Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

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andrewcrossland
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Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

Postby andrewcrossland » Fri Jul 15, 2022 10:53 pm

Hi team, I'm putting together a revised estimate of the national population of Spotted Shag in the wake of the large drop in numbers on Banks Peninsula. There's reasonably recent published data for many parts of NZ but a few gaps.

Spotted Shag are reported breeding in Hawkes bay but counts on ebird seem to be very small, so I wonder if anyone with local knowledge could offer a guestimate? What I'm after is a regional estimate of number of breeding pairs (ie; nests), not an estimate of individuals in peak seasons when many of the birds may be visiting from breeding colonies elsewhere.

Many thanks for any help.
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RussCannings
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Re: Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

Postby RussCannings » Wed Jul 20, 2022 1:28 pm

Hi AC,

Not a local though I've birded most of the Hawkes Bay coast at various times of year. I am not aware of any HB breeding sites for the species. I believe they're more of an offseason visitor from parts south (e.g. Cook's Strait). I believe most HB sightings come from the platforms off Clive and occasionally near the mouth of the Ahuriri Estuary. The Mahia Peninsula would possibly have the right habitat for them to nest, however I've never seen them there in 4-5 visits.

Hopefully you can get a more certain answer for others.

Russ
Colin Miskelly
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Re: Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

Postby Colin Miskelly » Wed Jul 20, 2022 3:06 pm

John McLean photographed them nesting at Cape Kidnappers 100 years ago, but I am not aware of any more recent records from there.

Ngā mihi
Colin
andrewcrossland
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Re: Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

Postby andrewcrossland » Wed Jul 20, 2022 9:24 pm

Thanks guys. I think the nzbirdsonline might benefit from an update. It mentions the west Auckland pop which I understand is now gone and also the Hawkes bay pop. It also mentions the 22,000 pairs on Banks Peninsula which has now fallen to about 8500 pairs ( we’ll put a paper into notornis shortly documenting the 3 surveys done in recent years).

The Nzbirdsonline entry reads.,,..

“ They are more localised on the west coast of the South Island, around Stewart Island, and parts of the North Island, including the Hauraki Gulf, West Auckland, Hawke's Bay and Wellington Harbour. The strongholds for spotted shags are the Marlborough Sounds, Banks Peninsula and Otago coast”
Colin Miskelly
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Re: Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

Postby Colin Miskelly » Wed Jul 20, 2022 9:39 pm

Thanks Andrew
Yes - the NZBO account does need editing to remove West Auckland (and when you publish the Banks Peninsula numbers). The Hawke's Bay mention is still valid - you asked about breeding distribution, which is different from simple 'Distribution' (as presented in NZBO). There are numerous records of spotted shags from Hawke's Bay in the last 5 years in eBird.
Ngā mihi
Colin
Last edited by Colin Miskelly on Fri Jul 22, 2022 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nikki McArthur
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Re: Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

Postby Nikki McArthur » Fri Jul 22, 2022 11:29 am

Hi Andrew,

Myself and two others (David Thomas and Darren Lees) walked and boated along 321 km of the Hawke's Bay coastline in January 2021. We didn't encounter any spotted shag breeding colonies and only recorded one adult spotted shag on our travels.

We did miss about 30 km of coastline (the west coast of Mahia Peninsula and a chunk of coastline south of Waimarama Beach) so there's a chance we missed something there, though the absence of adult birds along adjacent sections of coastline would suggest this is unlikely.

The full survey report is available online: https://www.hbrc.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/5560-A-baseline-survey-of-the-indigenous-bird-values-of-the-Hawkes-Bay-coastline.pdf.

Cheers,
Nikki
Davidthomas
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Re: Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

Postby Davidthomas » Sat Jul 23, 2022 2:01 am

Following on from what Nikki said there wasn’t anywhere we noticed an obvious rookery either. We could possibly have missed a small one due to being there the wrong time of year I guess. But you’d expect to atleast see a few adults around.
andrewcrossland
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Re: Can anyone tell me how many pairs of Spotted shag nest in Hawke's bay?

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Jul 24, 2022 8:11 pm

Thanks folks.

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