Tweed Osprey Group Report – December 2010
Our yearly gathering was held at 9am on Saturday 4 December at the National Parks and wildlife office in Murwillumbah.
Present: Allan Goodwin (NPWS), Helen Manning, Jo-Ann and David Palmer, Rewa Jarman, Elizabeth Allan, Megan Elliot, Faye Hill.
Apologies: Laurel Allsopp, Lawrie Garriock, Blair Slight, Troy O’Keefe, Robert Ford, Maria and Len Hogg
Morning tea was again enjoyed by us all, and thanks to Allan for the coffee and tea.
Breeding Results 2010
It was quite a difficult season for observers this year due both to the personal events in the lives of some of us restricting opportunities to visit nests, and to the weather. With so much wet weather adults and chicks may have remained sheltered deep in nests more often than in other years making it harder to determine what was happening.
5 sets of twins and 6 single chicks fledged successful – total 16. This was 3 less than last year when 19 chicks fledged, but still a good result (see All Year Summary, attached). Another may have fledged from T23 – Hastings Pt but as no chicks were observed until the very end of the season when a possible fledgling was observed, this chick is not included in the final tally.
All pairs occupying nest sites in the Tweed attempted to breed (total of 18 pairs). Nests were rebuilt, adults were observed sitting low, and the season looked set to be an excellent one. However 5 attempts failed to produce chicks, and one (T9 – Mooball Trig) lost 2 chicks in mid August. A chick was also lost from this nest in 2008.
- The Fingal School nest was not rebuilt this year, and no Eastern Ospreys were reported in the area.
- No observations of breeding Eastern Ospreys were made in the Brunswick area this season.
- No attempts to locate nest in the Cobaki Lakes Estate were made this year.
No chicks were banded this year as it was difficult to determine the number and ages of chicks at accessible nests.
There were several sightings along Mooball Creek, Pottsville during 2010 of the chicks banded at Pottsville Nth Holiday Park last year. Both fledglings (Black over Red, and Black over Green) were sighted together along Mooball Creek on 21 February, 4 March, and 7 April. Black over Green was sighted alone on 14 April and 23 September. Black over Red was sighted alone on 24 Jul and 20 August. There have been no sightings of the 2 chicks banded at Boyds Bay Bridge last year.
An apparently well-established, but previously unknown nest was located at the end of the breeding season on the Cobaki Broadwater in a large dead tree. One adult was present on a nearby tree. This pair could possibly be the one displaced from Buckleys Estate some time after 2000. Allan Goodwin will investigate access to this nest and obtain a map of the area so we can locate a good place from which to observe this nest. A group walk into the area can then be organised.
A smaller nest was located in a big dead tree on Big Island in the Terranora Broadwater after the breeding season with one adult perched close to the nest. This site has not been used since 2006 when the nest tree collapsed, and it is exciting that the site is again in use. Both of these sites will be monitored next year.
T25 – BP Chinderah
The very tall pole on which this nest has been located since 2003 was deemed to be unstable and in need of removal. Country Energy removed the electric wires from it, and erected a new pole with a cradle and perch nearby, without disturbing the nesting pair. They waited until the 2 chicks in the nest had safely fledged, and then transferred the entire nest to the new cradle in one move. At the same time they removed the top section of the old pole so the birds would not be tempted to return to the higher perch. The whole event attracted media attention, and happily the Ospreys have accepted their new home. Allan Goodwin will contact Country Energy to convey our appreciation of their consideration and sensitivity to the nesting Ospreys.
T36 Blackwatch (Tweed Valley Way) – 2 chicks were reared in this nest, which was again located amidst power lines (third year!) Allan Goodwin will contact Country Energy about erecting an artificial structure for this pair now that nesting is finished.
No perch has been erected on the pole located near the coast end of the Cudgen Ck Bridge, Kingscliff as was suggested last year. Allan will follow this up.
Fishing Line Problems
Helen reported that the 2 chicks in the T21 – Kingscliff Coast Guard nest survived unscathed despite a fish with fishing line attached being delivered to the nest by an adult.
An adult male from the T13 – Boyds Bay Bridge nest was less fortunate. It was captured by Fire Station officers on 15 September and taken into care at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Veterinary Hospital with severe damage to its foot caused by entanglement in fishing line. Despite 10 days of intensive treatment the bird did not recover and was euthenased. Luckily the chick from this nest managed to fledge despite the loss of one parent.
* Thanks to all who monitored nests this season, and to Allan Goodwin for his support *
Faye Hill 12 December 2010