Tweed locals call for action following environmental tragedy

Tweed residents have asked for something to be done, after an artificial nesting platform collapsed, killing two Osprey chicks.

Locals say the birds were almost fully grown and would have been due to leave their parents soon.

They say the structure stood at the Marine Rescue lookout for over a decade, but had started to lean to one side in the past three months. She questioned whether the metal pole might have corroded through.


Image supplied: Heather Stewardson

Image supplied: Heather Stewardson

Then during the rain and strong wind gusts this week the structure gave way.

Local Real Estate Agent Heather Stewardson said “during the night it’s come down, it’s actually come loose or corroded through and the whole thing has just fallen from a great height”.

She added the pole and the artificial base of the nest just came straight down with two of the nearly fully grown chicks inside. They were killed on impact when they hit the ground.

Image supplied: Heather Stewardson

Image supplied: Heather Stewardson

She said just last weekend she’d seen one of the chicks on the beach, practicing his fishing skills. Heather also said she’s “thankful no one was down there because normally people are bathing down there in the morning, people are fishing down there in that area so the weight of that coming down would have been pretty horrific”.

Referencing this week’s deadly accident at a Gold Coast shopping centre she said “if a boom gate can kill someone I think that would have really done some damage”.

Ms Stewardson acknowledged that the wind did pick up but she said “we’ve had worse storms than that and we’ve gone down afterwards and we were shocked to see that the pole had just gone”.

She said she didn’t think that residents had raised concerns about the structure but “you just think we’ve got Park Rangers, we’ve got an Environmental Officer at the Council”.

Ms Stewardson said she thought somebody in the Council or Park Rangers would have taken care of it because it was a man-made structure.

The nest was a bit of a tourist attraction too, attracting visitors from the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane keen to snap photographs of the nest and its inhabitants.

Ms Stewardson said some of the tourists were thrilled when the father Osprey dived into the creek and caught a live fish, which he then strangled so he could feed it to his growing family.

She said “the locals, we all love it; it’s just part of our daily or weekly life the Pelicans and Dolphins and the Eagles it’s just part of life in Kingscliffe”.

“It’s really sad to see this gap where the nest was” she added that she believed “they [the Sea Eagles] always come back to nest in the same nest so I would love to see a pole go back up there again”.

The aftermath. Image supplied: Heather Stewardson

The aftermath. Image supplied: Heather Stewardson

If the structure is replaced, Ms Stewardson urged fellow locals to show their support by dropping branches at the base to hopefully encourage the family to return.

Heather also said wasn’t sure who would be responsible for paying for a new artificial net, but she’d be happy to be part of a fundraiser.