Being a 'Friend of a Hooded Plover' is not easy
this time of the year. If you are a Hooded Plover life is much
The couple of ocean beaches where
I patrol/observe are in the Mornington Peninsula National Park,
southern Victoria. At this time of the year, when the Hooded Plovers are well
into their breeding season, is of course the time
when the beaches are full of holiday people and their uncontrolled dogs.
Some Hooded Plovers may be onto their
3rd clutch in an attempt to get at least one fledged bird for the
year, which unfortunately is most unlikely. One year a observed a pair lay
6 clutches and end up with no fledged young for all their
Yesterday [14/1], whilst checking a pair to see if
they still had chicks I initially thought the parents were hiding the
chicks because of the presence of walkers on the wind swept beach. However I
soon discovered the real reason as I watched a Nankeen Kestrel try to get the 3
five day old chicks
The parents had to work very hard to protect them.
They tried flying around, in all directions, to try and distract
the kestrel then when the kestrel wasn't deterred both parents did frantic
broken wing displays. Luckily a pacific gull flew
over and the kestrel left. As soon as it was 'all clear' the parents moved the
chicks to elsewhere on the beach.
Whilst a friend has seen a Hooded Plover chick taken by a Silver Gull I had
only observed kestrels, Swamp Harriers and Peregrine Falcons 'checking out'
Do I have the nerve to check out the birds today!