The winning names of two of our plovers have been revealed following a poll via the Southern Times Messenger, and two chicks have just fledged (grown large enough to fly) for the first time locally in two years.
Have a sticky beak below to get up to speed on the great news for these nationally vulnerable birds.
What’s in a name?
Earlier this month we asked for the public’s help to name a pair of Hooded Plovers that have been together in Onkaparinga for almost a decade – longer than any other pair in the region.
We were flooded with responses and, putting five shortlisted names to a poll via the Southern Times Messenger, we now have the winners [drum roll, please]: Harvey and Daphne!
The winning names were nominated by several people on our Facebook page (with Harvey and Daphne referencing the “HV” and “DP” on the birds’ identification tag codes), but it was Gill Jordan of Flagstaff Hill who suggested it first – congrats, Gill!
Harvey and Daphne have not had any chicks survive the past three years, but before that they’d successfully raised four chicks over eight years. We hope this will be a better season for them.
In a curious twist this week, “Sandy” – another celebrity Hooded Plover that hatched in Seacliff in January to much fanfare – paid Harvey and Daphne a visit at Port Willunga, presumably to see what all the fuss has been about!
Meet our new chicks
In fantastic news, invaluable volunteers Sue and Ash Read discovered two chicks (not Harvey and Daphne’s) have now become juveniles, after spotting the birds flying along the beach at Ochre Cove!
These are the first two chicks that have fledged in Onkaparinga in two years, and the first multiple fledglings in eight years.
To put the news into context, last breeding season on the Fleurieu Peninsula region there were 33 breeding pairs, 86 attempts at a nest, 223 eggs, 46 chicks and only 10 fledged Hoodies, with none in the Onkaparinga region.
So far this season we’ve had 14 nests from seven different pairs, with the breeding season running until March.
Keeping them safe
City of Onkaparinga’s Nature Conservation and Ranger teams help support Hooded Plovers through temporary exclusion zones and signage, in partnership with passionate local Hoodie Helper volunteers who monitor the birds and raise awareness in our community (with support from BirdLife Australia and Natural Resources Management Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges).
To do your part to protect our Hoodies while they are breeding, keep your dogs on a leash in the vicinity of council’s temporary beach restrictions, and obey any temporary parking controls posted on beaches that allow vehicle access.
You can keep up-to-date with our plovers’ progress on the City of Onkaparinga Facebook page throughout the breeding season.