For almost three months a stalwart group of volunteers have been taking 2-4 hour shifts and also doing lots of spot checks on the endangered Hooded Plovers at Red Rocks. After complete failure at three tries last season, this season the birds successfully hatched and reared three chicks who are now all banded and flying.
Most of the volunteers are PICS members. On behalf of everyone we would like to thank the volunteers, especially Sue who organised them, and also Jon Fallaw from Phillip Island Nature Parks whose dedication to these birds is second to none.
We now have over 40 Hooded Plovers on Phillip Island – testimony to the crew and to beach users of Phillip Island who have considerably modified their behaviour to fit in with the birds. Here are most of the Red Rocks crew who we have to thank for the birds’ success this season (photo Maurice Schenkel):
JANUARY 3rd 2014
The three Red Rocks Hooded Plover chicks were banded yesterday (2.1.14) so we can trace what happens to them in the future – hopefully they will mate up and breed in a few years time. The chicks were also measured, weighed and had some feathers removed from under the wing for DNA testing to determine if they are male or female.Here are Hooded Plover Watch volunteers Sue, Kaye and Wayne about to release the chicks after banding.
JANUARY 2nd 2014
Happy New Year everyone! Our precious Hooded Plover family at Red Rocks had a torrid introduction to 2014, with a gang of revelers on their beach, pulling down the rope from their refuge area, trying to burn posts on the beach, letting off fireworks on the beach and generally creating havoc. Fortunately the birds have a nearby creek they can retreat to, and both adults and all three chicks have survived the ordeal. Only one week to go before the young are fledged! Many thanks to Sue and her group of dedicated volunteers who have kept watch over the family for the last few months since the adults started nesting. Thanks also to Alan Hope for this photo of one of the adults and the three chicks on Red Rocks beach. They’re well camouflaged, but they are there!
Read more about the journey of these Hooded Plovers and see beautiful photos from Kim Wormald at www.lirralirra.com