As I sit at my desk scripting this put up in regards to the newest try at breeding for considered one of 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 web site as final yr, which does make it straightforward to seek out. The nest web site has moved sometimes since I first noticed one on Cable Seashore in 2000. If there are modifications to the place folks stroll by means of the dune techniques then they may regulate their nest web site accordingly. This specific nest web site is the furthest again from the seaside throughout this time interval and the individually marked male Pied Oystercatcher “A1” has been trying to breed right here since 2008.
This rocky space excessive up past the seaside sand affords nice camouflage and safety. The Pied Oystercatchers can see far and large and monitor the realm for threats from floor degree and above. The photograph beneath reveals the precise nest with the eggs in, however that will not be initially clear to you, so I’ve underlined them in a replica of the photograph beneath.
Eggs in a Pied Oystercatcher nest
I all the time stroll by briefly to substantiate the variety of eggs, however it is rather not often greater than two eggs in Broome. The color variation might be fairly excessive and there’s all the time sufficient variation within the eggshell sample to determine the person eggs. I’ve additionally famous the eggs principally seem to level in several instructions, however they’re additionally always being rotated by the mother and father. Each mother and father are chargeable 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 positively worst locations to be sitting for twenty eight days watching the world go by!
View from the nest web site in direction of the Indian Ocean at Cable Seashore
View from the seaside trying again on the distant nest web site
Very sometimes 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 risk from above when they’re nest-sitting tends to contain the grownup going as flat as doable.
Pied Oystercatcher “damaged wing” show
It’s all the time apparent when the eggs are attributable to hatch, as a result of each mother and father will stay on the nest relatively 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 shield. I feel they fairly probably have a lot better listening to than you’ll give them credit score for. The male Pied Oystercatcher is standing guard while she does the sitting on this photograph beneath.
Nest web site
On my subsequent go to I used to be not stunned to see them nonetheless on the nest web site, nevertheless it was not till I checked out my pictures at house 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 photograph beneath exhibiting the place the closely camouflaged chick is.
Pied Oystercatcher grownup and chick
I had walked broadly across the space and brought a number of pictures and seen that there was now one egg and one chick and naturally they have been nonetheless properly camouflaged.
Pied Oystercatcher chick and egg on the nest web site
Over the next days I’d return to the seaside and stroll alongside the excessive tide mark. I might observe the place the household had come all the way down to the ocean at evening on the large tides. The footprints within the mushy sand confirmed their actions as they moved nearer to the excessive tide space. I might see their most well-liked vegetation for hiding the chicks.
Pied Oystercatcher household footprints within the mushy sand and all the way down to the excessive tide mark
The 2 Pied Oystercatcher chicks have been obedient and hid after they have been advised by their mother and father. They might typically select totally different hiding spots and stay fully immobile till the mother and father made a distinct name they usually knew that they might then come out. As an observer the small footprints that they made allowed me to shortly observe the hiding spot and transfer off.
Pied Oystercatcher chick hiding in vegetation
Pied Oystercatcher chick hiding beside a rock
Generally the 2 Pied Oystercatcher chicks would go to the identical vegetation in the event that they have been shut collectively. Usually they might be with one grownup every, however that they had began to maneuver North over a number of days and strolling collectively the chicks might disguise collectively. As soon as once more their footprints within the mushy sand was a giveaway! You’ll word that the footprints are fairly giant for a small fowl, however they seem to hatch out prepared for strolling.
Following the footprints brings you to the 2 Pied Oystercatcher chicks
The mother and father have been transferring North by means of the busiest part of Cable Seashore, however making an attempt to maintain the chicks protected within the dunes.
Pied Oystercatcher mother and father
I want I might have satisfied the Pied Oystercatchers to not preserve going North and attempt to get by means of the four-wheel drives, folks and canines. I perceive they knew the meals was higher to the North and all of us take dangers, however……
Anyway, inside days there they have been. Alone. Nothing to do for a number of days apart from stand round on a rock collectively and ponder one other try at breeding. That is no totally different to every other yr if in case you have adopted my weekly posts over all of those years. Usually inside ten days there will probably be two extra eggs, one other twenty eight days of sitting round watching the tide go out and in after which the laborious work of defending weak chicks. 2014 was our most profitable Pied Oystercatcher season with three chicks from one clutch surviving to fledge. One giant 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 principally Australia, but in addition different locations that we have now visited across the World, that you will have been impressed to journey and revel in your native pure environment.
In January this yr I did a put up to allow you to seek out a few of the posts that I’ve written extra simply if you happen to have been questioning the place you may wish to go birding in Australia. I hope a few of you will have explored a few of these areas.
Different posts since then have been filed beneath “birding” and have concerned principally round Broome with a number of latest visits to locations round Melbourne.
My 677 posts are beneath Clare M and I’ll apologise now if a few of the pictures have been misplaced “in area” over the previous 13 years! It is likely to be too moist at some point to exit and you may learn my posts. You’ll must 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’re within the World. Possibly at some point our paths will cross……
Autor Clare M