On Saturday(27th) I spent a great day at
Inverloch(Sth Gippsland, Vic) attending a Hooded Plover workshop organised by
Mike Weston (Birds Australia) and Thierry Rolland. I was asked to give a talk on
my experience of 10 years of counting Hoodies on the Mornington Peninsula. The
local group down there are very enthusiastic and very protective of their pair
of Plovers that attempt to nest each year on an area of beach fairly close to
the town and much used by locals and their dogs. They have taken the step of
fencing the birds off and erecting signs to alert people to the plight of the
Hoodies. Last year after many years of nest failure the pair managed to raise a
couple of chicks and it is a great credit to the local volunteers and
A pair of Red- capped Plovers have also taken
advantage of the fence and are nesting within close proximity of the Hoodies. It
is almost as though they know that this is a safe area.
Michele Damschke and I stayed the night and the
next day we walked in to Observation Point, situated on the Rhyll Inlet at
Phillip Island. Observation Point can be viewed from the other side of the inlet
from the cliff top but even with a scope the waders are a long way off. We had
excellent views of 4 Great Knot in partial breeding plumage, 20 + Red Knot, also
in partial breeding plumage, over 200 Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eastern
Curlew, Greenshank and a few Red-necked Stints together with Caspian and
Crested Terns and Pied Oystercatchers.
The most interesting sighting for the day was an
albino Magpie feeding in a paddock opposite the turn off to the Penguin Parade.
It looked most odd and was feeding on it's own although there were other Magpies
in the vicinity. Has anyone else seen this bird?