MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Bird sighting information. Use this forum to report bird sightings (especially rare and unusual birds), census and field count results, and trip reports. Messages posted to this forum will also be sent as a plain text email to the BIRDING-NZ newsgroup.
erikforsyth
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 9:16 pm

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby erikforsyth » Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:35 pm

Hi all

just back from an epic twitch, my fifth attempt at the gull. I arrived back from a two day family trip to the Coromandel, got a call from Phil Hammond at 3:45pm, to say that Sav had found the gull at the reserve and that it was hanging around. I threw my stuff together and was out the door at 4pm and 25 minutes later I was at the reserve. As I pulled up I could see the gull standing on the sandflat, a meter from the Red-billed Gulls, Fantastic! It eventually sat down and having had good close looks (10m) and several pics, I headed off at 3:37pm leaving the bird at the roost.

many thanks to Sav for finding the bird at the reserve and Phil for calling me, a huge relief and the pressure is off.

cheers
Erik Forsyth
Rockjumper Birding Tours
www.rockjumperbirding.com
Alan Tennyson
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby Alan Tennyson » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:22 pm

For my next unashamed piece of twitching I'll be heading to Opotiki with a tent, a boogie board and several loaves of bread! This is what I revert to when the family goes to Scotland without me! If anyone plans to be in the area in the next 2 days keep in touch - my phone is 021-114-7979. Cheers Alan
User avatar
sav
Posts: 521
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:49 am
Location: Havelock North
Contact:

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby sav » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:06 am

Hi all,

First - many thanks to Annette and David for finding and reporting this creature.

My apologies to all those that spent hours and hours (10 by Phil Hammond, and pesumably many more by Erik Forsythe), but I rolled into the car-park at Te Ahiaua at 15.15 yesterday afternoon and the bird was in sight before I switched off the engine!! Luck does play such a huge part in this sort of endeavour.

I thought that the reserve was the best bet for a start because the gull had been seen there twice in 7 days and the only other place was the Ohiwa harbour roost site. It is very obvious when comperaed to the Red-billed Gulls with which it is associating. The wings are fairly tatty, with new (adult) inner primaries growing - so I can't see it making any long journeys in a hurry, though it flies perfectly well.

It's interactions with the other gulls were interesting: bolder than them in approaching me, but subservient to the aggressive birds at the top of the Red-billed Gull pecking order.

The attached photos were taken with my phone - that's how close it was!!

cheers and good luck to the rest that visit,
IMG_1150edit.jpg
IMG_1150edit.jpg (621.09 KiB) Viewed 425 times
IMG_1146edit.jpg
IMG_1146edit.jpg (543.76 KiB) Viewed 425 times
IMG_1143edit.jpg
IMG_1143edit.jpg (447.38 KiB) Viewed 425 times
IMG_1142edit.jpg
IMG_1142edit.jpg (442.68 KiB) Viewed 425 times
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
User avatar
sav
Posts: 521
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:49 am
Location: Havelock North
Contact:

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby sav » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:07 am

Aaargh! Photos upside down.....dont know how that happened or how to fix it.....Neil!! Help!
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
User avatar
Neil Fitzgerald
Site Admin
Posts: 3052
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 10:20 am
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Contact:

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:13 am

Hold your phone the other way :)
I'll see if I can fix when I get home.
Jan
Posts: 1321
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby Jan » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:44 pm

We know you're a Brit, Sav? but........... I can't do handstands at my age and one shoulder no longer works anyway.
The containment with which you concealed your jammy sighting was a wonder to read!
JFDillon
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:12 pm
Location: Cambridge, Waikato
Contact:

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby JFDillon » Fri Dec 30, 2016 3:34 pm

Can someone post a screenshot of Te ahiaua reserve on Google maps, I was unable to find it and my ebird isn't working.
I'm at Ohiwa from the 5th until the 17th so it would be great to know where to find this bird.
User avatar
David Riddell
Posts: 615
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby David Riddell » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:48 pm

JFDillon wrote:Can someone post a screenshot of Te ahiaua reserve on Google maps, I was unable to find it and my ebird isn't working.
I'm at Ohiwa from the 5th until the 17th so it would be great to know where to find this bird.

I posted a Google Maps link to the location earlier, but it's got a bit buried by now. Here it is again - https://goo.gl/maps/YE7YYfxRYqs
JFDillon
Posts: 40
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:12 pm
Location: Cambridge, Waikato
Contact:

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby JFDillon » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:52 pm

Thanks David.
Alan Tennyson
Posts: 119
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: MEGA Laughing Gull - Te Ahiaua Reserve

Postby Alan Tennyson » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:53 pm

Got it today but not at Te Ahiaua Reserve. Even the red-billeds weren't that interested in my bread handouts at the reserve. So I gave up, pitched my tent on the spot and headed to Opotiki for a feed. 2 km east of the reserve were 20 red-billeds at a stream mouth (I think the 2nd stream east of the reserve). I could see them from the highway, so I pulled over and could immediately see the target gull. I had fantastic views in the evening sun (7-720pm) before the flock took off west and inland - presumably heading to a night roost in Ohiwa Harbour. Awesome! I'll let you know if it comes for my bread in the morning!

Return to “Bird Sightings and Alerts”