Muriwai Beach Patrol Results

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.
Ian McLean
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 2:29 pm

Muriwai Beach Patrol Results

Postby Ian McLean » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:38 pm

Hi there
Our Birds New Zealand beach Patrol of Muriwai Beach on Saturday 08 June was a busy one. We had very difficult conditions for the beach patrol, a strong 50kmph westerly wind, some heavy showers of rain, along with a white water sea of waves & foam.

We found a varied selection of birds as follows:-
1 Grey Headed Albatross (Initially thought to be a Buller's Albatross)
1 juvenile Northern Giant Petrel
1 Antarctic Fulmar
2 Buller’s Shearwaters
1 Little Shearwater (The Auckland Museum will check to see if they can determine the subspecies)
1 Antarctic Prion
1 Slender Billed Prion
1 Blackbird

Four birds (the Albatross, Giant Petrel, Fulmar & Little Shearwater) will be taken to the Auckland Museum as specimens. Attached are a few photos courtesy of Virginia Nicol & Trina Smith . Note that the Little Shearwater was the unfortunately the victim of pollution, as its wings were entangled in fishing line & one foot was severed. The windy conditions on Saturday & the few days prior had likely caused the demise of many of these birds.

When leaving the beach we saw a small all dark petrel (possibly a dark phased Soft Plumage Petrel) struggling against the wind & flying low over the sand ! The weather improved & the wind abated by Sunday, so hopefully the wind battered birds survived. Thanks to the five beach patrollers who braved the conditions.
Cheers
Ian
Muriwai Beach -Giant Petrel.jpg
Ian McLean​ & Carmen Astudillo García​ find the Northern Giant Petrel.
Muriwai Beach -Giant Petrel.jpg (219.23 KiB) Viewed 213 times
little shearwater_fishing trace (8).JPG
The fishing line that caused the demise of the Little Shearwater, It was wrapped around both wings & had severed one of the bird's legs !
little shearwater_fishing trace (8).JPG (823.33 KiB) Viewed 213 times
little shearwater_antarctic fulmar_dorsal view (7).JPG
The Antarctic Fulmar at top, with the Little Shearwater below.
little shearwater_antarctic fulmar_dorsal view (7).JPG (808.67 KiB) Viewed 213 times
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zarkov
Posts: 565
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 3:54 pm
Location: Torbay.

Re: Muriwai Beach Patrol Results

Postby zarkov » Sat Jun 15, 2019 9:44 am

Shearwaters have a habit of following baits down, and it's possible that Shearwater was accidentally hooked by a fisher and then cut loose. I've seen the rock fishermen by the Gannet colony do this, and once rescued a Gannet that was trapped in exactly that way, rather than tangled in waste fishing line.

It's certainly the fate of a lot of seabirds, particularly shags, caught by boaties in the Hauraki Gulf.
Ian McLean
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat May 11, 2013 2:29 pm

Re: Muriwai Beach Patrol Results

Postby Ian McLean » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:09 am

Hello Zarkov
The fishing line wrapped around the bird was very light & it looked to be the type of line that you would use with float to catch surface feeding fish like Piper. There was no hook on the line & I expect that the line had just been carelessly discarded by a recreational fisherman & the bird was caught up in it.
Cheers
Ian

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