Masked Lapwing chicks already!

To: "Elizabeth Shaw" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: Masked Lapwing chicks already!
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:23:23 +1000
I agree Elizabeth, that your nesting Masked Lapwings are early starters but they are not the only ones. At the Eastern Treatment Plant, near Carrum SE of Melbourne we had a pair on 4 eggs on 27 March and on our count on 24 April, that pair had two small, possibly a week or less old, chicks. Another winter breeder, Black Swan, is also nesting early. That day, Easter Sunday, there were already 10 broods of cygnets and another 10 pairs had nests. That was from a total of 329 adults. Mind you, the brood size tended to be small. Many wetland birds e.g. Chestnut Teal, Pacific Black Duck, Hardhead & Black-fronted Dotterel have been breeding continuously throughout spring and summer and haven't stopped yet! Australasian Grebes have amassed in unprecedented numbers. Each successive month we break the record! On 24 April the total was 372! Mind you the area of water on the Plant is also a record. All the holding basins are almost full and even the surrounds below the banks are inundated. One Common Sandpiper likes it so much that it has delayed its northward migration. Danny Rogers tells me that it will go because this is the only northern hemisphere breeding shorebird for which there are no records of overwintering in Australia.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza  VIC 3930
Tel  (03) 9787 7136

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