This is a post that I always hoped I could write! We were cautiously optimistic that the Pied Oystercatcher chick would survive once it had made it to forty days since hatching. However, we have learned over the years that until a bird can fly it is not completely safe from predators. The Pied Oystercatcher chick can now fly very well and remains with its parents at Gantheaume Point. The parents still call out whenever there is danger and they still feed and roost together. The Pied Oystercatcher chick is now over seventy days old and appears to be the same size. The defining features that identify it from the parents are the grey legs and the black bill tip.
On a rising tide the Pied Oystercatcher family soon found a good position to watch and wait until the reef was exposed once again. They moved around a bit to get comfortable on the rocky outcrop. The fully fledged Pied Oystercatcher chick is the bird on the right.
Pied Oystercatcher family at roost
The Pied Oystercatcher chick has now become used to having other shorebirds around the reef. The return of shorebirds from their northward migration has seen the arrival of numerous shorebirds to the area. The shorebirds also have to find a roost for high tide and move up the beach as the tide pushes them in.
Bar-tailed Godwit and Grey Plover
Bar-tailed Godwit-female from bill length
When it is very hot and dry the Oriental Plover also roost in the middle of the day on the beach.
The Pied Oystercatcher family will remain together for some time yet. Eventually the fully fledged chick will wander beyond Gantheaume Point. Non-breeding Pied Oystercatchers join flocks either to the north or south of Gantheaume Point. They do not attempt to breed for about seven years. There are still newly laid clutches of Pied Oystercatcher eggs on the northern section of Cable Beach, so there is hope still of more survivals. We are very pleased that at least one Pied Oystercatcher chick has survived this year when there has not been much good news for 2020.