Godwit arrivals in Canterbury

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andrewcrossland
Posts: 1305
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Godwit arrivals in Canterbury

Postby andrewcrossland » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:08 pm

Hi guys, they'll be back some time in the next few days for sure.
In the meantime an update on happenings at the Avon-Heathcote Estuary - >150 godwits over winter with most recent counts being 155 on 31 July, 137 on 15 August, 62 on 29 August (a departure of 75 birds), 78 on 10 September (a return of 16 birds), 108 today (a return of another 40 birds).

Wintering Godwits leaving on the month prior to arrival has happened a lot in recent years (most going to Lake Ellesmere, Brooklands Lagoon, Upper Lyttelton Harbour).

The birds today were all asleep at high tide. None were feeding hungrily, none appeared to have droopy wings or residual breeding plumage as far as I could see, so the obvious conclusion is that they're returning winterers, not newly arrived migrants.

Once we see >150 birds, and/or birds obviously tired and hungry, with residual breeding plumage, brownish-orange "noses", droopy wings, etc, we'll know that the first new comers have arrived.

cheers
Jan
Posts: 1401
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Godwit arrivals in Canterbury

Postby Jan » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:56 pm

Or with colour bands on legs, as none of those usually overwinter these days.
andrewcrossland
Posts: 1305
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Godwit arrivals in Canterbury

Postby andrewcrossland » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:03 pm

Antony Shadbolt and Kenny Rose both counted the Avon-Heathcote Godwits yesterday at the Southshore Spit High tide roost. max 105 seen and none appearing tired or reddish - so no arrival yet.
andrewcrossland
Posts: 1305
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Godwit arrivals in Canterbury

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:27 pm

113 Godwits at high tide today out on an island in mid estuary. None were new arrivals - just winterers wandering back to the arrivals hall, waiting for the migrants to arrive. Tomorrow perhaps?
andrewcrossland
Posts: 1305
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Godwit arrivals in Canterbury

Postby andrewcrossland » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:53 pm

no new birds today - still waiting. Last years arrival was 9 Sept so 8 days later so far!!
andrewcrossland
Posts: 1305
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 2:29 pm
Location: Christchurch

Re: Godwit arrivals in Canterbury

Postby andrewcrossland » Fri Sep 20, 2019 8:23 pm

The first new migrant came in today - 38 new birds since Wednesday including some with residual red feathering and others with droopy wings. 11 days later than last year!!

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