Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

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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Adam C
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Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby Adam C » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:20 pm

Hi All.

Just wondering if anyone has any up to date information or recent sightings of Blue Duck in Arthurs Pass/Otaira. One that has always eluded me. Planning a trip that way with my 13 year old in the new year and any help to narrow down search areas would be appreciated. Also anyone know the status of the Hawdon Valley Yellowhead population?

Only one I do know where to find is the Rock Wren on the Otaira Valley track. Hoping they will make an appearance again on cue :)

Regards Adam
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
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David Riddell
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby David Riddell » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:06 am

Where Pegleg Creek flows into the Otira River was always a good spot for blue ducks, though I haven't been down that way for about three years. Last time I had to walk about 400m down the Otira River before I found them.
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Oscar Thomas
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby Oscar Thomas » Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:24 am

I was told that one of the pair got hit by a vehicle on the bridge several years ago and the other moved on. They haven’t been present there in the past 4-5 years. Apparently there is a spot for them closer to Hokitika though.
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Adam C
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby Adam C » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:10 am

Arrr not sounding too positive but will definitely go have a hunt around that area. Heard there was a pair on the Minga also but that was years ago. It might need a major 2-3 day tramping trip to really scout out the area. It would be lovely to find them. On the same note any other South island spots within a day trip from Christchurch that anyone is aware of?
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

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Grahame
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby Grahame » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:49 pm

I'm afraid its of no use to you for this trip, but between Homer tunnel and Milford Sound, there is a car park for "The Chasm". There is a walk, and a bridge over the river, I had good views of Blue Duck from there four weeks ago. The added advantage is Rock Wren from the Tunnel Car Park, 100 mtrs along the walk.

Cheers, Grahame
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Adam C
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby Adam C » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:50 pm

Thanks Grahame. A good one to note down for next time we are down that way.

We are also up Nelson/Riwaka way over new year and I think there are some spots up that way that might be worth checking out. Any nelson birders have any tips? Maybe the Wangapeka but its a big system to know where to start :)
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
Davidthomas
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby Davidthomas » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:26 pm

I haven’t seen them up there for a wee while. As Oscar mentions I was up there in the summer of 2014/15 and the female had been hit on the Otira bridge in the middle of the night. I ran into the male on the bealey river looking very lonely and sad.

I think that your best bet is further down on the old Christchurch road near the Okuku reservoir.
Steve Wood
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby Steve Wood » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:32 pm

Hi Adam,
I know that the Flora stream at Mt. Arthur Kahurangi NP. has Blue duck plus a good range of other bush birds.
A nice walk and not too long and fairly handy if you are in Riwaka.

Steve
sm1979
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby sm1979 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:49 pm

Saw a pair of Blue ducks and 4 ducklings in the river beside the road at Courthouse Flat up the Wangapeka 2 yrs ago. Then a friend of mine was there 6mths back and saw 5 in the same place. Also seen from the bridge on the walk up to the Blue Creek resurgence.
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Adam C
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Re: Arthurs Pass Blue Ducks

Postby Adam C » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:28 pm

Awesome info everybody thank you!
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman

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