“On the morning of 11th January 2013, I was cruising along the quiet coastline of Golden Bay, South Island, New Zealand, when a brief rest stop provided me with a good view of the high-tide roost of an aggregation of South Island Pied Oystercatchers (Haematopus finschi, Maori name: Torea) (above).
“The flock was approximately 200 strong and huddled together on an exposed stretch of stony shoreline (above). As the incoming tide continued its advance, the birds would gradually inch their way inland. At one moment, many of them took wing simultaneously and flew in a tight formation to circle the area, and then land again.
“Other birds were also spotted at this roost, including a handful of Caspian Terns (Hydropogne caspia, Maori name: Taranui) (above). A White-faced Heron (Ardea novaehollandiae) was also seen to be feeding among the Oystercatchers.
“A brief video clip of this roost may be previewed above.”
Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
17th February 2013