SIPO returns to Pelican Park, Qld

To: <>
Subject: SIPO returns to Pelican Park, Qld
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Sun, 4 Nov 2001 18:55:12 -0800
Hello all,

In spite of regular visits to Pelican Park, Clontarf, SE Queensland, I had not
sighted the South Island Pied Oystercatcher (SIPO) since 4/9/2001.
Until today, 3/11/2001 at 9:30 am ( high tide at 10:35 am).
I had begun to think that the bird had gone back to New Zealand ;-).

However, luck was with me today (and possibly the fact that I had left my camera
gear at home).
A "spur of the moment" visit to Pelican Park in spite of the high winds and
possible weekend crowds turned up trumps!
I do have to thank a local boatie who was doing strange things with his tinnie,
a rope, and the rock wall.
I have no idea what his intentions were but he did succeed in flushing out the
dozen or so oystercatchers and sending them my way.

The SIPO didn't stand out from the crowd immediately but I did notice that one
bird had a very long bill.
My observations of Pied Oystercatchers over the past couple of years has made me
aware of the great variation in bill lengths for this species so I didn't
immediately get over excited. (One point towards an ID, though.)
Besides, this bird's bill was the same colour as the other oystercatchers.
Up to this stage I had noted a marked difference in the bill colours of the two
Also, this bird's bill was not quite as 'sharp' at the tip as previously

One early observation I had made concerning the SIPO at this location was that
it was not totally accepted by the other oystercatchers.
This still appears to be the case as it was being harassed by one of the Pied
Oystercatchers (OZPO).
When the two birds were close together I was able to see that the alleged SIPO
was noticeably smaller (Second point towards an ID.)

Also, when the two birds were together I was able to see the 'SIPO' had
noticeably shorter legs even though it appeared to be showing much more tibia
than usual with this species. (ID point three.)

By this stage I was pondering the fact that, even though I had been regularly
observing the SIPO in this area for about six months this year, I still felt the
need to observe all of the recognised ID points before actually claiming a
What I needed now was for the bird to fly so that I could observe the wing-bar
and the back pattern.
I don't believe in deliberately setting birds to flight just so that I can see
some diagnostic points, however........
Just then, a man walking a very large dog simply walked towards the a flock of
oystercatchers setting them up nicely.

The bird in question displayed all of the markings of a South Island Pied

I knew it was all the time.

So, anyone in the area who hasn't yet seen this species might consider a trip to
Pelican Park at Clontarf just north of Brisbane.
For more details, pictures, directions and tide times (high tide is the best
time to visit) see my web pages starting at:

I don't guarantee you will see it but it might be worth a try.

Good luck,

Bob Inglis
Woody Point

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • SIPO returns to Pelican Park, Qld, Robert Inglis <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU