Puketutu island & Ambury Farm Park

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Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:05 am

Puketutu island & Ambury Farm Park

Postby Davidthomas » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:46 pm

Hi all,

While killing a couple of hours before a flight out to Great Barrier island I visited the Puketutu Canal, Mangare Sewage ponds and Ambury farm park roosts around midday today birds are as follow.

1 Mute Swan (same bird as reported a while back, now seems to be in adult plumage)
30+ black swans
5+ Grey Duck, some of varying hybridisation but atleast 4-5 that looked pretty good
20+ mallard/greylards
4 Scaup
3-4 Shovelor (no sign of a northern im afraid!)
2-3 Brown Teal hiding amongst the other birds
10 or so Grey teal
3 Little shags
1 little black shag
12 odd spoonbills
10+ paradise shelduck

Interestingly no sign of any dabchicks or black-fronted dotterel.

Ambury Farm Park
5-6 NZ dotterel, including a couple of pairs that were aggressively defending territory
3-4 pied stilts
1-2 reef herons (a first for me at this location; unsure if this is unusual?)
1 banded dotterel
Half a dozen black-backed gulls
1000+ SIPO
4+ Variable Oystercatchers
4 White faced Herons
6+ Caspian Terns
8 Knots flew past

No sign of any godwits or large numbers of knots wrybills etc usually associated with this site. The tide wasn't quite high just yet so probably hadn't filtered in yet, but a shame to have missed them.

phil hammond
Posts: 326
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: Puketutu island & Ambury Farm Park

Postby phil hammond » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:49 pm

Hi David

The absence of Dabchicks is a seasonal thing. Every autumn and winter there are 30 to 60 of them spread around the canal and storage basin [mostly the latter] but by this time of year most or all are gone. Their departure is fairly surreptitious, I think they fly out at night to quieter places to breed

At least 1 pair of Reef Herons are resident around Ambury but often at parts of the waterfront where not many birders go

There are just about always heaps of Godwits and Knots roosting at high tide at this time of year but often not visible from the hide. When i was there a week ago none were on those islands ---all were either on the big shell island where the spoonbills roost or on "radio Mast" peninsular further around

Thanks for the list

Phil Hammond
Wrybill Birding Tours
Great Birds, Real Birders

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