G'day bird observers
Not only are these plovers in trouble, so are many ducks. Yesterday
in Gardiners Creek Walk, a woman with three large dogs and a young
couple with her was throwing a ball out onto the pond near the reeds
for the dogs to retrieve. When one of the dogs gave up chasing the
ball and took off after a pair of Pacific Black Duck and their 3 very
small ducklings, she started yelling at the dog which took no
notice. I could not help bellow out to her "Irresponsible dog owner
- how many ducklings has it in its mouth" she replied "none" I
responded "the dog should be on a leash", She replied "It is now" .
"Thanks " - was my reply.
In the last four years, Australian Wood Duck, Pacific Black Duck, and
Chestnut Teal have all hatched eggs in Wurundjeri Walk (Blackburn
South, Melbourne), but none have raised any. Dogs, foxes and cats
are all still to be seen in the walk, which has the requirement that
dogs be on leashes. At least half of the dogs are off their leashes.
So what do ducks do? In NZ and West Aust, they used to find safety
in the suburban lakes and creeks (I hope they still do) but in
Victoria, they get shot if they leave the suburbs and their offspring
get eaten if they stay. What a dilemma.
Actually There are 8 more-than-half-grown Wood Ducklings wandering
along the creek and feeding on the lawns of the Advent Care -
Whitehorse (Old Folks Home) in Nunawading. So maybe we should invest
in more aged-care facilities.
I hope somebody has a better story.
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