South Coast NSW, Nesting Shorebird Update 2

Subject: South Coast NSW, Nesting Shorebird Update 2
From: Mike Jarman <>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2007 16:49:14 +1100
Hi All, here is another installment from Jodie Dunn, South Coast Shorebird 
Recovery Coordinator.  Things are heating up on the south coast

Hi Everyone

The craziness continues with Little Terns nesting at Lake Conjola, Lake 
Wollumboola and Windang. At Conjola there are about 40 adults with 19 nests. 
However two were abandoned and a third was inundated in big seas and tides. The 
electric fence is now up to protect the eggs from the problem fox still in the 
area. But some sand bagging may be needed to protect a few more nests from the 
sea. At Wollumboola there are between 50-70 adults with about 20 nests so far 
and plenty more to come, I suspect. They are spread out all over the place 
making it very difficult for us to fence them all. Hopefully we will get an 
electric fence up next week around the main area and the rest will rely on nest 
cages for protection. At Windang all the effort by NPWS and the Lake Illawarra 
Authority may be finally paying off. The LIA had a ‘Bird Island’ constructed as 
compensatory habitat. We now have 6 nests on the island and about 16 adults 
hanging around. The LIA have dredged the channel again to maintain the 
isolation of the island from the mainland and the local volunteers and I have 
put up signs and fences to protect the nesting birds. The vegetation is 
developing well and hopefully our first chicks will hatch next week! A great 
effort by everyone involved.

More Pied Oystercatcher fledglings! The two chicks at Lake Conjola are now 
flying. This brings the south coast tally up to five. The pair at Narrawalllee 
have renested after losing 2 chicks earlier in the season. We are still waiting 
for our chick at Shoalhaven Heads to fly, should be very soon. At least one 
chick remains of the two in Burrill Lake and he should fly soon too.

The Hooded Plover chicks will be hatching out down at Murramarang National Park 
any day now. They have managed to avoid detection by local ravens so hopefully 
we will have 3 new chicks soon. At Murramarang Aboriginal Area a Hoody pair is 
still sitting on 3 eggs protected from Ravens and the roaming fox by a nest 
cage. At Ulladulla a pair is sitting on 2 eggs also in a protective cage. This 
beach is a problem with off leash dogs, despite being a leashed area. When the 
chicks hatch out I start pulling my hair out. Increased Shoalhaven City Council 
patrols on this beach over the next month would be much appreciated to help 
protect the vulnerable chicks. At Narrawallee Inlet two beautiful chicks 
hatched out last week. At least one remains. I believe the other was lost to 
the problem fox in the area. The Conjola pair have hatched out two chicks at 
Manyana. The third egg did not hatch. When we first discovered the nest it had 
already been visited by a dog whose footprints revealed that he had picked up 
the egg and dropped it a few metres away, causing a small crack in the egg. 
Disappointingly this must have killed the embryo despite our placing it back in 
the nest. The Berrara pair had a third adult hanging around so despite a few 
scrapes it seems like they are still trying to decide who gets the girl. The 
little Hoody with the broken leg has survived to fledge in Booderee National 
Park. The ranger for the area, Tony Carter saw the family just a few days ago 
and amazingly the chick has fledged despite his disability. He should be Ok now 
and easily recognisable.

We undertook another visit to the Sooty Oystercatchers on Brush Island. A few 
weeks ago there were 55 birds on the island with only 2 one egg nests. We 
thought they might be running late or have already lost their nests to a 
predator such as a Swamp Harrier. This second visit again revealed a lot of 
adults with 5 nests. We will hopefully visit again in a few weeks to monitor 
their progress. Penguins were spread all over the island in densities not seen 
previously.  They have responded well since the eradication of introduced rats 
from the island just over two years ago.  On the southern islands (Wasp, 
Grasshopper and Tollgates) every pair of Sooties had a nest or chicks. 
Excitingly Snapper Island in Batemans Bay had 2 breeding pairs, one with a two 
egg nest and the other with chicks. I also assisted the far South Coast 
Shorebird Coordinator, Amy Jorgensen on a survey of Montague Island. This 
survey found about 14 breeding pairs, many had eggs or chicks but their were a 
few pairs with no nests. It’s a beautiful island to visit. Birds galore, with 
Silvergulls, Crested Terns and Little Penguins nesting everywhere.


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