Welcome to the News section of the iNSiGHT Ornithology website (
www.simoncherriman.com). This blog contains updates about various things I've been up to, interesting environmental issues and observations I make regularly while going about my day. It is designed to be fun AND educational, and inspire you about our wonderful natural world. Happy reading!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Dotterel Eggs

Today while conducting nest surveys as part of my Wedge-tailed Eagle research at Lorna Glen, I was fortunate to be with a fellow ornithologist Neil Hamilton when he spotted this very camouflaged nest. Can you spot the eggs? They look just like small rocks and have been laid on a patch of bare ground next to a small wetland. The owner is a pretty little species of waterbird - the Black-fronted Dotterel (Elseyornis melanops). The eggs are beautifully marked and although they should seem obvious out in the open, they actually blend in very well.

I am always amazed how waterbirds can turn up in the most remote deserts and breed when claypans are inundated. This rare event sets the surrounding ecosystem flourishing and gives birds like dotterels and other species the chance to reproduce quickly. We also found evidence of ducks and grebes breeding, and observed quite large flocks of Zebra Finches still nesting in the area. I am hoping the good conditions will prevail for the next few months as this will give the newly hatched eagle chick we found close by a strong chance of survival.

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