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August 2016


August 3rd 2016

3pm, overcast, mild, tide out, little wind

8 northern dotterels

Group of 3 & group of 4 out on the mud, with 1 on the shellspit


August 4th 2016

Low tide 2pm drizzly, overcast conditions
Walk to the water's edge some distance out on the mud

14 northern dotterel
10 wrybill
6 oystercatcher
4 red-billed gull
2 reef heron
2 pied stilts
1 black-backed gull juvenile (flew over)

7 of the dotterels were feeding half way out to the water's edge in a group, breeding plumage highly visible
1 dotterel was later observed alone near the nesting area on the shellspit, just out on the mud


August 13th 2016

8:30am low tide 0.7m
Overcast, showers, mild sou'westerly

14 oystercatcher
6 northern dotterel (breeding plumage varied from pale to vibrant)
4 red-billed gull
2 spur-winged plover
2 kingfisher
2 banded dotterel (bands very distinct)

Birds feeding mostly within vicinity of water's edge. No dotterels were observed on or near shellspit


August 20th 2016

2pm low tide 0.14m
Overcast, mild sou'westerly

14 variable oystercatcher
3 reef heron
2 spur-winged plover
8 red-billed gull
1 banded dotterel (difficult to see against the mud)
1 paradise shelduck (male)

No northern dotterel were present on either the shellspit or the mud
Tui & grey warbler song was heard from within the scenic reserve


August 21st 2016

9am high tide 3.1m
Sunny, calm, tide lapping shellspit
Monitoring position: short southern shellspit adjacent to lagoon outlet

10 pied stilts
9 spur-winged plover
6 northern dotterel
4 variable oystercatcher
2 banded dotterel
1 paradise shelduck (male)

All pied stilts were clustered on gap in arrow grass
Banded dotterel were in salt meadow to the right, as was shelduck
Northern dotterels spread across both sides of shellspit lagoon outlet


August 27th 2016

8:30am low tide 0.38m
90km winds overnight, still gusty this morning, tide edge brown & agitated
Variable oystercatcher feeding right along the water edge, with some also in the main upper bay channel

14 variable oystercatcher
4 spur-winged plover
2 northern dotterel


1pm near-high tide 2.6m (max 2.8m)
Still very windy but fine, water edge near shellspit

15 pied stilts
9 northern dotterel (5 in breeding plumage)
6 variable oystercatcher
1 blackbacked gull

All pied stilts clustered with gull on high point just beyond lagoon outlet
Dotterels on mud flat adjacent to salt meadow to the right
Oystercatchers in pairs on shellspit


Images of lower Te Matuku Bay are intended to provide a sense of place
rather than show specific conditions on monitoring days
Binoculars used for monitoring:

Barr & Stroud, model CF43, specification 10x42, central focus, serial number 118156
Purchased circa 1954, specifically for birdwatching

Visitors & Volunteers
are more than welcome