The Hooded Plover breeding season is now in full swing. However it did not get off to a great start with several pairs losing their nests to either fox predation or storm-driven tides washing their eggs away. The pair at Ochre Cove are already on their third nest this season having lost their first nest to a fox while their second was washed away. Several pairs however are doing well with the Port Willunga pair due to have their eggs hatch by the time this article is published.
Once hatched, it takes 5 weeks for the chicks to be able to fly and during this time they are very vulnerable to a variety of threats ranging from adverse weather to a variety of predators. Once they have fledged (are flying) their chances of survival increase dramatically. If you are walking on a beach where there are signs indicating chicks are present please do not disturb them as they will go into hiding and this prevents them from feeding. If you walking your dog on the beach, please keep it on a leash when chicks are present as they may be feeding anywhere on the beach.
We have gained an additional pair this season which have nested at Moana Beach. This beach last had a Hooded Plover pair nest in 2010 and had not been used since. Unfortunately, their nest was predated by a fox, but the plovers are still in the area and hopefully will nest again soon.
The “Hoodie walk and talks” beach visit mentioned in the September edition of “Coastal Views” has now been scheduled for Tuesday 1st October at Snapper Point from 2:30pm to 4:00pm. Just turn up if you are interested in learning more about Hooded Plovers and other birds that inhabit our local beaches.
The Beach Nesting Birds team at Birdlife Australia have produced a short, animated video illustrating the trails and triumphs of a typical Hooded Plover breeding season titled “Plight of the Hoodie: a little Aussie battler”. It can be viewed at https://yuotu.be/L31yWS7NnVc