Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

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tim
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby tim » Sun Jun 12, 2011 6:33 pm

I decided to go down on Saturday and photograph the shore plover.
Great seeing them again and around 30+ birds and one stunning black fronted tern!!
Very intresting watching them as black backed gulls and kingfishers were causing a bit of fright in the group.

For the record I found out more info about the nest and that the nest had lasted two weeks on the beach and it was a king tide that got it in the end, not dogs and people that use it as a walkway.

Also it looks like the birds are going to stay there for some time as there is multiple things including fire alarms that scare the group but they return moments later.
Got loads of photos but mainly focused on two of the birds that were unbanded on one leg.
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Sun Jun 12, 2011 7:52 pm

Nice shot!
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tim
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby tim » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:32 pm

Thanks Neil,
Heres a shot of that stunning black fronted tern in breeding plumage, also well worth the look out when visiting the shore plover.
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby Glen Webber » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:35 am

What a beautiful looking bird!
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philbattley
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby philbattley » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:46 am

I went to Plimmerton yesterday (Tuesday 14 June) from about 1000-1130. The tide was reasonably high, and 34 Shore Plovers were spread over the rock platform immediately behind the Fire Station. After a while some birds began to move about and feed, firstly on the sandy beach and in the tide wrack, then on the rocky platform, and finally just to the south on exposed sand. The light was great, and the birds were utterly unfazed by my presence. As noted by someone earlier, when a train went past they all spooked, but returned within a minute or so. Their only other disturbances seemed to be not liking the Welcome Swallows also feeding over the beach - they would duck whenever one went past. Interesting to see the plovers foot-trembling when feeding - in dry sand, in wet sand, and in water.

A couple of shots attached (of the ~850 I took... oops). They really are birds worth seeing.

Cheers, Phil
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sav
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby sav » Wed Jun 15, 2011 3:19 pm

Spurred on by Phil Battley, I eventually got off my backside to go an see these today. The tide was quite full when I got there at about 0930 and the hardest thing was to avoid treading on the birds on the tiny bit of exposed beach!! I could only count 33 - but what a brilliant sight.
cheers
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:02 pm

Still lots there today from 1pm to dark. At least 24, probably lots more. Feeding actively from the sand right accross the rocks. Often taking flight. Still there well after sunset, and alert; taking flight while I was on footpath and they were 10m or so out. Great to see them. Dropping an expensive lens on the footpath; not so great.
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tim
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby tim » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:26 pm

I had fish and chips with the shore plovers when I was down, pretty sure they sleep there so not great with over night predators.
Oh not too good about the lens Neil,
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Michael Szabo
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37 Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby Michael Szabo » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:43 pm

I counted 37 Shore Plovers at the rocks by Plimmerton fire station between 2.30 and 3.30pm during an incoming tide on Sunday 12 June. Most were in a single flock, hunkered down in the wind with a couple of smaller groups of 2 or 3 birds moving around and joining them through this period.

Eventually they flew, breaking up into two main groups that settled on the rocks again and then a couple of hundred metres along the beach to the north.

I walked along the path here and was able to view them at close range from the sea wall which was quite a sight, all the birds feeding or standing around bobbing up and down, some piping, some squabbling and some flitting around. The sight of a flock in flight was amazing, especially seeing them landing in front of me, at one point, seeing a line of mostly black-faced orange-billed birds momentarily slowing to a hover and landing.

I met a local woman while I was there who said she is in contact with a local DOC staffer and tries to keep tabs on them most days. She told me the Shore Plovers are sometimes up in the small sand dune area by the fire station and even on the sealed area around it when the tide is high.

She showed me a list of leg band combinations that she is compiling which shows the individual birds present do vary as they aren't always to same individuals.

She also said she has seen them stay in a flock on the rocks there right up to nightfall and then again early the next morning which leads her to think they overnight in the vicinity at the moment.

If you haven't seen them already and are able to it's definitely worth it. I caught the train from Wellington which didn't take long and the Plimmerton station is very close to where they are. You just walk along past the shops to the beach road on the left and carry on to the fire station at the rocky point from here. It's only a few minutes' walk.

Happy birding!
Michael
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SueRose
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Re: Shore Plovers at Plimmerton

Postby SueRose » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:54 pm

Saw a cat on the beach tonight - very worrying - will check in the morning

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