Monday, October 01, 2007

Living Dangerously

I briefly mentioned in the previous post, that, for whatever reason, the South Arm Neck roost of Oystercatchers has moved to a spot close to the road. This roost, made up of non breeding Pied Oystercatchers and the odd Sooty Oystercatcher, numbering in all around 50 birds usually roosts along the edge of the marsh, about 500 metres away and well away from the road. As you can see from this shot, they are at this site, perilously close to the road, and vehicles are travelling, in the main and quite legitimately, at around 100kph at this point. I picked one of their number off the road this morning, and the only surprising thing is that not more have succumbed. Possibly the present very high tides and strong winds makes this a better roost site. Unfortunately, this is the narrowest part of the beach, and they frequently spill onto the tarmac. I did try moving them, but they were back at this spot, very rapidly. I just hope drivers will slow down and avoid them, but I'm not holding my breath.

5 comments:

Snail said...

They must be absolutely barmy! I hope drivers do take care. I suspect that people have varying levels of caution depending on the type of bird. I trust that oystercatchers are at the 'cute/don't run over' end of the scale.

John Tongue said...

Last year there was a Pied Oystercatcher sat on 2 eggs less than a metre off the edge of the Bitumen, just opposite the BP servo at Lauderdale. I don't think they managed to hatch out any chicks, but I'm not sure whether that was because they got too disturbed. Passing cars never put them off the nest, but they were so close to the servo, that there was always someone on foot not far away from them, which tended to spook them much more! Not sure whether they'll try again in the same spot this season.

BirdingTas said...

Hi John and Snail, thanks for commenting. Pied Oystercatchers on the South Arm peninsula have for many years chosen sites close to highways, possibly or even probably, because of the lack of options. One advantage at places like Lauderdale, is the highway reduces foot traffic (except birdos!). The downside is self evident. With ever rising sea levels, the availability of coastal nest sites for these and other species, needs to be understood and planned for by the relevant authorities.

The Birdfreak Team said...

I hope there aren't too many casualties! Around here, drivers don't slow down much for wildlife, I hope they are more careful there.
They must like that spot if they come back even after you move them

BirdingTas said...

Hi to the Birdfreak team. Ive just returned from Lake County Illinois, not that far from your HQ,and I'd have to say that, in general, the local inhabitants were more tolerant towards wildlife than many are here--and often more knowledgeable.I see that shot of you, on your home page,Eddie, at what I suspect is the county show. Didn't get to your show, but did manage to visit the McHenry Show--2nd visit. Last year I was asked if I would judge the photos for this years show, which was good for my ego! Couldn't quite make in time. Hope you all survived the floods OK.