Lack of hoodie chicks on the Bellarine

Andrew's willie wagtail in Geelong.

I haven’t spent any time on the beach with the hooded plovers this week because there have been no chicks around Ocean Grove.

There were a few nests around the Bellarine at 9W and 17W, but high tides on Thursday night engulfed the nests.

At Point Lonsdale 2W the fledgling nicknamed by volunteers as ‘Jeffo’ is still around. Please adhere to dog regulations and signs when walking dogs on the beach.

One my way to work during the week I was thrilled to spot a little eagle in Leopold near Lake Connewarre.

As I was photographing it a wedge-tailed eagle flew underneath, which was unexpected and pleasant. The wedgie looked to be a young bird with lighter brown plumage and was very similar to the bird I saw on the farm in Wallington last week. It’s impossible to know if they were the same bird or there may be two wedgie juveniles flying around the Bellarine.

I took a drive to Hospital Swamp and spotted a willie wagtail family and the three fledglings were very bossy towards the parent birds, who were busy trying to catch enough insects to feed the three of them. It was quite comical to watch.

I also saw around 15 red-browed finches that included around five juveniles. The juvenile birds have black bills and no red plumage on the face.

There were also two dusky woodswallow fledglings at Hospital Swamp being fed by parent birds.

I drove past a farm in Marcus Hill where, over the past few years, I’ve noticed black-fronted dotterels with fledglings feeding around the farm dam. So far this summer I have not seen any, but this time I saw two adult birds and one fledgling. This is the third year I’ve seen these birds in the same place and it’s difficult to know if the adult birds are the same pair, but it was lovely to see them.

I received an email from Andrew who also noticed a willie wagtail nest alongside the Barwon River in Geelong. The two hatchlings barely fitted into the nest as you can see from Andrew’s photo, so they have probably left the nest by now.

I heard from Alan who regularly walks around Blue Waters Lake in Ocean Grove. Alan noted that the prevailing easterly winds seem to be bringing different birds to Blue Waters Lake almost daily.

A great crested grebe was present at the lake for about a week but is no longer there and the Latham’s snipe also seems to have moved on.

Four Australasian shovelers were present one evening but gone the next morning.

An Australian hobby landed in a tree right in front of Alan and remained there for a few hours.

The next morning the hobby was nowhere to be found but two musk lorikeets were happily feeding on a flowering gum nearby.

Alan noted that some spotted pardalotes have been seen around the lake and commented that it would be nice to see some of these smaller birds back, but the noisy miners seem to chase the smaller birds away so they do not stay long.