Guest Post: Geelong Lutheran College Coast Guardians 2015

GORCC’s Coast Guardians program is a special, ongoing program created for year 9 students from four local and regional schools. Each school works on protecting and enhancing a local coastal area. Here is a blog post from Annalyse, Brittany, Cameron and Lilly from Geelong Lutheran College about their Coast Guardians experience this year: Read more

Rare bird’s distinct call

You may have heard the unique vocal call of the Rufous Bristlebird, but did you know that the Surf Coast is one of the last places in the world that you are likely to see these birds?

Adult male- Rufous Bristlebird- photo courtesy of
Adult male- Rufous Bristlebird- photo courtesy of

The Rufous Bristlebird (Dasyorni Broadbenti) is only found in Australia with a predominance along coastal areas in south-western Victoria.  The species have previously been sighted in south-western Western Australia and south-eastern South Australia, but unfortunately frequent burning has led to its extinction in W.A.

The medium-sized songbird has a loud and distinctive vocal call which makes the bird easily identifiable.

Click here to hear the vocal call between two Rufous Bristlebirds, courtesy of the Internet Bird Collection.

The Rufous Bristlebird is threatened nationwide due to habitat loss from clearing for urban developments and agriculture. They are also prone to predation from foxes and cats.

There have been sightings of the rare bird along the coast between Anglesea and the Gelenlg River.

Have you seen or heard a Rufous Bristlebird in your area? Let us know in the comments below.

For more information about the rare bird click here.

Star single dad’s success

Two Hooded Plover chicks at Moggs Creek have overcome all odds and taken flight, a feat made even more impressive given they were raised by a single dad.

Four vulnerable Hooded Plover chicks on the Surf Coast have fledged after surviving the dangerous 60 days to fledging since 2010.

Hooded Plover chick
Hooded Plover chick

The chicks’ mother perished in what is thought to have been a dog, fox or cat attack earlier in 2015, while their sibling was taken by a fox.

The Hooded Plovers have one of the lowest survival rate of any species in the world at 2.5% and are listed as vulnerable under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999.

Volunteers, Birdlife Australia staff and the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) team worked tirelessly to protect the precious little family, attempting to protect them from the many threats these beach-nesting birds face.

The 2015 breeding season is still in full swing, with one three-week-old Hooded Plover chick still battling to survive at Point Roadknight.

‘Save the Hoodie’ campaign signs have been installed across the Surf Coast in breeding zones, urging beachgoers to stay well away from nests and keep dogs out of these areas.

(L-R) American ecologist Tim Seastedt, GORCC conservation supervisor Georgie Bealse, American scientist Kathy Tate and Friends of the Hooded Plover Surf Coast volunteers Ethorne Mitchell and Mandy Mitchell
(L-R) American ecologist Tim Seastedt, GORCC conservation supervisor Georgie Bealse, American scientist Kathy Tate and Friends of the Hooded Plover Surf Coast volunteers Ethorne Mitchell and Mandy Mitchell keep predators away from the Hooded Plovers.

Friends of the Hooded Plovers volunteer Margaret MacDonald is thankful to the community for their cooperation over the breeding season.

“The birds have had to learn to live with a lot of people around in the holiday season and it has been fantastic to see everyone taking more care around the nests.

“People have been responding well to the information and have been very supportive of the work we are doing to protect the Hooded Plovers,” Ms MacDonald said.

The volunteers patrol the breeding sites for a month before the eggs hatch and then increase patrols 30 days after hatching to protect the chicks from predators.

“The chicks would not have survived without the volunteers support so it’s a great achievement by all.

This article was published in the Surf Coast Times Green the Coast column.

For information about how to save of precious Hooded Plovers click here.

Have you entered the Save the Hoodie comptetition yet? Times running out! For more details click here