Canterbury Big Year

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
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 8:58 am

Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Adam C » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:00 am

So IF he's in eclipse he should be looking like one of the attached which matches the bird I saw on May 20th at the oxidation ponds.
But....Janet Burtons photos on NZ Birders page apparently taken on May 10th show it in almost the same if not going the other way towards breeding. So it would be really good to find it and confirm which way its going :)

I haven't been able to find the full eclipse bird again since May 20th but to be honest haven't been putting much time in lately. It was seen at a distance so could have just been an odd Australasian with no crescent and a green head but I was pretty sure at the time.

Anyway if its still here it would be great to find it in one plumage or another.
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“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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Adam C
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Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 8:58 am

Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Adam C » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:16 am

Actually we could be looking for anything. 1 image here does show a clear crescent and then they can go right into almost looking like a female. Orange beak and all. Seems eclipse plumage for these guys varies massively!!!
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“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
andrewcrossland
Posts: 1244
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Fri Jul 05, 2019 5:47 pm

It'll be very interesting to see how many we now have around after they come out of eclipse and return to breeding plumage............
andrewcrossland
Posts: 1244
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:38 pm

Hi folks, we've passed the mid-winter mark and things have been quiet for a while on the Canterbury BIG YEAR birding front, but they're shortly to warm up!!

The first arctic migrants are due back in 4 weeks time (traditionally the first stints and sandpipers arrive at Kaitorete Spit, Lake Ellesmere in the 4th week of August), but interestingly there's been 2 cracker records lately - the sighting of a Grey Phalarope on the sea off Kaikoura (I understand twitching attempts are already planned for coming days), and today, a Little Tern very nonchalantly flew from the beach over to the outlet of Lake Forsyth while I was out doing trap checks, and fed around the outlet channel near the derelict power boat racing club long enough for me to chase it and get some good views, and then a couple of hours later, for Niall Mugan to get on to it. (Great for Niall and future finders, but loss of a handy little advantage for me as I'd seen one much earlier in the year!!).
Anyway, all for one, and one for all in the collective effort to get everyone in Canterbury on to their personal best BIG YEAR.

So today's rankings will shortly change no doubt?!

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And in terms, of this bird year encouraging folks to get out and see (and share) some birds, the regional stats show Canterbury is still looking pretty sharp - both in species seen and in the number of checklists completed:

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