Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

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Ian Southey
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Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby Ian Southey » Fri Mar 21, 2014 11:05 am

Yesterday Gwen Pulham and Helen Smith found a Buff-breasted Sandpiper on the Bombing Range roost site at Waionui Inlet at the tip of South Head.

There are a few difficulties getting to the site but basic directions are travel up South Head Road from Parakai, almost at the end turn left down Trig Road and you will see the entrance to the pine forest on the right a little distance on. Turn into the forest and follow your nose to Waionui Inlet - all the other gates are locked so you will get there eventually but it's not too hard. The forest road ends at a picnic spot at the base of the inlet shown by the red cross on my map and the bird was seen across the other side more or less where the yellow cross is. This is where it gets hard.

The inlet is safe to cross 4 hours before high tide and 5 hours after. I have been told of a couple of near drowning incidents by people trying to cross 3 hours before high tide so be careful or take a boat. Also there is little or no cell phone coverage - maybe from the top of one of the big dunes so if you get stuck you'll have to sort it out the old way. Be careful - I usually bird this area over low tide and who knows, that might work.

This makes for a long day but you may need it for this bird could be like a needle in a haystack. It was seen two hours after high tide - not at high tide so it may not turn up at the roost like the other waders. It was foraging in the short turf adjacent to the roost. If you can't find it there may be some good consolation prizes - a Mongolian Dotterel and a Sanderling being the best of the other birds reported.

Good Luck,

Ian
Waionui Inlet.jpg
Waionui Inlet.jpg (106.34 KiB) Viewed 5601 times
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philbattley
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Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby philbattley » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:09 pm

First, drive 9.5 hours from Palmerston North... :(
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby Michael Szabo » Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:31 pm

With its peachy-apricot breeding plumage and bright yellow legs this Arctic breeding species looks amazing!
It's such a rarity in NZ it's described as "not known in NZ" on New Zealand Birds Online, making this a first record for NZ!
This is what they look like: http://www.tringa.org/image/1465_Buff-b ... -29-2010_1
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AlanShaw
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Location: Kaikoura

Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby AlanShaw » Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:37 pm

This species often feeds on short grass habitats----in the UK they are often associated with airfields or golf courses-----so this bird may not be tidal at all.
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zarkov
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Location: Torbay.

Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby zarkov » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:10 pm

Before you head up that way, it pays to ring the information line 0800 732738 for updates on forest closures.

It only recently re-opened due to high fire risk, and could easily close again.

Nice to meet you there yesterday Ian.

I hope I didn’t spoil any photo opportunities
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby Michael Szabo » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:32 pm

Did anyone get any photos of the bird? If so, is there a way they can be viwed online?
Thanks, Michael
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SomesBirder
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Location: Eastbourne

Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby SomesBirder » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:34 pm

Michael Szabo wrote:With its peachy-apricot breeding plumage and bright yellow legs this Arctic breeding species looks amazing!
It's such a rarity in NZ it's described as "not known in NZ" on New Zealand Birds Online, making this a first record for NZ!
This is what they look like: http://www.tringa.org/image/1465_Buff-b ... -29-2010_1

There is a possibility that at least one of the non-breeding Ruffs that have been seen in New Zealand are of this species, though.
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby Michael Szabo » Sat Mar 22, 2014 10:39 am

Yes, that's also why I asked about photos - just in case the putative BBS turns out to be a non-breeding ruff/reeve or a juvenile ruff.
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Tim Barnard

Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby Tim Barnard » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:16 pm

Just to confirm it is a buff-breasted sand - Phil Hammond is looking at it right now ...
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Buff-breasted Sandpiper, Kaipara South Head

Postby Michael Szabo » Sat Mar 22, 2014 1:51 pm

awesome - hopefully someone will submit a record with photos!
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