Wolli plays nursery to doting Dotterel parents for first time ever
Media release: 7 September 2012
A young couple of the feathered kind have settled in Sydney’s inner west with plans of starting a family to the delight of Sydney’s bird watching community and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
For the first time on record, the pair of black-fronted dotterels has set up home on a stony patch of ground at Wolli and NPWS Ranger, Paul Ibbetson, said parks staff were thrilled that the birds had chosen a site that was recently created for migratory birds and local species.
“This is an exciting event for Wolli because it's the first breeding attempt by black-fronted dotterels here that we know of ever, which makes all our efforts creating this new habitat worthwhile,” Mr Ibbetson said.
“We’ve been seeing these birds regularly at a salt marsh that we built at Wolli two years ago, but to have them nest on this newly created area nearby is really special.
“Until a few months back when we first observed them on the salt marsh, the only previous local records were from Barton Park and they were decades ago.
“The Preservation Society and local birders are excited and although the species is not rare elsewhere, it is a rare sight for us here in this very urban part of Sydney.”
Mr Ibbetson said NPWS had cordoned off the area with an exclusion zone and have alerted local dog walkers to avoid the area and keeps dogs on leash at all times.
“The community have been very supportive and these new residents of Wolli have been very warmly welcomed,” Mr Ibbetson said.
“We will be hoping that they are successful in hatching out and raising their new chicks despite the challenges of city life.
“Both parents incubate the eggs and look after the young but as ground nesters they are extremely vulnerable to attack from dogs, foxes and cats.”
The Black-fronted Dotterel is a small wader with a distinctive black face-mask and breast-band and prominent chestnut shoulder feathers. Its legs are pink orange, and the bill is red with a black tip. The dark eye is ringed with red.
The Black-fronted Dotterel eats small molluscs as well as aquatic and terrestrial insects.
Contact: Gabrielle Last
Page last updated: 11 September 2012