Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Hoodie Chicks arrive

Hoodie Chicks arrive.

I almost feel like a father again as the pair of Hooded Plovers successfully hatched 3 chicks on The Australia Day weekend.
They endured amazing weather which included 40degree+ heat , strong South Westerly change, sand blasting, marauding Gulls, raptors and inquisitive terrorists (tourists) with unleashed dogs.
The battle continues to protect these tiny chicks through to fledging. No wonder they are a threatened species.

Hooded Plover and 2 chicks

Assassin Gulls waiting for a feed

Hooded Plover & 1 chick

Unleashed dogs are a problem, but not this one

Black-shouldered Kite, also hungry

Swamp Harrier looking for dinner

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Brolgas in Victoria

Always walking away
Tending the nest

Should this be fenced ?

Sewerage farm as a last resort
Following a query expressing surprise that Brolga are in Victoria I have added the following information.
References used include :   Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority
                                               Birdlife Australia
                                               Dept. of Sustainability and Environment
                                               Pizzey & Knight Field Guide Birds of Australia

  The Brolga sometimes known as the Native Companion (features in some Indigenous art) is a tall silver/grey native crane up to 1.3 m tall  .

  Annually post breeding the birds congregate in large flocks where it is famed for intricate dancing displays prior to moving to isolated nesting sites.

  They prefer to live in well vegetated wetlands, flood plains or isolated swamps where it feeds on a wide variety of wetland plants, insects and amphibians.

   The brolga was once widely spread through Tropical and Eastern Australia but is now regarded as vulnerable in NSW, Vic, and SA.
 Numbers are secure in NT, nth Qld and north WA. Where large flocks are not unusual.

   Populations have been steadily reduced since European settlement.

   In the Western District of Victoria numbers have dwindled to about 500 birds.  It was only in the 1980’s that it was realised that the Brolga were in trouble and moves were made by bird groups and dedicated landholders to improve habitat.
   At that rate of loss it is possible that the birds would have died out in our children’s lifetime. They are still vulnerable because 53% of wetlands have disappeared through –
-        drainage of swamps & wetlands
-       poor management, overstocking, plantation expansion
-       introduced animals such as foxes and cats

                        - Lets hope they survive

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Some favourite birds

Wednesday16th Jan
Some of my favourite birds . Mostly under threat because of human intervention.
Major causes are loss of habitat through inappropriate development such as clearing, building too close to the foreshore and  beach activities. Some other examples are horses, unleashed dogs and quad bikes. Another major problem is the spread of foxes and uncontrolled cats.
Sadly many of these birds will not survive for your grandchildren to enjoy.
Red-capped Plover


Crested Tern

Pied Oystercatcher

Australasian Gannet

Red-capped Robin

Monday, 7 January 2013

Short-tailed Shearwaters

Short-tailed Shearwater, commonly known as Mutton Birds because of its fatty flesh and oil content.
 Once heavily hunted but now protected in Victoria.
A migratory bird that circumnavigates the Pacific but returns to Southern waters each year to breed.
The Colony on Griffiths Island and Pea Soup at Port Fairy are rare mainland colonies. The majority of nesting burrows are on off shore Islands in Bass Strait.

A visit to Port Fairy in the Summer will be rewarded with the experience of many thousands of birds returning at sunset to feed chicks

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Getting started with Hoodies

 Port Fairy  -- the” Worlds most Liveable Small Town”  also enjoys beautiful sunsets
A walk along the beach in the cool of the evening after a very hot day. Smoke from the Nelson fires helped colour the sun.
A pair of hooded plovers survived the searing heat on the sand. Lets hope the eggs did not boil. Difficult for the species to survive. Go to the My Hoodie link to see how you can help.

3 little eggs - a rare sight