|Flagged Pied Oystercatcher #35 Yellow, right tarsus|
Many thanks indeed for reporting the Oyc with yellow flag 35. This is a bird banded at Barry Beach in Corner Inlet (near Wilson's Promentory) on 26th April 2008. It is yet another nice example of a bird in a Corner Inlet flock which had travelled up the New South Wales coast, often remaining there to breed.
There is some confusion from some people about the Oystercatcher colour-flag codes used in eastern Australia. Yellow is used by the Victorian Wader Study Group for birds flagged in Corner Inlet, the flag being on the right tibia. A yellow flag is also used on Oystercatcher chicks on the northern New South Wales coast by Greg Clancy, but his flags are all put on the left tibia. His engravings at the moment only range from A1 down to about K9 whereas a much wider spectrum is used. Populations do seem to overlap a little around Sydney!
Do please report any further sightings of colour-marked Oystercatchers , including yellow 35 if it continues to remain in the same area for any length of time.
Many many thanks,
So, there we have it. Corner Inlet is 600 Kms south-west from Shoalhaven Heads. Add a bit more for following the coastline, precisely as an Oystercatcher would do.
Re the "confusion" over colour flag protocols, I was following the published "Protocol" codes for the Eastern Australian Flyway, as controlled by the Asian Pacific Shorebird Network.
With regard to the comment about likely breeding on the NSW coast, I can confirm this bird was happily "paired off" with another Pied Oystercatcher.
|"Flagged" Pied Oystercatcher on right, with a mate.|
This chance "sighting"of an identifiable bird (number on coloured Flag legible) came about because of a "beached" Whale. But there are many people walking along the NSW coast at present, so Clive and his colleagues elsewhere in Australia and overseas who "flag" waders are delighted to receive reports such as mine.
So, if anyone else sees this bird, or another "Flagged" wader, Clive Minton of the Victorian Wader Study Group can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Wader Study people can and will trace such reports and provide feedback to the reporter. And it adds a piece to the jigsaw of knowledge of the lifecycle of wading birds.
As my blogging colleague Mick has discussed previously, this applies even to birds flagged overseas, such as her beloved Bar-tailed Godwits, but also the smaller Waders, Stints, Turnstones and Plovers. Take note of the colour and position (Left leg, right leg, tarsus or tibia) - (see diagram if in doubt) of all "flags", and the order (top down) of the coloured flags if two or more are present - e.g. black flag over silver as in one of Mick's flagged bird photos.