Ninety Mile Beach

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Les Feasey
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:03 pm

Ninety Mile Beach

Postby Les Feasey » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:08 am

Hi All,
This is a bit late but here goes. Our Ninety Mile Beach patrols are supposed to be beach wreck patrols but picking up dead birds is a bit of a downer so we count the live birds as well. But first the beach-wrecked birds (it sounds a bit better than dead birds). On 24 July, 5 of us went out from Hukatere to The Bluff and we found:
Light-mantled Sooty Albatross
Sooty Shearwater
White-capped Mollymawk
Wandering Albatross
White-headed Petrel
Little Blue Penguin (only one)
Little Shearwater
Fairy Prion (5)
Antarctic Prion (2)
Salvin's Prion (3)
Now for the live birds: we also found 3 live birds in the surf - 2 Fairy Prions and a Thin-billed Prion - which we succoured and left on the Bluff where they had a chance of catching a breeze and lifting off. Curiosity about their fate led me back there next day and I picked up more beach-wrecks as well on the way to The Bluff. The beach wrecks were:
Antarctic Prion (2)
Thin-billed Prion (8)
Fairy Prion (6).
They were the result of the latest tides and fresh westerlies. I found the Thin-billed Prion on The Bluff pretty much where we'd left it but the 2 Fairy Prion had taken off.
For those of you who have been following it, the Tutukaka Pelagic produced hundreds (or thousands) of Prions, and there has been quite a bit of off-line discussion about the identity of some of the prions. It's a bit of a haul from Tutukaka to Ninety Mile Beach, and East Coast to West Coast, but maybe Oscar was right and there were Thin-billed Prion in the Tutukaka flock. I agree it's a lot easier to identify the birds in hand than from photos at sea.
I included the photo of the White-headed Petrel because it would have been a lifer for me if it, too, had been alive. Bummer.
Cheers,
Les
White-headed Petrel.jpg
White-headed Petrel
White-headed Petrel.jpg (261.89 KiB) Viewed 378 times
Fairy Prion in hand.jpg
Fairy Prion in hand
Fairy Prion in hand.jpg (178.29 KiB) Viewed 378 times
Fairy Prion.jpg
Fairy Prion in the surf
Fairy Prion.jpg (271.63 KiB) Viewed 378 times
Les Feasey
Opua, Far North
Colin Miskelly
Posts: 645
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: Ninety Mile Beach

Postby Colin Miskelly » Sun Jul 29, 2018 9:34 am

Hi Les

I suspect the two birds in your images labelled as fairy prion are both thin-billed prions.

Cheers
Colin
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Les Feasey
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:03 pm

Re: Ninety Mile Beach

Postby Les Feasey » Sun Jul 29, 2018 10:23 am

Thanks Colin. That helps a lot.
Les Feasey
Opua, Far North
Alan Tennyson
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:54 pm

Re: Ninety Mile Beach

Postby Alan Tennyson » Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:23 pm

I found 3 thin-billed & 2 fairy prions dead in 1km of Waikanae Beach (Wellington) on 29 July. Ian Southey & others found heaps of dead prions (mainly these 2 species) on Kariotahi Beach recently, so it seems that there are lots of dead (& live) prions of various kinds about at the moment.
cheers
Alan

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