Nukuwaiata (Inner Chetwode Island) birds and lizards

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Colin Miskelly
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Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Nukuwaiata (Inner Chetwode Island) birds and lizards

Postby Colin Miskelly » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:47 pm

During 10-12 Jan we visited Nukuwaiata (Chetwode Islands Nature Reserve) in outer Pelorus Sound as part of a project to revisit sites visited and photographed by naturalist Edgar Stead (he camped there in January 1936, and also in 1926). Colin's previous visit was in April 1993, shortly before kiore and weka were eradicated. The island is now free of introduced predators.

Nukuwaiata is a steep 242 ha forested island with diverse forest (mainly kohekohe and nikau, with much matai, tawa, pukatea and miro).

Birds
Little penguin Adults moulting in burrows (and on surface at night), up to 5 at a time feeding in eastern bay.
Sooty shearwater A few occupied burrows on main ridge (adults present during day, likely to be on full-term eggs); calls heard from same vicinity at night
Fluttering shearwater One heard about 2 am
Pied shag Colony with about 15 adults and fledglings in middle bay
Little shag Several pairs nesting or roosting with pied shags
Spotted shag Two singles flying past
Australasian harrier At least two present, occasionally harrassed by falcons
New Zealand falcon A pair had fledged three young, which were much more visible than the adults as they play-fought and buzzed us. Plucked feathers of a fledgling tui and an adult male blackbird found, in the latter case the adult falcons were roosting above. First known breeding record for the island.
Variable oystercatcher At least one pair
Southern black-backed gull Max 6 adults seen at a time
Red-billed gull One flew past as we were boarding boat to depart
White-fronted tern Up to 6 at a time foraging in eastern bay
New Zealand pigeon Common, many display dives seen
Kaka One seen. It flew off and called and was answered by another
Yellow-crowned parakeet Common
Morepork One seen and 5-6 others heard
Grey warbler 2-3 heard
Bellbird Very common, fledglings seen
Tui Very common, fledglings seen
Yellowhead Six seen (three groups of two, including one fledgling). The original Mt Stokes female (released in 1999) was seen, but has now lost both her colour-bands.
New Zealand fantail About 15 pied-morph birds seen, including a family with 3 fledglings
South Island robin Very common and extremely confiding
Silvereye 5-6 seen and about 20 heard
Welcome swallow Minimum 2 seen
Blackbird Three adult males seen, at least 5 heard singing
Common starling One seen
New Zealand pipit One seen
Chaffinch One heard singing

Lizards
Common gecko Hoplodactylus maculatus s.s. About 15 seen
Forest gecko H. granulatus Two found at night (first confirmed records for the island)
Spotted skink Oligosoma lineoocellatum Four seen
Brown skink O. zelandicum Four seen

Colin, Liam & Kieran Miskelly and Kate McAlpine
falcon.JPG
falcon.JPG (125.46 KiB) Viewed 1837 times

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