The Hooded Plover breeding season has come to an end for this year.
The results have been disappointing, which show the vulnerability of this species in their attempts to breed successively, given all the pressures placed on them.
Grainne Maguire (Project Manager, Beach-nesting Birds project) has provided a summary for this year:
- Point Addis: 1 nest, eggs hatched but failed at chick stage, 0 fledglings.
- Point Roadknight tip: 2 nests, 2 eggs successfully hatched, 2 fledglings in total (1 per nest), flagged ‘EH’ and ‘DZ’.
- Point Roadknight west to 97 W: 2 nests, 1 failed at the egg stage, 1 hatched but the chick lost, 1 survivor up to day 30.
- O’Donohue Road: 1 nest, eggs hatched but lost chicks, 0 fledglings.
- Aireys Inlet: 3 nests, 2 failures at the egg stage, 1 hatched but lost chicks, 0 fledglings.
- Overall 5 pairs, 22 eggs, 14 chicks, 2 fledglings.
The two new locations for breeding provide optimism, and while they weren’t successful this season, we know that once awareness improves, and there is some targeted fox control, the chances of successful breeding should improve.
On Wednesday, 21 March, an Ecologic snorkelling group spotted a number of stingrays at the Lorne Pier. The group saw an Eagle Ray, a Smooth-backed Ray, and, in particular, a Melbourne Skate, which is the largest of the Australian skates. The one observed was about 1.7 m in length and more than 1 m across the disc. They are generally pale brown or grey on the back, and are found along the southern Australian coast. Skates have small teeth and dig in the sand for crabs, shrimp and small fishes. The group of snorkelers was about three metres above the skate, and could clearly see the animal’s long, slitted eyes. (Web editors note – a good picture can be found at http://australianmuseum.net.au/image/Melbourne-Skate-Spiniraja-whitleyi)
A group, led by Peter Crowcroft, on a recent night excursion at Moggs Creek, was fortunate to see a Sugar Glider, a Yellow-bellied Glider, a Boobook Owl and a Koala.
Peter also witnessed in Anglesea, on another occasion, a Nankeen Kestrel swooping on, and taking a small bat.