*MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

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ian smith
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Havelock North, Hawke's Bay

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby ian smith » Wed Nov 23, 2016 6:47 pm

Directions for Erik and others: Pull off the expressway that bypasses Napier, on the north side of the bridge over the Ahuriri estuary. If coming from the north you will be on the east (seaward) side; please then use the cycleway underpass to get to the western (inland) side rather than trying to cross the expressway on foot. The "scrapes" pond area where the bird has been seen is then about 150m on the right as you go west along the cycleway. Walk around this pond for the best viewing, or a bit further round for views of another section of the scrapes parallel to the expressway. If still unsuccessful, the bird might be at another area known as "Landcorp marsh". This is accessed via Watchman Road which is directly opposite the turnoff to Napier about 1km north of the bridge. Drive along Watchman Road between two bodies of water (Westshore Lagoon and Northern Pond) and turn left onto an unpaved section - Landcorp marsh is a little way along on the right. In the (likely) event that these directions are confusing, Wayne Twydle has an excellent schematic map of the area and if you email him (waynemarg@xtra.co.nz) he should be able to send you a PDF.
erikforsyth
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby erikforsyth » Wed Nov 23, 2016 7:03 pm

Hi Ian, many thanks for the directions.

cheers
Erik Forsyth
Rockjumper Birding Tours
Tim Barnard
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:30 pm
Location: Okere Falls

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby Tim Barnard » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:44 am

I guess a few will be heading over today, would be great to keep the news coming in.
Thanks
Tim
ian smith
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Havelock North, Hawke's Bay

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby ian smith » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:15 am

A report from Paul Godolphin who saw the bird yesterday reads in part:
"Due to Sav’s helpful directions I was able to walk straight up to the bird’s location.
To my horror, it had gone! Ten minutes later, Igor arrived from Wellington. We’d discussed the identification and set off simultaneously from opposite ends of the country. It was a record-breakingly hot day over east, and the drive wasn’t helped by stretches of tarmac that had melted into fluid with the heat, especially on some of the dangerous bends!
Luckily, Igor walked up to me along the shore of the main estuary, not through the bushes as I had done. As he approached, it stirred-up the birds on small shingle banks in the estuary, and when the bird couldn’t be found on it’s usual lagoon where Sav had seen it, we walked back across the narrow bank separating it from the main estuary, and found the Phalarope now in close view. Igor’s approach along the shore had fortuitously moved it out from being concealed behind short vegetation on shingle islets, so that it was now right in front of us. Scope-filling views!"

Wayne and Margaret Twydle also report good views yesterday afternoon including the lobed feet.
igor
Posts: 135
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby igor » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:51 am

Just a quick note to avoid confusion with the text quoted from Paul. The bird was actually on the main pond rather than the smaller pond with floating vegetation (where it moved back to once Paul had left). It never ventured onto the main estuary during the time I was there. Great views! Thanks all for the posts and photos.
adamclarke
Posts: 46
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:29 pm

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby adamclarke » Thu Nov 24, 2016 10:29 am

Without wishing to sound like a wank, could I please just stress to photographers in particular who plan to visit that respect must be given to all birdlife at the reserve. Canada geese and black-backed gulls are currently on nests in close proximity to where the phalarope is hanging out, and both banded dotterels and pied stilts are nesting and tending chicks also.
From a respectable distance great record images can be gained using a 600mm lens, and although I haven't personally used one a digiscope would yield great results as well.
Last edited by adamclarke on Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ian smith
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Havelock North, Hawke's Bay

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby ian smith » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:06 pm

At "Scrapes" pond 10.30 to 11.15 this morning and bird present the whole time. Some preening, some swimming but mainly snoozing on its favourite patch of weed, during which time no bill, no toes and only one leg visible.
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RussCannings
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Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby RussCannings » Thu Nov 24, 2016 1:15 pm

What are people's thoughts on age and sex? Basic plumage makes this tough but it appears to be molting primaries (see flight shot) which would be consistent with an adult. One would expect a juvenile to be this lost though perhaps this isn't it's first trip down south? Storm-blown?

It's association with the Bar-tailed godwits might provide some clues. Wilson's Phalaropes are quite rare in western Alaska and migrate earlier than most godwits. Perhaps it is a non-breeder (second-year) that dispersed north beyond the typical range of Wilson's Phalaropes, then ended up with a gang of juvenile godwits and followed them here? Bill seems short enough to indicate a male but this can be tricky to be certain about without other clues.

Fun questions to think about anyway!

Russ C
Cambridge, NZ
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sav
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Location: Havelock North
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Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby sav » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:09 pm

Tim Barnard is watching the phalarope now (1400). It is in a slightly different location, on small pools further inland and South from yesterday by a couple of hundred metres, between the main Westshore Lagoon, the river bank and the Landcorp road.
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
Tim Barnard
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:30 pm
Location: Okere Falls

Re: *MEGA* Wilson's Phalarope Ahuriri Napier

Postby Tim Barnard » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:40 pm

Fantastic work Ian! I watched it today for an hour and a half - a delicate bird. Good to meet Wayne and Margaret down there too. It was in the same place Ian described then flew about 50m onto the small rocky island just over on the main lagoon and began to feed with slow and exaggerated movements. Fun to watch. Thanks all ... a great day out!

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