Regional Big Day records

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
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Michael
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby Michael » Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:14 pm

George Hobson wrote:Hey all,

I'm just compiling a list of all the regional big day records for the upcoming Birdathon, and would appreciate some help.
So far I've got:

bigdayrecords.PNG

If anyone has a record that isn't there, or some more information that is currently questioned marked, or a correction to the current records etc, if you could share it here or PM me that would be much appreciated.

Cheers.


Sorry, but I miscounted. Five of the species on that West Coast record were in Otago, so it should be 51 :D
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Oscar Thomas
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby Oscar Thomas » Sun Sep 11, 2022 3:14 pm

Hoping to ignite the flame of big day birding in NZ once more, as it is excellent for the NZ Birds Atlas and good competitive fun. Looking into the the Otago region I was told that the record is now held by Lei Zhu with 71 species on 4 May 2019 (he also saw 68 on 5 May 2018): [url]https://www.birdsnz.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Otago-1905.pdf
[/url]
Ela Hunt, Oskar Ehrhardt, Nick Beckwith and myself completed an impromptu Otago big day (practice run for future plans) in lieu of the Moeraki pelagic cancellation yesterday, and scraped together 68 species despite not being able to scope out a single mollymawk! I've seen dozens of Buller's and White-capped off the coast on the last few weeks so this was unprecedented: https://ebird.org/tripreport/74669

The day began at Tomahawk Lagoon where everything easy was easily found, and the local kotuku posed for some photos. No sign of Marsh crakes for two weeks now, likely moving into denser vegetation to nest. The resident shags and Northern royals on the hill didn't disappoint and the seabird front was further bolstered by many Northern giant petrels cruising the coasts and a Fluttering shearwater flock feeding just metres from the mole in Aramoana - I could've reached out and touched one! There was one with white feathers on the head, and a sole Hutton's shearwater among them allowing for great comparisons. We then moved over to Orokonui where kaka were flying around, and in the bush adjacent to the reserve saw Rifleman, Tomtit, South Island robin and Brown creepers.
Next we wove our way north towards the recently re-opened Katiki Point with short stops to pick up easy but elusive species such as Caspian tern, Pied shag, Grey teal and geese, had a quick look for an Australasian crested grebe that was present on a reservoir two weeks prior (no luck), and a quick Cirl bunting hunt through all the small passerines we saw. One hoiho was on the beach when we arrived, with others calling from the bushes. The new fence provides less opportunity for people to disturb or frighten the birds - but still allows for easy viewing.
Back to Orokonui after dark proved worthwhile with a few ruru calling consistently, a couple honks from the nesting takahe, and a male Haast tokoeka song. Stopped by a friend's en route home to Dunedin who has resident Little owls, and by then the wind was picking up so we went inside for tea after a fruitless listen. As we were closing the gate at the end of the drive, one swooped in backlit by the full moon and called a few times before disappearing like it was never there. All in all a very fun way to spend the day, and didn't have to travel far at all!
Hoiho. Oscar Thomas.jpg
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Kotuku. Oscar Thomas.jpg
Kotuku. Oscar Thomas.jpg (152.92 KiB) Viewed 1293 times
Shearwaters.jpg
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Last edited by Oscar Thomas on Mon Sep 12, 2022 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
andrewcrossland
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Sep 11, 2022 6:17 pm

Hi Oscar, I’d love to have a big day 24 hour challenge and try to get the record back but am very wary these days of the whole carbon footprint thing. Maybe we have to wait another 5 years or so until electric cars have a decent range? The route that I’m thinking is about 1100 km.
Oskar
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby Oskar » Sun Sep 11, 2022 10:08 pm

All the driving yesterday was in a hybrid, it ended up being only about $40 worth of fuel for the whole day but it wasn't quite 1100km :D.
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RussCannings
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby RussCannings » Mon Sep 12, 2022 11:43 am

andrewcrossland wrote:Hi Oscar, I’d love to have a big day 24 hour challenge and try to get the record back but am very wary these days of the whole carbon footprint thing. Maybe we have to wait another 5 years or so until electric cars have a decent range? The route that I’m thinking is about 1100 km.


This is certainly an interesting topic for discussion. It seems that these 'big days' get a lot of scrutiny by our community and yet I don't see anyone raising the same concern for using petrol vehicles for atlassing, DOC work, or a holiday camping trip a few hours from home?

It surely goes without saying that all on this forum share the concern for the carbon-emission crisis and climate impacts, and that we should all be striving to reduce our personal footprints and lobby local and federal governments to move in similar directions.

I get that we should be practising what we preach, and I whole-heartedly celebrate anyone who refuses to use or share rides in petrol-powered vehicles--just as I think it's awesome to see the growth of "green big days" (mostly overseas so far) where participants use their own feet, bikes, kayaks, or public transport to push up impressive totals. I suppose this latter style is less attractive in NZ where diverse habitats tend to be spread apart, and a lack of non-coastal migration is rather rare? Has some cool potential though. Same with "big sits" where competitors can only tally birds from a single fixed location over a set period of time (e.g. 6 hours at a bird hide).

This is all to say, that I would contend if someone/groups spend ONE day of the year using a petrol car to get out and have some fun--ideally raising awareness/funds for bird conservation and education, while also ebirding/atlassing, that doesn't feel like a net-bad thing to me?

I would also point out that Oscar's report above is a rare example of a NZ birders sharing a detailed summary of their day of birding--not just the rarities--(Seems like a rare thing these days!). More of that please :)

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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby Oskar » Mon Sep 12, 2022 10:25 pm

After that great day out on Saturday, I'm now pretty keen to give it a shot here in Wellington too.

Any opinions on whether those occasional cook straight pelagics out of Lower Hutt could be counted in a Wellington big day?
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RussCannings
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby RussCannings » Tue Sep 13, 2022 8:07 am

Hi Oskar,

I would say 'yes' as long as you're not on the Marlborough side of the Strait. An arbitrary way to test it would be to see where eBird considers 'Wellington' vs something else. I would imagine those pelagics are mostly/all in 'Wellington' waters. The problem becomes how much time on land you are left over with after returning!

Russ
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby Oskar » Wed Dec 21, 2022 10:45 pm

My Wellington big day attempt on Sunday proved successful, with 81 species. Despite a lot of rain, I had near-perfect luck with the birds.

The highlights, in my opinion, were black-fronted dotterel, little tern, spotless crake, yellow-crowned kākāriki, and a great mix of seabirds.

The misses included Caspian tern, pāteke, godwit, and little penguin (despite searching for the penguins in Paekakariki at sunrise, Red Rocks at sunset, and Wellington harbour after dark).

eBird trip report: https://ebird.org/tripreport/90845
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Yellow-crowned kākāriki at Korokoro Dam
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Last edited by Oskar on Thu Feb 02, 2023 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AlfieB77
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby AlfieB77 » Thu Dec 22, 2022 2:36 pm

I did a Wellington big day on the 8th of October, but only managed to get 60 species.
131 birds on my NZ life list, latest bird Cattle Egret
Jim_j
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Re: Regional Big Day records

Postby Jim_j » Fri Dec 23, 2022 10:30 am

Hi Oskar
Great photo of the y/c kakariki.
Just wondered where you spotted the spotless crake?

cheers
Jim

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