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Message from Diane Lewis

To all members and friends

Yesterday, Tamara from PV was able to report that another 2 chicks have fledged.

9 chicks now have fledged on the Mornington Peninsula.
Wonderful news.
There is only one active nest now and that is at Bushrangers Bay.
The birds are now flocking at Franklin Rd and St Andrew’s Beach so looks like the breeding season has finished.
Still worth keeping our eyes open, not all the birds are flocking yet so some may attempt to have another nest.
Today we say goodbye to Tamara  – Parks Victoria’s hooded plover summer ranger.
Tamara has been walking our beaches for last three months.
She has visited each chick daily, found nests,erected temporary fences,checked and updated signs, put out shelters and moved banners along the beach as adult hoodies move their chicks.
You have done a great job Tamara
Good luck with your  studies this year and we all look forward to seeing you on our beaches again next season.
Friends of the Hooded Plover
Mornington Peninsula inc

Hooded Plover Chick Status, Mornington Peninsula NP

It has been a few weeks since the last update on Hooded Plover chicks in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

One of the St Andrews Beach chicks died but fortunately the other fledged. As the breeding season gets closer to ending, there is a high likelihood more chicks will fledge this season than the last.

There is also a good chance a chick may fledge at Koonya Beach, Blairgowrie. There are a number of active volunteers who monitor birds on this beach and I’m sure we all agree, it would be great if they were rewarded with a brand new fully grown Hooded Plover. Keep your fingers crossed.

There are still some birds on nests which means more chicks are possible.

Below is a map indicating the location and number of chicks currently in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.


Chicks on Morn Pen 2013

St Andrews Chicks 24 days old and there’s more

The two St Andrews Chicks situated at the end of Moana Court, St Andrews (Mornington Peninsula) are at least 24 days old and looking good.

But there’s more. There are five chicks at Gunnamatta from two nests, there is one chick at Koonya and two chicks nearby the Rye car park.

In all on the Mornington Peninsula, there are currently eleven (11) chicks, (including the Montforts chick that fledged).

Below is a picture of the area where the Moana Court chicks can be found. All being well they could fledge in 10 days, (fingers crossed).


Pano_St Andrews Moana Crt (East) 1


Montforts chicks fledge,(and Black Rock, Breamlea)

You can never give up on Hooded Plovers.

Despite all the things that could have gone wrong for this little bird at Montforts beach, it still managed to fledge.

Good news for this area of the Mornington Peninsula, considering many “not so good” seasons and confirmation on the resilience of this species.

But there is more. As I type, I’ve been informed by a volunteer on the other side of Port Phillip, (via twitter) that two chicks have fledged at Black Rock, Breamlea. Well done to the Breamlea volunteers.

When chicks fledge, you realise the sacrifice is worth it.


Montforts chick fledged entrance sign


Monforts chick about to fledge and St Andrews chicks still alive !

The Montforts chick is still alive and expected to fledge very soon.

It was seen this morning running off to hide amongst the rocks and vegetation.


Montforts map no aerial 5-01-2013

And the two St Andrews chicks at Moana Court, are also still alive. This morning they were feeding outside the fenced area.


Moana Court map no aerial 05-01-2013






Monforts, still alive – St Andrews, possibly also alive

Some good news for Hooded Plovers, the Montforts chick was still alive on the 4th of Jan 2013, (C/o Diane Lewis) and the latest on the St Andrews chicks: they were also with us on the 2nd of Jan 2013 (C/o Parks Victoria).

Unfortunately this blog was unable to load great pictures of the Montforts chick unless we agreed to: not have any negative comments about Parks Victoria.  That was difficult because Parks Victoria virtually ignored the Montforts chicks the moment they hatched.

For the first 11 days of their feeble existence after hatching from an egg smaller than a 20 cent coin, Parks Victoria could not put a laminated A4 sign on a post in a car park, let alone further along the track to the beach or actually on the beach.  The chicks were on their own in a National Park dealing with dogs off lead. No, this is not a third world nation, it’s Australia!

In light of the restriction using photographs of the chick at Montforts, I have drawn a quick sketch of how the chick should appear at < 35 days compared to an adult. All being well this little chick and its parents can celebrate a good 2013.

Adult and chick <35 days

Montforts Chick is still alive and looking good

The Montforts Chick is still alive and looking good. It expected to fledge on the 7 – 8th of January. Keep your fingers and toes crossed.

But wait, there’s more. We also have two chicks at St Andrews Beach, access from Moana Court. Two chicks are a few days old and are getting great protection from Parks Victoria. There are also other nests along this beach which are due to hatch soon.

And the really good news is most dog walkers are keeping their dogs on a lead. Over 90% compliant on Sunday morning.


Montfords Beach chicks Dec 2012






Moana Court Dec - Jan 2012

Two chicks at Montforts Beach, Blairgowrie

There are two 11 day old Hooded Plover chicks at Montforts Beach Blairgowrie, (seen Saturday the 15th December).

Montfords Beach chicks Dec 2012

It is unlikely they will last too much longer but a plan has been provided to Parks Victoria in relation to signage, (see below). It would be nice if Parks Victoria did something useful.


Tempory signage strategy for Montforts Beach


Point King Hooded Plover chick nearly made it but a dog. . . . .

The Hooded Plover breeding season has well and truly started and for a change, we had a chick on the Port Phillip Bay side of the Mornington Peninsula. This quiet little beach has limited access by the general public and so a pair of Hooded Plovers successfully established a nest, laid eggs and cared for a chick for nearly 30 days or more . . . . but then, a dog was seen attacking the chick and killing it.

This is quite remarkable considering there is usually a very low chance of observing the death of a Hooded Plover chick, let alone seeing the deceased body but both of these events occurred on Point King beach.

Dogs have a predatory heritage and are designed to kill, which is why dogs are banned in National Parks. But not Parks Victoria. Whilst this beach is not a Parks Victoria reserve, Parks Victoria do allow dogs in the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

Well done Bill Jackson (CEO of Parks Victoria) for allowing dogs in a National Park so they can kill Hooded Plover chicks.

Review of dog regulations in the Mornington Peninsula National Park

During the 2011 – 2012 Hooded Plover breeding season in the Mornington Peninsula National Park  98%  of breeding attempts failed. One of the reasons for this poor result was disturbance to chicks caused by dogs allowed onto beaches where Hooded Plovers nest.

To help rectify this anomaly of allowing domestic animals in a National Park, Parks Victoria are seeking submissions from the public on a new Hooded Plover strategy for the Mornington Peninsula National Park. One aspect of this strategy is banning dogs from beaches in the National Park.

Below is the link that will take you to the Parks Victoria web site where there is more information on the strategy and instructions to provide a submission.

Attached is a sample letter stating some of the most obvious reasons to support a total ban.

Hooded Plover Submission 1

Please carefully consider the options and lodge a submission to help Hooded Plover chicks survive.