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African Oystercatcher

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Maargat G
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African Oystercatcher

Unread post by Maargat G » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:09 pm

Today I had the honour to meet a Oomie, who must've been close to 80, who sat on the beach and enjoyed the birds around him. So I walked closer to enquire on what his eyes picked up that made him that happy. I thought there is a very well built blond somewhere I did not see!

And then he showed me this black bird running on the rocks. Not 1, nor 2,3,4 but 8 in total and close in proximity to one another.

He explained to me that these were African Oystercatchers. And according to some place he mentioned, there are less than 5000 adults of these birds. And that he has been living here for the past 18 years, but have never seen so many of them at one time. Apparently his neighbour is the real birder, and he saw 36 of them all together a few days ago.

Tomorrow I will set out with my camera in hope to capture them. Hopefully I can get one or 2 nice photos.

Anybody have more knowledge and info on these birds, and are they as special as this oomie made them?
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Re: African Oystercatcher

Unread post by adrianp » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:58 pm

The short version:

Their numbers crashed quite dramatically a few years back.

One of the main reasons was their nest are quite vulnerable, and lot of dog owners used to let their dogs run freely on the beach and chase the little guys around for fun, thinking it will do no harm. A lot of chicks and nestlings were killed in this way :naughty: :evil:

Thanks to a lot of PR and info :rtm: . The dog owners could be trained :clap:

And we have now seen thier numbers recovering :dance: :dance:

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Re: African Oystercatcher

Unread post by granjan » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:14 pm

Have a look in the index of birds under oystercatcher [sorry I'm a computer idiot - can't do links :redface: :redface: ]
I always see them at Buffel's Bay in Cape Point.

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Re: African Oystercatcher

Unread post by gjorgi » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:09 am

You see quite a lot of them at Kleinbrakrivier, close to Hartenbos. I saw about 30 of them sitting on the highwater "floodplain" of the lagoon there about 2 weeks ago.

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