The Hooded Plover nesting season has got off to an early start with several nests already in our local area and elsewhere on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Nesting has occurred about 10-14 days earlier than usual (it also appears that other regions are having an early start too).
The birds need your help to breed successfully. If you are walking along a beach where the plovers are nesting (you will see signs and roped off areas), stay close to the water’s edge, as far from the fenced area as possible and don’t linger in the vicinity as the adults will leave the nest and it is then vulnerable to predators and extremes of weather.
Also, if you have a dog please put it on a leash while near the fenced areas. Hooded Plover nesting sites are protected, roped off and signed posted by Council officers with assistance from volunteers to protect the nests from disturbance. So, please be aware that we are sharing the hoodies’ natural breeding zone, and minimise disturbance of the birds while in the vicinity of the roped off areas. It takes 4 weeks for the eggs to hatch after which the chicks need to move around and feed. When you see signs indicating chicks are present please take extra care not to disturb the birds as the chicks will go into hiding which means they can’t feed.
Birdlife Australia has been running a national “Beach Nesting Bird” program for just over 10 years with trained local volunteers managing the Hooded Plovers on our beaches. On the 21st September Birdlife Australia will be holding a free workshop for people who may be interested in learning more about the birds and how to get involved in protecting our local Hooded Plovers. Bookings are essential.
If you are interested in assisting with the monitoring of the birds but are unable to attend either of the workshops please contact Wendy White at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can arrange individual mentoring with our trained volunteers.
There are several 1 hour “Hoodie walk and talks” beach visits planned in the future. Keep an eye out for details.
You can find out more about hooded plovers at http://www.birdlife.org.au/bird-profile/hooded-plover
MASLIN BEACH WORKSHOP:
When: Saturday 21 September
Where: Maslin Beach Community Hall, 7 Parkway Drive, Maslin Beach.
or 0457 333 177, RSVP by 18 Sep
Morning session: 9.15 am – 12.30pm
Join us for a delicious morning tea, learn about the birds, their behaviours, watch amazing video footage of chicks, how we help them, and come along for a beach walk.
Afternoon session: 12.30pm – 2.30pm
Come back for lunch, learn how to monitor these birds and become a Hoodie volunteer!
Beach trip included. Please bring binoculars (if you have them), drinking water and dress according to the weather (rain coat, sun hat, footwear etc). Beach trip includes a short drive to the site.