Discovery of tiny pied oystercatchers and their nest halts construction at Bunbury water park

November 25, 2021
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Construction on a water park in Bunbury has been delayed after a bird species made a nest on the site.

A nest and eggs from a pair of pied oystercatchers was discovered before construction was set to begin on a new splash park at a popular foreshore.

A statement from the City of Bunbury, which is coordinating the project, said construction would not start until the chicks were born and the family left the area:

“The development of the highly-anticipated splash park has come to a halt after a loved-up pair of pied oystercatchers decided it was the prime location to build their nest.

“The feathered duo has taken up residence at the site until the impending birth of their chicks.

“Works will begin once the family has taken flight.

“We will keep you updated!”

Vulnerable ground nesters 

Sue Kalab is the convenor of BirdLife in Bunbury and said she was pleased with the decision to pause the construction.

“I’m full of admiration [for the city’s decision]. It’s wonderful news that they are giving the birds a chance,” she said.

“Because they’re ground nesters, they’re particularly vulnerable and their eggs are very well camouflaged.

“I think it’s quite a privilege to have these birds nesting around the place.”

WA-based naturalist and bird expert Eric McCrum says the pause in construction was unlikely to be long.

“Usually birds who nest on the ground, their babies are precocial,” he said.

“Which means that as soon as they hatch out of the egg, their eyes are open, they can walk and generally after being shown what to eat, they can feed themselves.

“Luckily for the construction people, as soon as they hatch, these birds will not be hanging around in that one local area. They will likely be 100 or 200m away walking along the beach.”

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