BIRD observers worried about a hooded plover seen limping at Flinders ocean beach called for help from Birdlife Australia’s Dr Kasun Ekanayake, who was able to catch the bird.
The plover, which had been limping for two to three weeks, was then taken to the Main Ridge vet Dr Kristin Wolfe who untangled a length of fishing line embedded in the bird’s foot. The foot needed to have one toe amputated which had become gangrenous.
After overnighting at a house in Flinders, Dr Ekanayake returned the next morning (Thursday 10 March) and, with Friends of the Hooded Plover group member Penny Johns, took it back to the beach.
“After taking the dressing off the foot was found to be clean and healthy. The bird was given a small dose of an antibiotic, banded with a numbered metal band and an engraved flag, white TT,” Ms Johns said.
“It was quite overwhelming to see her run off along the beach and immediately start eating.”
Ms Johns said the plover was soon joined by a mate familiar to bird observers as it had been tagged in April 2013, making it nearly nine years old.
“The hooded plover is on the verge of extinction in Victoria with only 3000 individuals remaining in south-eastern Australia, and 550 in Victoria,” Ms Johns said.
“Dogs on beaches are one of their greatest threats because, if they have eggs or chicks and are disturbed, the adults will likely desert the nest.”
Anyone wanting to volunteer for the Friends of Hooded Plover Mornington Peninsula should go to hoodedplover.com or email Mark Lethlean at firstname.lastname@example.org