The Dotterels are Nesting

Spot the nests

The great news is that the tūturiwhata have started to nest. The resident pair on the Okura chenier, which I feared had abandoned the site, have a nest with three eggs in it, and one of the two pairs at Karepiro beach also have a nest with three eggs. The second pair are also probably nesting but I haven’t been able to confirm this yet. You can see how vulnerable these nest are, especially when the birds are disturbed and leave the nest exposing the eggs to predation by gulls and other predators. Please stay away from the roped-off are of the Okura chenier and use the inland path at Karepiro if you want to access the southern part of the beach at high tide. Hopefully, the sterling work by Danny and Barry catching wandering and feral cats at the Weiti development will improve the chances of seeing young dotterels.

Male dotterel colouring up as he comes into breeding mode. Photo by John Marais

There are two pairs of tūturiwhata on territory at the Weiti chenier but they don’t appear to be nesting yet. Perhaps the cat that was recently caught caught here has delayed their breeding season. None of the tōrea pango/variable oystercatchers show much interest in nesting, but the winter flock has now broken up and the birds are pairing off, so I expect some action soon. Let’s keep the fingers crossed for a successful breeding season this year.

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