Here are some details on the American Golden Plover. The bird was found at
Yallock Creek during the BOCA Western Port survey on Saturday, 8 February,
and was still there on Tuesday 11 February. It roosts with Pacific Golden
Plover for at least four hours over high tide, in short grass close to the
sea. There were 32 Golden Plover there on Saturday and 25 on Tuesday. As
the tide drops, the flock flies to feed on mudflats at the mouth of the
Bunyip River nearby. To get to the roost, drive along the South Gippsland
Hwy past the Kooweerup Swamp viewing tower, and turn right down Beatties Rd
(Lane?) well before crossing Yallock Creek. Park before the gates at the
end of the road, and walk through the left-hand property to the sea. The
plovers roost in grass behind the closest bit of coast from the end of
Beatties Road, which is the furthest section of beach from Yallock Creek
(there are mangroves etc. running from there back to Bunyip River). The
landowners, Mr & Mrs. Prens, are pleased to have a rare bird here and happy
for birders to cross their land as long as they obey the usual rules. In
1. Don't drive through the gates.
2. Don't disturb cows because they are calving.
There is no need to contact them if small groups are involved. If coming
with a large group (3+ carfulls), please ring them in advance; contact me,
Mike Carter or RAOU for phone number. But small groups should not ring
because it is important not to bother them with too many phone calls. It is
important to respect their privacy, especially if visiting on the
early-morning tides at the weekend.
The bird was found by myself and Tania Ireton on Saturday, and its identity
confirmed by Mike Carter on Tuesday. With a difficult species like this, it
is important that good notes are taken by many people. Mike says two
features that have not yet been noticed are the number of primary points
visible beyond the last tertial, and how far back the next tertial comes. I
hope lots of people see the bird, and take sufficient notes to establish its
identity convincingly. Please take care not to disturb it unduly, for its
sake and because many other people want to see it too. Also please take
care to maintain our good relationship with the landowners.