Oystercatchers and avocets

Australian Pied Oystercatcher, Sooty Oystercatchers, and Red-necked Avocet are the only resident species that lend themselves to a targeted cannon-net approach. Thus, they have been the focus for resident wader monitoring, which is usually concentrated in the winter months when birds are flocking at coastal sites.

red-necked avocet bendigo
Red-necked Avocet in Bendigo. Photo: Roger Standen

Australian Pied Oystercatcher studies

The Australian Pied Oystercatcher population of Australia is only about 10,000 individuals with 1,500 in Victoria. The VWSG have been conducting a study of Pied Oystercatchers in Victoria since early 1979. Oystercatchers have been banded at various locations in Port Phillip Bay, Western Port and the Corner Inlet complex.

The banding system initially involved individual birds having two colour bands placed above a metal ABBBS band on one leg, and three colour bands placed on the other leg as a unique combination, allowing individual birds to be identified in the field. However, more recently they have an engraved leg flag applied.

There is now 40 years of Pied Oystercatcher data, which is being subject to analysis and assessment for setting future monitoring priorities.

Other wader species

Other resident waders have been targeted from time-to-time but are not priority species for the VWSG. Instead, the group partners with other wader researchers like Associate Professor Mike Weston at Deakin University and the BirdLife Australia Beach Nesting Birds program, to contribute to monitoring of resident waders.