Updates on the Lake Ellesmere Northern Shovs & HH Grebes

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Updates on the Lake Ellesmere Northern Shovs & HH Grebes

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:10 pm

Just for Canterbury folks who didn't pick up on the presence of these birds from my earlier post, 2 male Northern Shovelers were found at Lake Ellesmere on the wader survey (last Sunday) - one between the Spoonbill colony and the Halswell RM; the other within the CCC reserve at Kaitorete Spit (see maps in the - if we didn't have pics no-one would believe us" post.)

The more accessible bird near the Spoonbill colony (a 500m walk from the Akaroa highway) was found last Saturday by Matt Rose, and watched at the time by Kenny Rose, Alice Waterhouse, Kristina MacDonald, Dale McIntee, Mike Hargraves. Later that same afternoon, Phil Crutchley and I saw it and also found a pair of small grebes (which we ID'd as Hoary-headed) at the end of the fenceline that goes straight out in to the lake.

Mid week, Bev Alexander and other Birds NZ folk saw the shoveler at the same location, and today Grahame Bell and Matthias also saw (and photographed it) there. None of these folks saw the grebes though (although an adult and 3 juv Crested Grebes were present).

The 2nd Northern Shov was found and photographed by me last Sat the CCC Reserve, but after a period of observation was flushed by a Harrier and resettled amongst thousands of Grey Teal and NZ Shoveler that were in that area. I had another look there today but the lake has risen considerably since last Sunday and flooded a wide area of grassland/marsh. I couldn't relocate the bird, but as its also in stunning breeding plumage, we should see it again somewhere around the lake.

There is perhaps 3 - 5 weeks left for Northern Shoveler searching before the big winter flocks of NZ Shoveler break up and birds return to breeding grounds in pairs and small groups for breeding. So, good luck out there!

With regards the HH Grebes - much appreciated if anyone gets some decent photos! Mine were pretty crappy!!
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Re: Updates on the Lake Ellesmere Northern Shovs & HH Grebes

Postby Clinton9 » Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:13 pm

Very very strange for 5 male Northern shovelers to remain overwintering in NZ, instead of migrating back to northern east Asia to breed.
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Nick Allen
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Re: Updates on the Lake Ellesmere Northern Shovs & HH Grebes

Postby Nick Allen » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:27 pm

Drake nr Ataahua still present this morning near end of fenceline about 1130, roughly at -43.7585,172.6126
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Re: Updates on the Lake Ellesmere Northern Shovs & HH Grebes

Postby Davidthomas » Wed Jun 27, 2018 1:54 pm

Yep, me and mike Ashbee sighted it earlier around 9:39 am. Visible with a scope from the road.

Also of note were two non breeding plumage red necked stints amongst the banded dotterels at the spit tip, along with some caspian terns, bft and wft.

We also had atleast 5 northern giant petrels scooting in and out of the breakers at birdlings flat, with atleast 10 Westland/white chinned petrels also flying past in fifteen minutes of sea I watching, and a bullers albatross.

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