The small town of Breamlea is host to spectacular coastline and home to some of Victoria’s most endangered plants and animals.
Nestled between Torquay and Barwon Heads, Breamlea extends from Bancoora Beach, named after the steamship SS. Bancoora which ran aground here in the late 1800s, through Buckley’s Bay, to the mouth of Thompsons Creek which flows from Gherang near Moriac.
Buckley’s Bay remembers the locally well known escaped convict William Buckley, who is said to have lived in the dunes around Breamlea with the local aboriginal tribe for over 30 years. Many significant cultural heritage places, including aboriginal middens remain - the surrounding landscape once providing a large variety of seafood from the ocean and intertidal areas and plant food from the saltmash, wetlands and coastal dunes.
Breamlea’s unique natural landscape with estuary and creek environments, intertidal zones, sandy surf beaches with spinifex dunes, Moonah and Teatree woodlands, all surrounded by coastal saltmarsh (and recently listed under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) makes it a wonderful place for birds to live and visit.
Small shorebirds such as the Red-capped Plover and endangered Hooded Plover are resident waders while the Double-banded Plover from New Zealand and Ruddy Turnstone from Siberia visit each year.
The Hooded Plover breeds from August to March in the sand on the surf beaches laying their eggs directly on the sand, often on the beach, in a simple, shallow nest scrape. This makes them incredibly vulnerable to nest crushing and disturbance by un-leashed dogs and unaware beach users.
Black Swans, Pelicans, Egrets, Herons, Terns, Gulls, Spoonbills and smaller birds such as Blue Wrens, Red Browed Finches and Grey Fantails can be found feeding in the dunes or intertidal areas, along the creek and in the saltmarsh.
The endangered Orange-bellied Parrot, although not recently spotted in Breamlea, uses the saltmarsh and wetland areas that run alongside Thompsons Creek to feed and rest each year in winter after travelling from Tasmania.
Tips when visiting:
- Park at Bancoora Surf Lifesaving Club car park (Melway ref 495 B7)
- Grab some binoculars and try to spot some of our amazing shorebird species
- Take care during Hooded Plover breeding season, comply with signs and please keep your dog on a leash.
Each year the endangered Hooded Plover tries to raise a family on our local surf beaches - Point Impossible, Breamlea Beach, Bancoora, Thirteenth Beach, and between Collendina and the Point Lonsdale lighthouse, from August to March.
At these beaches Hooded Plovers struggle to find an undisturbed space to raise their young and it is now a rare event when chicks successfully fly. Last season only one pair out of sixteen safely raised their chicks to the stage where they could fly.
You can help to protect the Hooded Plover.