South Island Pied Oystercatcher – showing straighter, longer bill & shorter legs
Once the packing was finished on Wednesday we did manage to squeeze in a couple of hours local birding, taking a trip to the beach – Stockton Beach – or to give its proper name, Worimi Conservation Land. We were looking for one last tick – South Island Pied Oystercatcher – a very rare visitor from New Zealand. But with nearly 40k of shoreline to cover (the beach forms part of the largest sand-dune system in the Southern Hemisphere!) it’s a bit like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. However the bird in question is ringed and flagged – a process which was carried out sometime previously in Victoria. Unfortunately the bird was incorrectly identified at the time as a regular Australian Pied Oystercatcher. Only later was the mistake discovered but having the unintended consequence of making the process of finding this rare visitor somewhat easier. As luck would have it we located the bird in the first group of oystercatchers we found and only a few k’s along the beach.
Taking this new Aussie tick into consideration the respective lists look like this:
Trip List – 299, with the mystery shelduck at Werribee pending (see update below)
Australian List – 541, with the above possible addition, and
Hunter Bird Observers Club List – 322