2015 News Snippets
December 6, 2015
The Friends of Shorebirds South East (of South Australia), with help from a number of people, have just produced a poster outlining the issues surrounding harvest of beach wrack length coast of SA.
A copy of the poster - designed as an A0 sized print - is available now on our website and can be found both by going to the publications page (from the home page) or here.
November 23, 2015
The AWSG record flag sightings fro any waders banded within Australia and are seen within or outside Australia. Any overseas flagged birds seen within Australia are also recorded. The role of coordinating all these sightings is a volunteer role and they are looking for a new person to do this from early 2016. A description of the role has been developed to enable potential people to find out what is involved. The role is conducted in the volunteer's home so can be managed around other commitments. A copy of the role description is here.
November 7, 2015
Our catching program for the first half of 2016 has just been prepared and can be found on the Calendar/Events page or for the impatient, just click here.
A notable event on that program is the early April catch for Red-necked Stint, when we are going to apply geolocators to these small waders for the first time. Modern technology has reduced the size of these tools to the extent we can now use them with 30gm birds so this will be an exciting time. Of course the real trick will be catching some of the birds carrying these goes later in the year to retrieve the data.
August 28, 2015
It is that time of year again for the VWSG to hold it's AGM that is happening this Saturday. A day of net-mending, catching up with fellow members and having informative talks in the evening (Oh, and the AGM is held in there too somewhere).
What this also means is that our annual Bulletin has been prepared. This shows all the year's activities and the results of all the hard work that has been done by the VWSG. It can be found on the publications page or you can get it from this direct link.
June 30, 2015
A comprehensive article describing the plight of the shorebirds of the East Asia Australasian Flyway is presented in the recent edition of Wildlife Australia. Written by Alison Russell-French (Chair of the Australasian Wader Studies Group) who brought together material that was provided by many members of the AWSG, it is a an informative read and one that needs to be more widely understood by decision makers and public alike.
Please read the article (that was generously given to us for circulation by Wildlife Australia) and make your friends and people in positions of influence aware of it. The article can be downloaded here.
June 5, 2015
Clive Minton has led the VWSG for over 35 years and the Wash Wader Ringing group for twenty years before that. In that time he has been at the forefront of most developments in wader study. Those who have been involved with Clive over that enormous period have some tales to tell about their experiences and Clive can recall some fascinating times that he has had.
For his 80th birthday last October, I presented Clive with a book that brought together the many things that have been documented about him, and by him, over the years. It brings to the one place all the relevant references about his achievements and activities. Plus it includes many of those anecdotes that his friends and peers enjoy telling about their times with Clive and some background from his siblings about his formative years.
The research output is another story altogether that was vastly too great to attempt to include.
I am pleased to have now added the book to this website for all to enjoy, and it can be accessed here.
April 15, 2015
Birdlife Australia are excited about setting up a project for the migratory season to learn more about the elusive and mysterious Grey Plover. They're hoping you will help us to raise the funds needed to find answers to questions like where are all the male Grey Plovers as most of the ones visiting Australia are females.
With the aid of transmitters to monitor their migration routes and breeding sites it is hoped to identify how we can contribute to halting the decline in their numbers.
However, transmitters are expensive, but they are also a very effective way of studying shorebird migration.
Birdlife have set a target of $17,680 to raise in two months through the crowd funding website POZIBLE. Please follow this link to pledge to this fantastic project so we can have it up and running in time for the 2016 migratory season. Also take a look at the exciting rewards on offer.
April 4, 2015
My recent role as caretaker at the Broome Bird Observatory brought one particular highlight among the many great experiences with the local wildlife. That was witnessing the mass migration of thousands of land crabs on their return from spawning in Roebuck Bay to their residences in holes across the plains behind the mangroves around the edge of the bay. This was reported in the local press. If anyone is interested in this story, get in touch and I can add more detail (see email contact at bottom of page).
April 4, 2015
A recent press report covering the catching by the AWSG at 80 MIle Beach in north west Australia can be seen here.
April 4, 2015
Clive has been catching up with with some of the paperwork associated with our wader catches during the summer. He was delighted to find that the Sooty Oystercatcher we retrapped at Barry Beach in January was even older than he had thought. Carrying band #100-96855, this bird had originally been banded aged 2+ on 8.7.89. It was retrapped again soon afterwards (6.8.89) and then again at Roussac's farm on 6.5.00. The metal band was so worn when we caught it in January that we had to replace it with a new band.
This bird is now a minimum of 27.25 years old. This is by far the oldest VWSG Sooty (previously up to 23 years) and probably the oldest for Australia overall.
It is not quite as old as our oldest Pied Oystercatcher. We have a 29 year old Pied which is still going strong at Inverloch, as part of a breeding pair, and is still occasionally seen by Steve Johnstone. We are not quite at world record stakes for old oystercatchers as there was a forty year old oystercatcher retrapped in Britain a year or so ago.
April 4, 2015
A belated update of the current six months of banding program has been added to the Calendar page.Most migratory wader catches have now been completed as the birds are heading off on their northern migration to breed, leaving just the juvenile birds behind over our winter.
March 21, 2015
From 21 March - 19 April, BirdLife Australia will be celebrating its annual migratory shorebird event, Farewell Shorebirds. They are challenging Australians to join the birds, by registering their human-powered kilometres against the bird-powered kilometres. Do we as a nation have what it takes to walk, jog, cycle or swim as far as these incredible birds?
As well as registering your kilometres for the shorebirds, Birdlife are encouraging Australians to follow the departure of eight popular shorebirds through their online Departure Lounge. It includes the Bar-tailed Godwit from the Hunter Estuary in NSW, the Curlew Sandpiper from Point Cook in Victoria, the Eastern Curlew from Queensland's Moreton Bay, the Greater Sand Plover and the Red Knot from the Broome Bird Observatory in WA, the Great Knot from Lee Point in Darwin, the Red-necked Stint from Barrow Island in WA, and the Ruddy Turnstone from South Australia.
To be a part of this exciting event head to the website, log your distance travelled each day, help reach the national target, learn about shorebirds and go into the draw to win some incredible prizes! farewell shorebirds site.
March 7, 2015
Apologies to site visitors for the long delay for posts to the What's New page. The web operator has been to Broome to be caretaker at the Broome Bird Observatory and was unable to access the site while away. Since returning there have been a multitude of software issues following the death of the laptop used for this role. There should be more regular postings from now.