Dotterels defy developers at Snells Beach

By: Craig Powell

A pair of nesting dotterels has survived hell and high water, thanks to a new perch built by a group of Snells Beach residents, led by seabird photographer Michele MacKenzie.

Michele says the dotterels were stuck between a rock and a hard place when developers built a retaining wall ahead of a king tide, blocking the birds’ access to higher ground.

“We measured where the tide was going to reach and the nest would have been completely underwater,” she says.

She hatched a plan to build a box to raise the nest by half-a-metre and called on the Warkworth Men’s Shed, which helped her build it in a day.

Michele says dotterels decorate their nests with shells and sticks, and the nest had to be meticulously recreated to prevent the birds from abandoning it. ... read more


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