Saturday, 16 February 2013

Shore Bird Count

17 / 2 / 2013
  A magnificent morning to walk along Port Fairy coastline. Very low tide and a  gentle breeze off the water.
Not many birds apart from the usual residents
Hooded Plovers have had a successful breeding season to date. The pair that we have been monitoring have apparently fledged their two chicks and are showing signs of wanting to nest again.
A pair further down the beach have 4 chicks several weeks old and look good. Most unusual to have 4.
Another pair may have a nest
Fortunately these beaches are isolated, very rocky and not used by large numbers of visitors.

A highlight for us was finding a female Red-capped Plover and nest. We have not seen these birds on these beaches for 2 years. Once quite common.

Female Red-capped Plover

Male Red-capped Plover

Red-capped Plover nest

Friday, 15 February 2013

Hoodies survive

Small Blog today. Been occupied elsewhere.

Our last visit to the beach to look at progress of "our nest" found 2 adults recently banded by Birds Australia. One with an orange flag on the left upper leg and one with an orange flag on the right upper leg. There were also 2 chicks well feathered and close to flying

Weather conditions have been fine for humans but rough for new chicks.
Very strong S/E winds with considerable sand drift and exceptionally high tides with water reaching to within meters of the dunes.

2 nests and adults further down the beach seem to have disappeared. Reports from friends observing other sites record the same problem.

Tomorrow is the official count of Shorebirds so it will be interesting to see what is further down the Coast. Hopefully some photos .

One interesting contact from friends in Horsham who were travelling along a road near Patchewollock (in the Mallee) was a sighting of 68 Mallee Fowl feeding on spilt Canola grain along the roadside. Exciting for birdos as the bird is regarded as vulnerable in Victoria. All adult birds so where were the young and how did the birds know the grain was there?    ( Perhaps they use Twitter or Facebook)

Mallee Fowl