Beach walkers in the Port Wakefield area are asked to join in on the biennial Hooded Plover count along the shoreline between November 7 and 21.
The Natural Resources Northern and Yorke (NRNY) will hold workshops at Hardwicke Bay, Port Wakefield and Port Hughes to help volunteers learn how to identify the birds, tracks in the sand, plants and survey tips. It also gives volunteers an opportunity to sign up for the event.
The hooded plover, easily distinguished by its black ‘hood’, broad white collar across the back of the neck and black tipped beak, the plover traditionally nests in spring and summer along the beaches of the Yorke Peninsula.
The birds breed in November, making it an easy way to gauge numbers as they stay around the same area of the beach.
NRNY community ranger Deborah Furbank says the region provides the perfect nesting place for the bird.
“Nesting on a busy beach may seem like a strange thing to do, but when the tiny chicks hatch they need to be close to their food – seaweed at the water’s edge – as they are unable to move far on their tiny legs.”
Currently considered ‘vunerable to extinction’ in South Australia, the species is already extinct in Queensland and Northern New South Wales.
Training workshops will be held at Port Wakefield on October 21 at 10am in the Newsletter Office, 15 Burra Street; at the Hardwicke Bay Progress Association at 10am on October 22; and at the Port Hughes General Store at 2pm on October 23.