It's always interesting to be asked to go and identify a strange bird in someone’s yard. However, the phone call I had yesterday was especially interesting. Helen phoned to say that she and Steve had a small bird nesting right on their driveway and they thought it looked like a shorebird.
As soon as possible I got in the car and drove over to Tin Can Bay to the address they had given me. It was a most unlikely place to find a shorebird – several blocks back from the shoreline – and shorebirds like to stay close to the water! Their driveway has a median strip of stones between the concrete and as I got out of the car I saw a little dark ‘bump’ only a little bit bigger than the surrounding stones. This was the bird – a Red-capped Plover.
For a nest the bird had a tiny depression between the stones. The bird had become used to sharing the yard with humans and it did not move from the nest the whole time I was there. I went quite close to get photos and it did lift up just enough for me to glimpse two eggs under it. Helen said that their road is quiet and there appeared to be no roaming cats and dogs. Here's hoping that this bird manages to raise its young from this most unusual nesting place.