Gull Billed Terns at Yarrs Lagoon, Wolfes Road

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andrewcrossland
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Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Gull Billed Terns at Yarrs Lagoon, Wolfes Road

Postby andrewcrossland » Sat Feb 02, 2019 9:51 am

Hi folks,
Just an update - I spent a few hours out on the lake yesterday, checking the LII rivermouth Bay (Wolfes Rd), Yarrs Bay, Jarvis Rd and Greenpark Huts (missing Yarrs fenceline, Embankment Rd and Clarkes).
Lots of birds at Yarrs Bay and LII rivermouth bay as noted by other observers over the previous fortnight:

2 Gull-billed Terns (very mobile flying all over the area from LII rivermouth to Yarrs fenceline and back)
1 Caspian Tern
3 B/F Terns
23 Bar-tailed Godwits, increasing to 68 when more flew in from the direction of Embankment Rd
1 Hudsonian Godwit
1 Red Knot (amongst the godwits)
3 RN Stint
760 Pied Stilt
230 Banded Dotterel (lower nos than people had seen recently - these seem to have moved to Yarrs fenceline area.
no sandpipers seen

At Jarvis there was nothing except a group of 130 B Dotts c.1km north-east.

At Greenpark Huts c.120 Pied Stilts and small nos of B-Dotts, but no sign of my target (the Pacific Golden Plover flock) anywhere.

Initially, at Wolfes Rd conditions were good - 31oC but no heat haze due to overcast sky, minimal wind and birds very calm, allowing easy close approach, with no waders or waterfowl lifting unless one of 3 Harriers buzzed them.

But - at Greenpark Huts that sudden southerly front hit when I was right at the end of the 4WD track out on the sarcocornia flats - holy heck! gale-force winds and a dust storm white out. So much fine dust got into my vehicle that it jammed the window closer mechanism! So much dust, I had a heck of a job following the track back to the grassy edge and gate at the huts...

So, expect conditions to have changed and birds to have moved, and we're back at square one with regards locational intel! A bugger as tomorrow 9:30am we're running a bird ID and Counting methods onsite workshop at the end of Wolfes Rd for participants in the upcoming all-species waterbird census (see events section for details).

conditions in the morning:
IMG_3587.JPG
IMG_3587.JPG (255.84 KiB) Viewed 258 times


..... and then....white out......

storm.JPG
storm.JPG (46.49 KiB) Viewed 258 times
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Adam C
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 8:58 am

Re: Gull Billed Terns at Yarrs Lagoon, Wolfes Road

Postby Adam C » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:25 am

Heh heh..Andrew I was shooting a home in Lincoln when that Southerly hit! Was about 10 seconds away from putting the drone up too! Phew!

Glad the GBTs were there yesterday but interesting re lack of Sandpipers.

Originally was not going to be able to make the wader ID session tomorrow but have changed plans and looking forward to meeting everyone at Wolfes in the morning.
“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
Clinton9
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Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: Gull Billed Terns at Yarrs Lagoon, Wolfes Road

Postby Clinton9 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 12:40 pm

GBTs may had a nest nearby somewhere, hence two GBTs were almost tame toward Jack & Adam. So look out for them and their two future juvenile GBTs.
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Adam C
Posts: 152
Joined: Mon May 30, 2011 8:58 am

Re: Gull Billed Terns at Yarrs Lagoon, Wolfes Road

Postby Adam C » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:03 pm

Nice wee evening down at Yarrs Flat, Wolfes road tonight. No side-kicks in tow this evening (too much homework) but I had a great wee session with my favourite Shorebird, aka the Curlew Sandpiper.

Interestingly he seems quite spooky at the moment. I decided to sneak through the bushes/Sea rush etc and was able to get right to the point without even the Teal or Geese spooking. Might try this approach more often!
The Peccy/Sharpie gang were present straight away (6 Pectorals and one Sharptail) and then working in with them was the Curlew Sand. He had his eye on me the whole time I observed him (prob about 10 minutes) and then he was gone. The entire rest of the flock stayed put. I located him/her again way out at the far lake edge later on. Just as the sun was setting he flew back in and joined the Peccy/sharp-tail gang for 4-5 minutes in front of me before they all flew off together to the roost back up on the grass/glass wort.
A very happy old birder walked back to the car having finally had some really good views of what in my opinion is the iconic/symbolic migrant wader at Ellesmere. They seem to be putting on weight too but no sign of any breeding colours coming through yet.

10-11 Stint and only 9-10 Godwit present (no Hudsonian that I could see) and despite some intensive scanning of the Pied Stilts etc still no sign of the Marsh sandpiper reported earlier in the season. Hopefully it'll turn up this weekend with the Bird Count! :)

No sign of the gull-billed terns either however I had my eye glued to the scope 90% of the time so could easily have missed them flying through.
Curlew Sand 1.jpg
Curlew Sand 1.jpg (230.49 KiB) Viewed 130 times
Cuelew Sand 2.jpg
Cuelew Sand 2.jpg (1.01 MiB) Viewed 130 times
“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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