In January this year I photographed a Pied Oyster Catcher on the mud flats at Point O'Halloran, Victoria Point. I realised the bird had a Yellow Leg Flag and with the help of my photo was able to work out the number(#R8). I e-mailed the Australian Bird and Banding Scheme in Canberra at the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. They were unable to identify the bird but had enough information to contact the bander, Roger Standon. He is a member of AWSG (Australasian Wader Studies Group) which is a special-interest group of Bird Life Australia. He was able to tell me that the bird had been banded of Mann's Beach, Corner Inlet, Wilson's Promontory on 26/06/2005. The estimated age of the bird at that time was 3+.
A little bit of information from the following web site gives some interesting background about Bird Flagging.
The program of flagging waders has revolutionised wader migration studies. The flag is a small coloured plastic band with a tab on the end. Unlike with banding, the bird does not have to be caught to find out in which region it has been banded. The program started in Australia in 1990. A flagging protocol has been developed for the Flyway, which enables any country, or in some cases regions within a country, to join the scheme. At present Australia (5 locations), New Zealand (North and South Island), Japan (3 locations), South Korea, China (Hong Kong, Yellow Sea and Shanghai) and Taiwan are colour flagging birds.
Jean Gundry (Member of Toowoomba Field Naturalists Club)