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.
andrewcrossland
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:11 pm

Hi Adam, it was shortly before dusk, they were in a group flying down valley over the riverbed, about 45 mins walk above the Sudden Valley confluence.
andrewcrossland
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Location: Christchurch

Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:05 pm

I've just heard a report of a Kaikoura pelagic that Phil Crutchely, Niall Mugan and Kenny Rose attended today - apparently it was a great trip with Grey Petrels and multiple Antarctic Fulmars seen.
Davidthomas
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Davidthomas » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:50 am

Sounds like a cracking trip! You’d have been smoking me if you’d gone Andrew ;) .

We’ve also had the first record of Fernbird for Canterbury for the year with atleast one bird heard and seen at Lake Wainono. Hoping to follow up on it today on my way through.
wazzagonewild
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby wazzagonewild » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:32 pm

I went on the kaikoura pelagic this morning and scored two Antarctic fulmar, but no grey petrel.

As an added bonus, a pair of Cape Barren geese are back at St. Anne's, with a gosling in tow. They were by the small pond to the right of the entrance. If you do go look, be warned that the magpies may give you some unwanted attention right now.
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andrewcrossland
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:24 pm

Other good news is the return of Cirl Buntings to Victoria Park, Cashmere Hill, Christchurch. I spotted 2 males 200 m apart on the roadside this morning in the rain, Got some hazy photos. The best place is between the start of the access road and the main picnic area (see map below). The birds feed on the roadside verge. They usually fly in to cover or up on to the walking path when people pass by, but will return if you wait quietly, or watch from a car. In fact the best way to spot them is to drive up and down the access road slowly. Morning is best on a weekday when less people (and dogs) are around.

here's some pics of the one of the males. Not the diagnostic black chin and the storm-cloud grey chest - two features that even the darkest head-striped Yellowhammer never has.

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Here's a map of the area (the Sign of the Takahe building is at the junction at the bottom and the ranger HQ at the very top). The purple length of road is where Cirl Buntings are usually found. As many as 4 pairs have been here in past years, but few over the last 3-4 years or so. The 2 males I saw today suggest that at least 2 pairs are present. We've never found a nest, but I'm sure they do nest on the hills here.

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andrewcrossland
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:19 pm

And, with the arctic migrants, cuckoos, etc, due to arrive any day, it seems a good time to look at the stats. With the interest to participate in the Canterbury BIG YEAR and some super motivated people putting a huge effort into atlasing, Canterbury is still out in front in terms of total numbers of species recorded compared to other regions, and now also in the lead with numbers of checklists submitted.

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As for local birders and numbers of species seen so far, David Thomas is making a bit of a surge right now as were the boatload of 7 birders on last Saturday's Kaikoura pelagic. Playing the "pace car" role, I'm still giving David and others a bit of a run for their money and a pelagic trip this weekend with Niall and Scott Butcher should keep the competition going a little, but soon I'm sure a bunch of birders will make a late season repocharge toward an impressive year tally and hopefully some personal bests - as well as find a bunch of birds that less serious Canterbury BIG YEARERS can catch up with and enjoy.

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rowey
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby rowey » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:24 pm

A quick look this evening at Embankment Road revealed what I believe to be a Marsh SP. Stand to be corrected. Was on the left hand side of the fence line, just short of the lake edge. Feeding with the Pied Stilts. Also 62 Wrybill, 38 BTG's, 2 RNStints and 7 Bandies.
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RussCannings
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby RussCannings » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:51 am

Nice one rowey,

Looks good for a Marshie coming out of breeding colours.

Winter is over!

Russ
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Adam C
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Adam C » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:30 pm

Great find man! Dam was almost out there for a first scout yesterday too but couldn't quite get there. How's the track? Might be a bit of a walk for those of us with average vehicles at this time of year? Lol some solid migrants showing up already! Might be in for a good year! I'm not going to say anything starting with G and rhyming with 'meanspank' incase I jinx it! 8-)
“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: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Davidthomas » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:50 pm

Yeah it’s definitely not driveable past the road end unless you’ve got a 4wd or something with decent clearance. The water levels pretty high still and the 4wders have really rutted that first 10-15 metres.

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