MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

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igor
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby igor » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:11 pm

Having studied the map I'm pretty sure it was the east coast of Uretara Island, about here: https://www.google.co.nz/maps/place/37%C2%B059'59.8%22S+177%C2%B007'31.8%22E/@-37.999933,177.1233113,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d-37.999933!4d177.1255
The closest view would be from the harbour side of Ohope Spit, but would be long way off and during the day the heat haze would be a killer.
Just to add that early this morning the bird was not present at Ohiwa Spit/Tern Island, nor Te Ahiaua. I believe Erik was planning an evening visit to Ohiwa Spit, but presume he would have posted something if successful.
Good luck!
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RussCannings
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby RussCannings » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:30 am

Thanks Igor,

Lisa and I will be in the area for most of the day so if anyone else is out there, please text me at 021 994 156 so we can coordinate.

Russ
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:01 am

Video of the laughing gull taken by David.

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sav
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby sav » Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:21 pm

Russ Cannings, David Lawrie, Ian Southey and Gillain Vaughan (and maybe others) searching for the bird, but no joy so far today. Did anyone find it yesterday??

cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
wghabbott
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby wghabbott » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:08 pm

I saw it briefly at 4.30 at the picnic ground where it was first reported. It only stayed a few minutes. Sorry not to notify people sooner. Flat phone battery.
Gull, laughing(3).jpg
Gull, laughing(3).jpg (183.36 KiB) Viewed 530 times
David Lawrie
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby David Lawrie » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:31 am

Gillian Vaughan Ian Southey and I arrived at Ohope just after 1100 and by corrdinating with Russ Cannings we covered the whole area from Ohope to Opotiki and back several times, with no sign of the bird. We eventually decided to try the Opotiki run once more and got some fish and chips which we took back to the Tern Island viewing point to eat. The flock of gulls got up from the vegetated area and relanded in the open and Gillian immediately spotted the bird at 1905. So we missed it come in because the gulls trickled in over a long period starting about 1600, so it appears that this is a night roost at least while the tides are in the present cycle. It will be interesting to see what happens next week when the tides are low in the evening.
The bird stands out even from that distance because of the dark wings and big bill.
By the way there were 6 Whimbrel with the Godwit flock and 2 turnstone.
Good luck if you are going, and it will be interesting to know where it hangs out during the day.
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RussCannings
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby RussCannings » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:17 pm

Sorry to have missed it but had to leave the area around 5pm. It was a beautiful day to be out and about, and to add to the list of notable sightings, Lisa and I had 3 Red Knot (Scoped from Ohope Spit, near the golf course) looking south toward the mudflats around 10am--a scarce commodity in Ohiwa Harbour. We also saw and photographed a Grey-faced Petrel that was flopping around in the the water beside Ohope Spit being harassed by gulls (Too deep to catch and the bird could swim well). Still had some good pep it in, but hard to say how long it will survive (or if it lasted through the day).

So it appears the gull's movements are still a mystery. Could be visiting areas east of Opotiki too (Unchecked as far as I know), or even following fishermen offshore. Here's hoping the gull sticks it out for the rest of summer and becomes predictable enough to delight all visitors.

Have a great end to 2016 all!

Russ
David Lawrie
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby David Lawrie » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:09 pm

just some more information for potential Gull watchers.
I insert some comments from Paul Goldophin on his experiences with a similar vagrant Laughing Gull in Wales. interestingly the bird was in a similar plumage, and I can provide some photos if necessary.
Bill Abbotts experience with the bird on the hand rail among the many people who were at the picnic area is an example.

" "This, and others that I’m aware-of, were faithful to their sites for many months, and were
finally ‘trained’ by birders to eat lots of bread, making them easy to re-find.

This one at Porthmadog in North Wales, stayed for six months and as time went on,
became more and more ‘birder friendly’. It came to the car park of the local supermarket,
and it was a standard ‘preliminary’ to call at the shop for some bread, before going around
the back to throw it out and bring in the Laughing Gull from the nearby estuary.

During it’s stay it became attuned to the ‘feeding frenzy’ calls of local gull species, so it was
always good to stir up a fuss that brought in a chaotic storm of smaller, screaming gulls
to attract it’s attention.
Hopefully the same will be true of the Ohiwa bird.
Don’t hesitate to take along a sackful of bread and create a stir!""
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sav
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby sav » Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:30 pm

Hi all,

I've been in a constant state of flux since this bird first appeared - social responsibilities over Christmas, daughter having a baby, the apparent need for an overnight from Hawkes Bay....anyway, I've decided to give it a go tomorrow, Thursday 29th. I won't be in the area till about 4pm, but if anyone is out there looking I'd love to co-ordinate.
Sav - 027 680 3740

cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
phil hammond
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Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby phil hammond » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:38 pm

Just had a call from Sav [3.25pm]---he is looking at the gull at about 1.5m distance!!

As he drove into Te Ahiaua reserve he saw it before getting out of the car. It is among about 20 red-billed gulls ---was flying---now down on the waters edge. There are heaps of people around. "bring some bread" Sav reckons

He hopes to post a photo later

cheers
Phil H

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