Author: Bernard Michaux

Bird Update

It was with some trepidation that I visited the coast yesterday (15/11) to see what damage the spring high tide and howling northeaster had done. The water had swept over the chénier at Stillwater, so any dotterel/tūturiwhatu or oystercatcher/tōrea pango nests would have been swept away. There are still two dotterel pairs and an oystercatcher pair in residence, so hopefully…

The Dotterels are Nesting

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…

The kuaka are back

When John Marais and I were out on the Weiti chenier on Wednesday (28/9) there were 218 kuaka/godwits roosting on the beach. There has been a steady buildup from the end of August when the winter flock of about 12 birds was suddenly increased to 25 (31/8), then 32 (2/9), 122 (21/9) until the 218 on the 28/9. The kuaka…

Godwits Return

The godwits/kuaka are starting to return to Aotearoa from their breeding grounds in Alaska, a sure sign that spring is here. There has been a small flock overwintering this year – an average of 12 birds – so I was surprised to find 25 kuaka when I visited Karepiro on the last day of August, with some of the birds…

Weiti Chenier Refurbishment

There was a great turnout for the planting day on Sunday the 7th August and despite the dire weather predictions the rain held off and much was achieved without getting soaked. Apart from the planting it was decided to incorporate a working bee out on the last chenier to repair the fencing, which had taken a real battering over the…

Winter Bird News

The season of rain and storms is upon us and I always feel sorry for the birds hunkering down in all that weather. As the seasons change so do the waders. The godwits have left and are now breeding in Alaska and experiencing 24 hours of daylight as they rush to complete their breeding cycle during the short high-latitude summer.…

Bird News – Breeding 2021/22

Another breeding season is coming to an end and it’s been a successful one too. So congratulations to everyone involved in looking after the local environment and helping our endangered endemic birds find a safe haven on the Hibiscus Coast. Weiti A male and two female pateke/brown teal took up residence on the lagoon again this year and both females…

Brown Teal/ Pāteke successfully breed again

The resident pair of locally rare and nationally recovering pāteke at Weiti lagoon have produce four ducklings this year. This is a tremendous result for the trappers because these endemic ducks only survive and breed when mammalian predators (cats, mustelids, and rats) are controlled to low levels. I noticed the ducklings when they were disturbed by a Banded Rail/moho pererū,…

NZ Dotterels are breeding (8/11)

Great news on the breeding front with a two-week old (approximately) NZ Dotterel chick at Karepiro Beach, and pairs of NZ Dotterels with nests (both with single eggs) at the Weiti and Okura cheniers. No sign of the Variable Oystercatchers nesting yet, but the Paradise Duck pair have four ducklings on the lagoon at the Weiti chenier and Pete Townend…

Spring Bird News

International migrants The Bar-tailed godwits or kuaka have returned. These waders breed in Alaska during the brief arctic summer and then fly non-stop back to us to spend the southern summer recovering and preparing for the next breeding season. You can read more at Tracking godwits to understand the migration of birds to New Zealand. We are very lucky to…

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