Hooded Plovers - Mornington Peninsula N P, Vic

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Subject: Hooded Plovers - Mornington Peninsula N P, Vic
From: "Val Ford" <>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2004 09:46:29 +1100
Hi all

I monitor 3 pairs of Hooded Plovers on 3 beaches in the Mornington Peninsula NP. [Their breeding territories are such that they won't allow any other HPs to share their beach]. Each year during the breeding season - end of August to beginning of March - I check the breeding status of the birds at least twice a week. And on nearly every occasion I usually come home very frustrated. Nests - whether on the beach or up in the dunes - trampled by humans, nests destroyed by high tides or chicks seen on the beach a day after hatching rarely making it to age 5 days.

However one of 'my' Hooded Plover pairs have already had a breeding success this season - two fledged young from their first nest attempt. One of the advantages of having a wet and cool spring is that people, and their dogs, are deterred from using the beaches and thus the disturbance to the birds is very reduced.

The fate of the other two pairs:
1.  Now onto their third nesting attempt.
The first containing 3 eggs was either trampled or demolished by a high tide. Second nest not found. Their third nest, with 3 eggs, is on a foredune. Laying only finished late last week so all I can do is hope that the 4 weeks incubation goes OK, chicks do hatch and the weather stays cold and wet for another 3 months.

2. This pair always nest high up in the dunes and they are also onto their third nesting attempt. I suspect that the first eggs probably hatched but the chicks were gone before I saw them. On their second attempt the nest area was trampled. I haven't found their current nest but am seeing a single bird on the beach - a sign that they are nesting.

However whilst walking the beaches at this time of the year one is always cheered up by seeing Striated Fieldwrens perched on the tops of the foredune vegetation singing their hearts out.

Friend of the Mornington Peninsula Hooded Plovers
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