Shorebird Feature Winter Shorebird Count

Shorebird Feature: Winter Shorebird Count

Fauna, Newsletters, The Scoop

Mid-May to mid-August is the Australian Winter Shorebird Count, with optimal sightings predicted for July 1st. Shorebird Guardians, twitchers and interested citizen scientists are encouraged to submit their surveys any time within that period, via the Birdata app or website.

Winter is a great time to capture data on the following Shorebird species:

Double-Banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus)

A ‘trail-blazing’ migratory Shorebird who is specially adapted to breed in New Zealand, then migrates to Australia in the colder months. These species occur in Australia between February and August.

Pied Stilts (Himantopus leucocephalus)

A residential Shorebird with graceful long pink legs. Adults have striking black wings and a black patch on the back of their neck, contrasting against their pure white body. Juveniles are more grey coloured with paler pink legs. Since mid-March, these birds have been making a return to the Hunter Estuary after breeding inland.

Red-Necked Avocets (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)

Another residential Wader/Shorebird, often associating happily with stilts. With warm chestnut-brown heads and white eye rings, their most distinctive feature is their wacky ‘ski-jump-shaped’ bills. Their numbers have increased again in the Hunter during recent months, with flocking a social behaviour viewable at Stockton Sandspit.

Though non-migratory, the residential Shorebirds mentioned above are considered domestically nomadic. They move about the Australian landscape, depending on rainfall, droughts and climatic conditions.

By counting and submitting your surveys in Winter, you can contribute to their national monitoring and help to piece together the story of these fascinating birds.

You can submit surveys yourself via the Birdata app or join in with the Hunter Bird Observers Club (HBOC) in their monthly counts.

Resources + Links:

Flock- SSS - JamesBennett (1)
Red-Necked Avocets displaying flocking behaviour at Stockton Sandspit. Can you spot the Bar-Tailed Godwits?
Photo by James Bennett (@jamesbennettwild)