*MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

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adamclarke
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:29 pm

Re: Possible Phalarope Ahuriri Napier?

Postby adamclarke » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:47 am

Hi all

May I first just say that If the ID on this bird is correct for a Wilsons phalarope then I apologise and am disappointed in myself for not realising earlier. A huge thanks to Ian for having enough previous experience with phalaropes to question the presumed marsh ID.
Forgive me for the lengthy explanation that follows but I just wish to explain how this bizarre set of events played out.
In late October I had brief sighting of a definite marsh sandpiper at Westshore Reserve. I only had enough time to gain a record photo before it took flight and disappeared into the distance. On subsequent morning visits the marsh wasn't seen, until the 1st of November when I again found it foraging in the exact same location. I posted this additional sighting and later explained its exact feeding spot to a fellow birder.
The marsh did appear to have suddenly become rather fat looking, yet since I had only gained a fleeting sighting first-time I assumed the same bird had simply put on condition. Its delicate feeding behaviour, water wading habits and general wariness fitted that of a marsh sandpiper.
Due to its wariness I gave up trying to approach the bird for photos, yet every available morning I visited it was observed feeding in the same area.
This morning the bird was again present and from a respectful distance some (hopefully)clear ID shots were gained. The three attached images show the bird standing alert, swimming and scratching to reveal what appears to be a lobed foot.
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sav
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Location: Havelock North
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Re: Possible Phalarope Ahuriri Napier?

Postby sav » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:53 am

Hi all,

There's nothing in these pictures to make me think it is anything but a Marsh Sandpiper as originally thought. I'd like to be proved wrong though.

Those that have seen it fly should know - if the white rump extends up the back it is surely a Marsh Sand, and if the white rump is square then we have a game!!

cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
Wayne & Marg Twydle
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Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 8:43 am

Re: Possible Phalarope Ahuriri Napier?

Postby Wayne & Marg Twydle » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:33 pm

Note the eyestripe which curves downward at the rear of the eye. That is very noticeable on the living bird. I haven't seen any fieldguide or internet photo which shows that for any wader other than Wilson's Phalarope? As for the white rump - I will need to re-check that as to whether it is square or continues up the back. Last night Marg and I observed it floating on the water, turning a few degrees one way, then the other, pecking from the water's surface. An interesting exercise, whatever the outcome!

Wayne
adamclarke
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:29 pm

Re: Possible Phalarope Ahuriri Napier?

Postby adamclarke » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:51 pm

Here are a few more cropped images.
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adamclarke
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:29 pm

Re: Possible Phalarope Ahuriri Napier?

Postby adamclarke » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:59 pm

And two cropped images of the bird I originally saw in October.
My observations of the 'new' bird, if they are at all helpful, have been that it tends to forage close to waterfowl and not pied stilts even though they are also nearby. It walks in a completely different manner to a pied stilt, its short legs making it appear to 'run' rather than stride.
Last week during high tide it was observed roosting among godwits at the reserve.
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3.JPG (1.53 MiB) Viewed 435 times
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sav
Posts: 521
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Location: Havelock North
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Re: Possible Phalarope Ahuriri Napier?

Postby sav » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:08 pm

Well, that's one way to make me eat my words!!
cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
ian smith
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Havelock North, Hawke's Bay

Re: Possible Phalarope Ahuriri Napier?

Postby ian smith » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Just had a phone call from Sav, asking me to post and say that he is looking at the bird right now and can confirm that it is indeed a Wilson's Phalarope.
erikforsyth
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby erikforsyth » Wed Nov 23, 2016 5:41 pm

Hi all

well done Ian on finding this mega! I would be very grateful for details of where to find the bird as I don't know the area.

Best wishes
Erik Forsyth
Rockjumper Birding Tours
www.rockjumperbirding.com
073085480
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Michael Szabo
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Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby Michael Szabo » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:16 pm

Previous records of Wilson's phalaropes in New Zealand: Manawatu estuary in September 1983, two birds at Lake Ellesmere between November 1983 and April 1984 (with both together in December-January), and one at Taharoa, Waikato in October 2004. The non-breeding season is August-March, and these four birds were mainly in non-breeding plumage.
'New Zealand Birders' Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/857726274293085/
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RussCannings
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Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby RussCannings » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:37 pm

These new photos also show the difference in bill structure and colouration between Wilson's and Marsh Sand. Well done Ian and Adam!

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