Re: Unusual Pied Oystercatcher record

Subject: Re: Unusual Pied Oystercatcher record
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Thu, 9 Jul 1998 09:47:08 +1000 (EST)
Martin O'Brien wrote:

>As expected, 99% of all records are within 10 kms of the coast.  A few 10
>minute gridcell records were within 20 km and a single 10 minute record
>(from RAOU Atlas data) was from the Kerang Lakes area in 1977.  The Atlas
>has this record as six birds "confirmed" between the observation period of
>1/9 and 30/11/77.  I could not find any further details, but presume this
>is not a mistaken identification.

The record was by Tom Lowe, who certainly knows birds - including waders,
who saw Pied Oystercatchers on a bare mud island at the western end of the
saline Lake Tutchewop in September 1977, and watched them for ten minutes at
a time.  The circumstances: birds seen on a couple of occasions in fine
weather at c.100 metres with 10x50 binoculars by an expert observer familiar
with a fairly unmistakeable species, would seem to leave little room for
error.  The record did attract an URRF (unusual record report form) which
was filled out and accepted as confirmed.

>Is this the furthest any Oystercatchers have been recorded from the coast
>in Australia?  I wonder what the environmental conditions were that
>prompted the birds to travel this far inland?

It does appear to be the furthest record from the coast, Australia wide, at
least according to the Atlas.  I have no idea of what the weather conditions
were earlier - maybe storms that pushed them inland.

Cheers,  Hugo.

Hugo Phillipps,
Birds Australia Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: (03) 9882 2622. Fax: (03) 9882 2677.
O/s: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
Email: <>
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