Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

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igor
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:59 pm

Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby igor » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:46 am

Just seen a marsh sandpiper at the Kaituna end of Lake Ellesmere, on half dried ponds between the rail trail and the highway, with pied stilts and a pretty dark hybrid stilt.
andrewcrossland
Posts: 956
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:05 pm

Great sighting! The first Marsh Sandpiper on Lake Ellesmere for about 7 or 8 years I think.

But ....Bugger! we missed it on yesterday's survey of that part of the Lake - due mostly I think to the need to cover about 15 km of lake shore and count every waterbird from Welcome wallows to Pectoral Sandpipers.

I know that a lot of folks just like to do their own thing and thats fine, but if there are any birders/willdife photographers out there in BirdingNZ.net cyber land who want to help with wildlife monitoring and conservation at Lake Ellesmere you're all most welcome to join the group of volunteers from multiple agencies and groups who count the lake's full bird population every Feb. That survey took place yesterday.

In other parts of this forum people have enquired as how to get access to various parts of Lake Ellesmere. Unfortunately if your interest is wildlife observation then access can be quite difficult. That is due to the interests of people who enjoy wildlife observation coming in a distant 4th behind the interests of people who seek access for farming (specifically using wetland, rushland, lake shore and lake bed as grazing), or behind people whose interest is game-bird hunting or fishing. They all have access facilitated for them either via specific mention in leases or simply by the relevant authorities turning a blind eye.

Birders have to sneak around the edges in lots of parts of Lake Ellesmere. Jumping electric fences and dodging flying bullets! One way to change this, and to get more lake-edge land protected as wildlife habitat (rather than simply as habitat that is best used for livestock grazing or shooting) is to participate in bird surveys and thereby help generate a body of data that emphatically demonstrates how important the lake and its various parts are for wildlife. You have to save before you can savour.....



Cheers
Jan
Posts: 1323
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby Jan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:05 pm

Just saw this post of Andrew's and I agree entirely.
Most of the people who counted the sections from Halswell River right round to Taumutu in the Selwyn District Council area yesterday were not bird experts. Sometimes even the leaders of a group weren't!
The bird experts stay away from this February count because it includes tedious counting of each species of duck, goose, and swan and is really hard. In choppy conditions, with heat haze, not knowing if you've included that group of birds the last time you stopped to count, it can be very frustrating, hot, long and boring. Yet it attracts people who don't know a stint from a shoveller from a spoonbill and what impression do they get of birding if this is the only time they go out?
We have to get more experienced folk involved so they explain things to others and get enough people so the counting isn't tedious and prolonged and offputting.
I can think of at least 5 local experts who somehow managed to skip it this time. Not necessarily on purpose of course but the date has been in the calendar for months.
igor
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:59 pm

Re: Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby igor » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:03 pm

Thanks Andrew, hadn't realised it had been quite so long since the last marshie down there!
Obviously quite hard for travelling birders with fixed itineraries to overlap survey dates (today was my only chance to visit the lake), but I do note the "Events" subforum seems quite under-used and could be a good way to try and reach more folks who visit the forum and haven't previously been involved in such counts? Would at least be a central place people could check so see what counts they may be able to participate in.
Back on topic though, if anyone's going to head out to look for this bird, we checked this afternoon on our way back down the road and bird was gone, so could be anywhere.
Cheers,
Igor
gmckinlay
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:42 pm

Re: Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby gmckinlay » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:24 pm

I had a thoroughly enjoyable day on the lake Ellesmere count two years back, even after discounting the wind and my embarrasement at realising that a group of canada geese that I had just counted were plastic ones belonging to two hunters glaring at me from their hiding spot.

Sadly my work has me out here in Palau, or I would have been joining you again. I look forward to the next time I can make the Ellesmere count and wholeheartedly encourge those who can help to do so. Having to cover a whole section really helped me to appreciate the scale of the lake and lakeshore, giving me insights I could never gain from just visiting the usual spots.

Consoled myself with a solo Asian Waterbird Survey Count at the Peleliu Sandflats (now an IBA) Feb over 4/5. Telescope blew over twice (onto soft sand thank goodness), but rewarded with a Kamchatka flagged red-neck stint, a Yangtze delta flagged greater sandplover, and a Eurasian Curlew.

Andrew - good luck for your March trip.
andrewcrossland
Posts: 956
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:13 pm

Just heard from phil crutchley who saw the marsh ie today while passing that way.
rowey
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:13 pm

Re: Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby rowey » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:17 pm

Still present this afternoon. Very skittish. Would not allow me within approx 80mts. Actually in the lake itself to the left of the parking layby at the Kaituna 55km bend. Also the hybrid stilt was present also. Does require muddy feet to reach from the cycle trail. Lots of stilts, but bird is noticeably smaller.
rowey
Posts: 90
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:13 pm

Re: Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby rowey » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:16 pm

This is the only half decent photo I have. A very gloomy day out there today. It looks rather bulky/stocky. Is this a Marsh SP? Having never seen one before, I am obviously not sure
Marshie.jpg
Marshie.jpg (75.11 KiB) Viewed 637 times
andrewcrossland
Posts: 956
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Marsh sandpiper Lake Ellesmere

Postby andrewcrossland » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:11 pm

Marsh sandpiper at Ataahua point today, on the mudflats betwwen the car park and the mouth of the kaituna river - with banded dotts and pied stilts.

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