New signage helps keep Beach Stone-curlews safe

13 October 2022


Hastings Point’s most famous locals - the Beach Stone-curlews - have a new permanent enclosure to provide a safe space for them to nest. A new sign was also recently installed to tell the story about the Beach Stone-curlew family and their life at Hastings Point.   

Beach Stone-curlews are listed as critically endangered in NSW however, the local community and Council are working together to protect these amazing birds. 

The Hastings Point pair first nested and raised a chick at Cudgera Creek Park in 2018 and will be a couple for life. Only one egg is laid at each nesting, and they are one of only 7 known breeding pairs in NSW.  

Council’s program leader pest animals - wildlife protection Pam Gray said the new enclosure and signage is one way Council is working together with the community to reduce our impact on the natural environment.  

“By installing a permanent enclosure, installation of signage to raise awareness and undertaking recent fox control which caught 2 foxes in the birds’ enclosure has made a huge difference to keep them safe,” Ms Gray said.  

“We could not have done any of this if it wasn’t for the love and care taken by Hastings Point locals as caretakers for these incredible birds.”  

One of these local caretakers is Rob Bonar who regularly checks on the birds.  

“I just come here because I’m a local and I love the birds,” Mr Bonar said. 

“They laid their first egg at Cudgera Creek Park in 2018 and when I heard about it, I just wanted to help protect it. I go down 3 times a day, just to check on them. They probably think ‘here’s that old bugger again,’” he said.  

Another local bird-lover is Fran Cummings who also plays a significant part in protecting the birds and photographing their progress.  

“They are just such beautiful birds. When they are resting, they look so serene,” Ms Cummings said. 

“I love the birds and find them so interesting. Just watching them in the pattern of their daily life. I feel like a caretaker, like a parent. It’s so lovely to walk over to marvel at them.”  

The community can also play a part to help keep the Beach Stone-curlew family safe. 

  • If you see birds foraging or resting outside of their enclosure, give them space and try not to disturb them. 
  • Keep your distance from the fence. Beach Stone-curlews are very shy birds. For them to keep nesting at Hastings Point, please keep this area safe for them. 

  • Keep dogs away – Hastings Point creek mouth and foreshore is a dog prohibited zone.  

  • Help to keep the oyster reefs healthy by not moving the rocks the oysters are growing on. The Beach Stone-curlews feed on the oysters and small crabs.  

Council would like to thank the community for looking after the resident Beach Stone-curlew family – the Tweed is lucky to have them.  

Cudgera Creek Park at Hastings Point is home to many threatened species including Beach Stone-curlews, Bush Stone-curlews, Pied Oystercatchers, Sooty Oystercatchers, Osprey and their nest and Red-capped Plovers. 

With many native birds trying to live in a small area which is also popular for locals and visitors, Council asks the community to please respect signage and fences installed to protect them. 

Find out more about Beach Stone-curlews and how Council is working to protect the Tweed environment.

Image: Locals Fran Cummings (left) and Rob Bonar who regularly check on the Beach Stone-curlew family at Hastings Point with the newly-installed sign.