Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

November 7, 2011

South Canterbury Birding

Filed under: Birds — Tags: — steve_happ @ 4:17 am

Timaru to Ashburton.

When I got to Timaru, I went out to Patiti Point and headed off for a walk along Saltwater Creek. There were some Paradise Shelducks and New Zealand Scaups and quite a few Little Pied Cormorants (Little Shag) and Pied Cormorants. When I first got there, they were all sitting on the train line, maybe waiting for the next train. I went walking along the train line, hoping that there will not be a train along soon and got some good footage of a Pied Cormorant, showing the identifiable yellow patch in front of the eye. They also have blue around the eye. The Little Pied Cormorant has black around the eye and is very much smaller.

Video of South Canterbury birds

In the park there were the usual assortment of introduced birds – Blackbird, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, etc. After that I went downtown to the port and went for a walk to what is reputed to be a wetland at Caroline Bay, but its really lame. Just some ariticifial pond with a couple of mallards quacking away. There were, however, some Black-billed Gulls on the beach. I just learned today that they are the rarest gull in the world. I bet they still hastle people for chips, but. Not much else except a few Masked Lapwings and Variable Oystercatchers.

Caroline Bay, Timaru
Caroline Bay, Timaru

I camped somewhere between Timaru and Rangatati and this morning went to the Ashburton Domain to wander around. I saw an Eastern Rosella, which was very strange and filmed some cute little ducklings that were huddled up together. I also filmed some Redpoll in the trees. Next stop was the Ashburton River, where I saw this sign. That is how I found out that the Black-billed Gull was the rarest bird in the world. I kept my eye out for a Wrybill, as I had not seen one yet, but no luck. I think a lot of birds nest at the mouth of the Ashburton River as well. I had seen a Double-banded Dotterel displaying the broken wing trick.

Endangered Birds Nesting!
Nesting Birds sign

But alas, I did not spot any Wrybills, hopefully another time.

South Canterbury Birds list

NZ Scaup
Paradise Shelduck
Little Pied Cormorant
Variable Oystercatcher
Pied Cormorant
Welcome Swallow
Australian Magpie
Red-billed Gull
Black-billed Gull
Black-backed Gull
Masked Lapwing
Pied Stilt
Eastern Rosella

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