Finally, some good news
FINALLY, some good news.
A remarkable family of endangered bush stone-curlews has been found in the Tweed Heads Hospital parking lot.
The breeding pair had already reared a pair of chicks this summer, and have now hatched another two chicks.
The brood delighted local bird society member Matthew Angus and Tweed Shire Council's program leader of pest management Pam Gray because most breeding pairs only manage to rear one chick.
"To then hatch another two chicks in the same breeding period really is remarkable," Ms Gray said.
"The only other site we know of in Tweed Shire where this has happened this year is at Fingal Holiday Park."
She said the positive outcome was a testimony to the efforts of neighbouring residents, hospital staff and council rangers to keep a protective eye on the bird family this season.
"We've had residents who have checked on the nesting site each day and ensured other people were informed about the birds and the importance that they are not disturbed," Ms Gray said.
This year Tweed Shire Council has been monitoring 17 nesting pairs of bush stone-curlews in the Tweed region.
"We don't know if there are more birds this year or if the community is just more aware of Bush Stone-Curlews and are more likely to report them," Ms Gray said.
A campaign to protect the chicks in 2012 attracted public attention and raised awareness about the highly-threatened, ground-nesting bird species. Fencing was erected to keep people and dogs away from the nest.
One of the breeding adults at the Tweed Heads Hospital site was a chick raised at Jack Bayliss Park, Kingscliff, during this campaign.
Bush Stone-Curlews generally start their preparations for breeding in July in the Tweed and chicks tend to start hatching in early spring.