty eight days of sitting round watching the tide go out and in after which the exhausting work of defending weak chicks. 2014 was our most profitable Pied Oystercatcher season with three chicks from one clutch surviving to fledge. One massive Pied Oystercatcher household!

Considering one other try at breeding in 2023

So, it’s at this level that I hope over the previous 13 years of weekly posts from largely Australia, but additionally different locations that we have now visited across the World, that you’ll have been impressed to journey and luxuriate in your native pure environment.

In January this yr I did a submit to allow you to seek out among the posts that I’ve written extra simply when you had been questioning the place you would possibly prefer to go birding in Australia. I hope a few of you’ll have explored a few of these areas.

Different posts since then have been filed beneath “birding” and have concerned largely round Broome with just a few current visits to locations round Melbourne.

My 677 posts are beneath Clare M and I’ll apologise now if among the photographs have been misplaced “in area” over the previous 13 years! It could be too moist sooner or later to exit and you’ll learn my posts. You’ll have to ask your self why you didn’t get to Australia but!

Anyway, thanks everybody for studying and carry on having fun with birding wherever you might be within the World. Possibly sooner or later our paths will cross……

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