Dec 15 2019
Over the past 25 years the Tattler has changed in focus from purely a ‘newsletter’ to ‘increase the level of communication between wader enthusiasts, researchers and conservationists’ to include many short research papers and articles from across the East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF). This has become an onerous task for the Editor of Tattler, which in turn has taken a lot of material that would have otherwise appeared in the AWSG Journal ‘Stilt’ which recently was reduced from a biannual publication to once a year.
At a recent meeting of the AWSG Committee in November 2019 a decision was made to revert the focus to a ‘newsletter’ format, which in conjunction with the AWSG website will handle the increase in news items from across the EAAF.
A Special Edition of Tattler ‘A Year in Review’ is now available online here and is being be posted to all members of the AWSG. We hope you enjoy reading!
Dec 15 2019
The first shorebird science meeting to be held in the East Asian Australasian Flyway will held at the National Institute of Ecology, Seocheon-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, Republic of Korea (May 5-8, 2020). This meeting will support international efforts to study, monitor, and conserve migratory shorebirds.
Call for abstracts and program:
Dec 3 2019
Dr Clive Dudley Thomas Minton, AM, (7/10/1934 – 6/11/2019)
A reflective Clive Minton in ‘formal’ attire, on the shore of Delaware Bay in 2006 (Chung Yu Chiang photo)
Dr Clive Minton, described as a father figure in global wader studies, was killed in a car crash on 6 November 2019 at Dunkeld in Victoria, Australia. His wife Pat and a family friend were travelling with him at the time and were seriously injured although now in recovery. They were all returning from a short holiday on Kangaroo Island in South Australia.
Oct 2 2019
Doug Watkins, Chairman of the Australasian Wader Studies Group, has been selected as the Chief Executive of East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership Secretariat.
Doug Watkins at Jerrabomberra Wetlands, Canberra, Australia.
On 28 September 2019, the East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) announced that Doug Watkins had been selected and appointed to be the Chief Executive of East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership Secretariat.
Doug is well known to many in his native Australia, as well as many of those representing the 37 Partners of the EAAFP, for his long history of involvement with the study and conservation of migratory shorebirds in Australia since the 1980s. Firstly with the Australian Wader Studies Group (ASWG) then on the international scene with Wetlands International.
Jul 30 2019
The appointment of Editor of Tattler is urgently needed to work with a team of dedicated researchers and conservationist across the migratory flyways of the Asia Pacific from the Arctic tundra to Australia and New Zealand!
October 2019 will mark the 25th anniversary of Tattler, newsletter for the Asia Pacific Flyways & Australian Shorebirds 2020 Project
The first edition of the then ‘The Tattler’ was initiated by Phil Straw in October 1994 as a way to disseminate information to wader enthusiasts, researchers and conservationists including all members of the Australasian Wader Studies Group. In 1996 the newsletter played an essential role in promoting the first, and still the biggest, international shorebird conference in Australasia titled ‘Shorebird Conservation in the Asia-Pacific Region’ convened by Phil with the help of the AWSG committee. This event in turn played a role in the initiation of the East Asian Australasian Shorebird Reserve Network at a side meeting of the Ramsar Convention of Parties marking the 25th Anniversary of Ramsar in Brisbane (now known as the EAA Flyway, see
Jul 11 2019
Bohai Bay is situated in the largest intertidal wetland system in the world and one of the most biologically diverse and, until now, the most threatened stopover site for migratory shorebirds in the East Asian Australasian Flyway..
img: WHS Yancheng
The World Heritage Committee decided to inscribe the Migratory Bird Sanctuaries along the Coast of the Yellow Sea-Bohai Gulf of China (Phase I) into the World Heritage List, at the 43rd session of the World Heritage Convention. This adds China’s total World Heritage sites to 54, which is the highest number of world heritage sites in the world.
img: Chen Guoyuan
The nomination was supported by the Australian Government and accepted by all representatives.
Jun 28 2019
Brown birds in a brown landscape, migratory shorebird are our most endangered group of birds. Every year they migrate from the shores of Australia and New Zealand to their breeding grounds above the arctic circle in Siberia and Alaska. The remarkable annual circuit that they fly is called the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and it passes through 23 countries.
The Overwintering Project: Mapping Sanctuary seeks to raise awareness for our migratory shorebirds and their habitat by inviting artists to help make them visible.
Anyone can join the Overwintering Project. Find out more..
Jun 28 2019
AWSG Members play important roles in the EAAFP including special news updates starting with this issue, as part of our CEPA role.
Adopted in the list of the World Summit on Sustainable Development as a Type II initiative which is informal and voluntary, the Partnership was launched on 6 November 2006 and aims to protect migratory waterbirds, their habitat and the livelihoods of people dependent upon them. There are currently 37 Partners including 18 countries, 6 intergovernmental agencies, 12 international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 1 international private enterprise.
Membership is open to governments, international NGOs, inter-governmental organisations and members of the international business sector upon application and agreeing to endorse the text and support the objectives and actions under this Partnership.
The purpose of this Partnership is to provide a flyway-wide framework to promote dialogue, cooperation and collaboration between a range of stakeholders, including all levels of governments, site managers, multilateral environmental agreements, technical institutions, UN agencies, development agencies, industrial and private sector, academe, non-governmental organisations, community groups and local people to conserve migratory waterbirds and their habitats, considering both people and biodiversity of the of the East Asian – Australasian Flyway.
Jun 20 2019
Wader quest has been publishing reports from researchers working with the ASWG in this critical program for mapping the movements of shorebirds on the EAAF since 2017. The following are links to the research work reports for 2019.
May 11 2019
Happy World Migratory Bird Day 2019!
This year’s theme is ‘Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution’. Watch this wonderful video from the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership about how plastics affect migratory birds.
May 10 2019
Sunday 23rd June, Culburra Beach
BirdLife Shoalhaven invites you to “A Celebration of Lake Wollumboola” to be held on Sunday 23 June from 2pm to 4pm at the Nowra Culburra Surf Life Saving Club, 4 Farrant Avenue, Culburra Beach.
You will be aware of the critical part that Lake Wollumboola plays for the survival of many of our threatened migratory shorebirds and beach nesting birds. But key aspects of the Lake’s significance and ecology are often overlooked. We hope to fill in some of these gaps with a celebration of Lake Wollumboola and the people that have fought for its protection.
As part of her welcome to country, Delia Lowe, Jerrinja Elder, will talk about the significance of the lake for the Jerrinja people over thousands of years.
Kerryn Stephens will lead an interactive session exploring the unique, quirky and unusual aspects of Lake Wollumboola and its inhabitants, occasional visitors and admirers. Kerryn’s involvement with the lake dates back to 1997, when she was part of studies to understand the complexities of the lake hydrology and ecology. Kerryn continued to work with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage until 2013 undertaking a leading role in development of its Estuary Monitoring, Evaluation and Review Program. After studies in media and communication, she continued her connection with the lake, assisting the Lake Wollumboola Protection Association Inc with the development of its website.
This event gives BirdLife Shoalhaven the opportunity to acknowledge the work of the Association, which has fought tirelessly for the survival of this globally significant site. Frances Bray has been the public face of this often acrimonious fight over more than two decades. Her amazing contribution is now to be recognised by BirdLife Australia with the presentation to her of their prestigious Distinguished Services Award. The event will allow her many friends on the South Coast to celebrate this achievement with her.
After afternoon tea, we hope you will have time to visit the new bird viewing platform on the edge of the lake to observe the birds.
For catering purposes, please contact BirdLife Shoalhaven if you plan to come along.We would appreciate a gold coin donation on entry to go towards the costs of the event.
Contact Brett Davis:
Aug 29 2018
The shorebirds which researchers tagged earlier this year are now departing from their northern breeding grounds. Follow their story in this next instalment of their annual migration.
May 11 2018
At the beginning of this week it was exciting to see all our eight satellite tagged shorebirds from North Western Australia have made it to the northern hemisphere. They are now all at their 1st/2nd stop-over site fuelling up and prepared to made their next leg of the journey. View the pdf..
May 11 2018
Hobart, Tasmania 27-28 October 2018
The 2018 Australasian Shorebird Conference will be held at the University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus, in Hobart over the weekend of 27 and 28 October. The campus is just 5 minutes by taxi or 10 minutes by bus from the city centre. A full programme, registration details and accommodation options will be available soon on this site.
These conferences are held every two years and provide an opportunity for everyone interested in hearing about all aspects of shorebird research, conservation and management. As well as for researchers and conservationists to exchange information, discuss relevant issues and develop strategies for improving the status of these remarkable birds.
The theme of the 2018 ASC will be, “Losing their habitats – conservation and management strategies for migratory and resident shorebirds”.
If you wish to present an oral or poster at the ASC, please email the convenor as soon as possible (details below). The Conference will provide a forum for discussions on all shorebird species, and is particularly keen to see contributions from indigenous researchers and managers.
It is planned to arrange a number of post-conference trips (subject to interest) to visit some of the key shorebird (and other birds) spots in Tasmania. The weekend preceding the ASC sees the holding of the 4th Bruny Island Bird Festival on Bruny Island just south of Hobart – a BirdLife KBA with all 12 endemics species on offer.
In conjunction with the ASC, The Overwintering Project will be holding an exhibition of shorebird art at the Moonah Arts Centre, 23-27 Albert Road, Moonah from October 18 – November 10, with the exhibition’s Official Opening to be held on Friday 26 October. It is hoped to hold the ASC welcoming reception/icebreaker at the Centre. Further details to follow.
The Conference convenor is Dr Eric Woehler, Chair of BirdLife Tasmania and AWSG Committee Member. If you would like to be included in all further email announcements, Conference information and post-conference trip details, etc, please send an email to email@example.com or call him on 0438 204 565.
Nov 11 2017
People says “Life is like a roller coaster with ups and downs”. This also applies to our Whimbrel satellite tracking project.
Hurray to KU’s return to Australia after its more than 19,800km migration journey of 195 days to and from the breeding ground! KU departed its breeding ground around mid-July, after making 3 stops in Northern China, Sulawesi in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, it arrived Australia Mainland on 29-Oct-17.
View the whole story, download the pdf..
Oct 5 2017
Last but not least our last Whimbrel KU decided to move south after staying at the Yellow Sea for 50 days! And even more interesting it decided to join KS in South East Sulawesi!
To a surprise, KU joined KS to stop-over at South-east Sulawesi, they are only 60km apart from each other at the moment! It is amazing to see these 2 birds once again utilizing similar stop-over site.
Oct 3 2017
Sep 28 2017
KU has continued it’s southward migration after a 50 day pit stop in Liaoning Province!
It has flown for 4 days and has just recently covered the west coast of the Philippines.
Sep 28 2017
About 2 weeks ago when we were all expecting KS to be back home to Broome soon, it again
surprised us with another detour.
On 12-Sep, after flying 6 days non-stop from North Korea for nearly 4,900km, KS suddenly made a
north-east turn before heading offshore from South Sulawesi, Indonesia. Within 6 hours, KS again
travelled at its maximum speed of 55km/h for 330km to arrive at a reef area in South East Sulawesi.
Let’s not forget KU, the other successful runner returning from the breeding ground, has stayed at
Yingkou, Liaoning Province for 50 days!
Follow the link through to update 13 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
Sep 13 2017
In late May, representatives from BirdLife Australia and BirdLife International hosted Indigenous Yawuru and Murujuga Rangers from Broome and Karratha, academics from Deakin University and representatives of the East Asian–Australasian Flyway Partnership and Woodside Energy, in a visit to South Korea. While there, they witnessed first-hand, the conservation work being conducted to preserve the intertidal mudflats of the Geum Estuary as well as the destruction of muddy shorelines.
The aim of the visit was to complement research and share advice with Seocheon County and the South Korean government on shorebird management in the Geum Estuary, the most important site in South Korea, which supports 90,000 migrating shorebirds, including many displaced from reclaimed areas.
Find out more about the Geum Estuary Project and conservation efforts here.
Sep 11 2017
One of our Whimbrel from the breeding ground is on its way back home!
KS is currently about 2,500km away from Broome. If it continues to fly without stopping, it is expected to be home within 3 days time.
Meanwhile, KU is spending its 35th day at Yingkou, Liaoning Province. We are expecting it to start migrating south very soon like KS. We are still receiving regular signals from JX and LA from Broome and Eighty Mile Beach.
Follow the link through to update 12 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
Aug 27 2017
The East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership is seeking a Chief Executive to lead and supervise the work and operations of its international Secretariat, based in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
The Chief Executive leads a six-person Secretariat that supports the East Asian – Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP), a 35-member, informal and voluntary initiative to conserve migratory waterbirds and their habitats in the 22 countries of the Flyway. More information can be found on the EAAFP website at www.eaaflyway.net/position-vacant-chief-executive/.
Aug 27 2017
Make sure you attend Birdlife Australia’s Hunter Valley Shorebird Workshops on the 6th and 7th of September to find out all you ever wanted to know bout migratory and beach nesting birds!
For further information and details on how to register, click here.
Aug 21 2017
One of the privileges being a migratory bird might be the freedom to travel among countries without passport or visa. Thus, our Whimbrel KS decided to visit a country which might be a little bit difficult (for humans) to enter – North Korea.
Meanwhile, KU is about 370km north-west of KS, still staying at Yingkou in Liaoning Province, China where it has been for 13 days. We are now anxiously waiting to see when they will both start migrating south again.
Follow the link through to update 11 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
Aug 13 2017
“Well we don’t need to wait until JX’s PTT turns on again….” said Chris Hassell and Kerry Hadley at Wader Beach, Roebuck Bay, Broome: JX is the first Whimbrel back home!
After a return trip to the Philippines spanning 6,124km, JX has returned!
The wait is now on for both KS and KU to return from their arctic adventures!
Follow the link through to update 10 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
Aug 13 2017
All 3 whimbrels that left our shores on migration have begun their southward journeys home.
JX who’s migration journey stopped in the Philippines has begun to fly back to the north-west of Australia with great efficiency.
Meanwhile, the other two frontrunners from the Russian breeding ground have made their first stops in China on their southward journeys.
Follow the link through to update 9 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
Aug 3 2017
Both KS and KU have begun their southward migration from their nesting grounds in Siberia!
KU began the journey one day later than KS but was quickly making ground with GPS tracking data revealing speeds of up to 74km/h!
Follow the link through to update 8 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
Jul 20 2017
With nesting underway and the majority of the northern migration complete, what better time to take a look back at what a magnificent journey we’ve witnessed so far…
Inside this update of the AWSG Satellite Transmitter Project 2017, you will find a comprehensive recap of the different migratory paths undertaken so far as well as some fun and interesting stats detailing the journey so far.
Follow the link through to update 7 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
Jul 20 2017
A five year memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Paulson Institute, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Hebei Provincial Forestry Department and Hebei Luannan County Government has been signed aiming to protect the Nanpu coastal wetland, one of the most important staging habitats for migratory waterbirds along Bohai Bay in China.
Over the past 50 years, China has lost more than 60 percent of its natural coastal wetlands. This agreement, among others, is a step in the right direction towards the protection of these crucial staging and refuelling areas of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway (EAAF) and the multitude of birds that depend on them for their survival.
Please click here to read the full article and learn more about this encouraging development.
Jul 13 2017
The Global Flyway Network Great Knots wearing satellite transmitters that were issued in NW Australia, have started their southward migration back to Australia!
Very excitingly, one Great Knot, nick-named “Green” has been photographed by team member Dmitry Dorofeev amongst tens of thousands of shorebirds in Kamchatka and is now heading south through Shchastya Bay.
Follow the link through to Team Piersma’s article: News from Kamchatka, June-July 2017: learn about “Green”.
Embedded within the article is a fantastic short film by Dmitry about a very interesting re-sighting of one of his birds in the Arabian Gulf, check it out!
Jul 10 2017
The 6th National Beach-nesting Birds Conference was held in Willunga on the Fleurieu Peninsula over two days May 26th – 27th, 2017. The conference saw a record attendance of 143 passionate people from South Australia as well as interstate.
The three day conference saw a wide range of presentations and focus groups discussing current and emerging developments and challenges facing the beach-nesting birds themselves as well as the land managers and volunteers that work in tandem to ensure their survival as well as success. The conference culminated in a number of field trips to some of South Australia’s beach-nesting bird regions and was enjoyed by all!
Please follow the link to the 2017 Beach-nesting Bird Conference report to read more on the proceedings and the areas that were discussed.
Jul 10 2017
In the previous “Updates” we’ve seen KS settled down at its nesting location since the 2nd week. Whimbrel incubation period takes about 4 weeks with both parents sharing the duty.
From the 5th week since the beginning of incubation KS was observed to have travelled up to 40km from the nesting site, a strong indication that it’s young have hatched.
Follow the link through to update 6 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
Jun 26 2017
It has been quite a while since our last updates and we are delighted to see that both KS and KU have reached their breeding sites!
KS and KU have chosen different areas to nest and their nesting areas are approximately 630km apart from each other in the Sakha Republic, Russia.
Follow the link through to update 5 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
May 29 2017
Over the past week, our two Whimbrels ‘KS’ and ‘KU’ have made significant progress towards their breeding grounds. In one or two weeks’ time we should also hopefully be able to find out where they nest, which is one of the main objectives of this satellite tracking project. Another very interesting question is: Will ‘KS’ and ‘KU’ reunite again at the breeding grounds?
We are also now quite certain that ‘JX‘ will stay in Palawan, the Philippines. Nevertheless, it is still giving us valuable information as north-west Australia leg-flagged Whimbrels have not been resighted in South-East Asia before.
Follow the link through to update 4 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
May 29 2017
After nearly a month of northward migration, the satellite recordings of our Whimbrel’s journeys show us that individual birds of the same species, caught and tagged in the same flock in Australia can have vastly different journeys to their breeding grounds, high in the arctic circle.
While two of the three migrating Whimbrel have been observed to be forging ahead through China, one bird, ‘JX‘, has stalled in the Philippines for at least 20 days. It will be very interesting to see if ‘JX‘ finally completes the migration north to the breeding grounds in around a months time.
Follow the link through to update 3 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
May 29 2017
It is migration time and our satellite-tagged Whimbrels have set off as well! Three of our Whimbrels departed Australia between 16-20 April and they are now in the northern hemisphere.
As three of our tagged Whimbrel make their way up through South-East Asia and into China, it appears one may not have been up to the journey and will be wintering here in Australia until the next migratory season.
Follow the link through to update 2 of the 2017 AWSG satellite transmitter project to read the latest on the progress of the tagged Whimbrel!
May 29 2017
AWSG has been experimenting with the use of satellite transmitters for tracking the migration of shorebirds visiting North West Australia since November 2013 when five 5g satellite transmitters were deployed on Little Curlew in Roebuck Bay, Broome. Satellite tracking reveals extremely useful information about the migratory patterns and behaviors of target species.
It was decided to extend the satellite transmitter program to Whimbrel in 2017, with five 5g units being deployed at both 80 Mile Beach (one bird) and at Broome (four birds). In addition, recently released 2g transmitters, developed by Microwave Telemetry Inc. (MTI), were deployed on five Grey-tailed Tattler at 80 Mile Beach. This was carried out during the NWA 2017 Expedition, in February 2017.
Follow the link to read update 1 in a series of updates regarding the satellite tracking of the Whimbrel and Grey-tailed Tattlers as they prepare to depart our shores for their northern breeding grounds.
Mar 12 2017
A Call for Submissions to the “Tattler” Newsletter
This is a call to all of our shorebird (wader) network friends to consider providing us with articles of interest to readers of our newsletter Tattler for the East Asian Australasian Flyway as well as our Shorebirds 2020 Project volunteers and Flyway Partnership readers. We look forward to your contributions no matter how small.
We aim to produce the next edition of Tattler in April 2017, when most migratory shorebirds are on migration to their breeding areas. However we would like to include any interesting stories or reports from birdwatchers and researchers who have been studying shorebirds on migration, at their non-breeding sites as well as unusual sightings (including leg flags). The deadline for contributions is 25 March 2017. Please forward your contributions to
Previous issues of the Tattler can be downloaded from our website.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Jul 20 2016
The Grey Plover Satellite Tracking project also includes birds fitted with trackers in South Australia. You can learn more about this important part of the project on the VWSG Grey Plover Tracking page.. It is of interest that the Grey Plovers which are the target of the St Vincent’s Gulf study migrate further than the Western Australian birds, as far as Wrangle Island, north of Siberia.
Jul 20 2016
Pūkorokoro Miranda Naturalists’ Trust is hosting the 10th Australasian Shorebird Conference to be held at UNITEC Institute of Technology in Auckland on 1 – 2 October 2016. Save on registration by getting in before July 31, 2016.
The Conference will consist of two days of presentations covering a wide range of subjects relating to shorebird biology and ecology in New Zealand, Australia and the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.
Anyone interested in presenting a paper or poster at the conference should contact Phil Battley P.Battley@massey.ac.nz
This will be followed by field trips to a variety of good shorebird sites around Auckland on Monday 3 October.
If you are interested in sponsorship please contact Adrian Riegen, the ASC 2016 Committee Convenor at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep up-to-date at www.miranda-shorebird.org.nz/asc2016
May 26 2016
The flagship journal of BirdLife Australia, Emu, has released an issue dedicated to migratory shorebirds.
This edition, Volume 116 Issue 2, has 14 fascinating and informative articles on research which has been conducted on the EAAF and is invaluable for researchers, advocates, educators, conservationist groups and shorebird lovers.
Visit the Emu – Austral Ornithology page on the BirdLife Australia site for article summaries or to get your subscription to Emu.
May 26 2016
Though much of a proposed development at Toondah Harbour on Moreton Bay will be benign for migratory shorebirds, the development includes additions which will require the reclamation of over 43 hectares, or 1.6%, of the Ramsar Site at this location.
The AWSG, BirdLife Southern Queensland and BirdLife Australia are calling on the government to see that this facet of the development does not proceed. You can assist by visiting the BirdLife Toondah Harbour Development page, learning more and signing the petition.
May 26 2016
The coming Australasian Shorebird Conference will be hosted by Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalist’s Trust at the UNITEC Institute of Technology Auckland, NZ.
May 26 2016
In seeking to ensure that the best conservation outcomes for migratory shorebirds can be put in place it is necessary to identify and learn about their migratory routes, including breeding and staging locations.In the case of the Grey Plover, much is still conjecture. We currently believe that the Grey Plover migrates around 12,000 kilometres northward each year to where it breeds in the northern summers and then returns to spend the southern summers here in Australia. We also know that there are around 12,000 Grey Plovers sharing Australian coastlines each year and that these numbers are in decline. Of interest is that nearly all of them are female.
In order to learn more, we aim to use satellite tracking to accurately map their journeys. You can learn more about this project and track its progress visiting the Marvel of Migration page on the BirdLife website.
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