Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

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kengeorge
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Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby kengeorge » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:03 am

Seems to be a mini-irruption of dabchicks in Lake Killarney in Takaka.........now a total of 5 in the one small lake. The normal long time resident has been joined by a mate (also normal each spring) but as I was watching that pair this morning, I was very suprised to see a second pair down the other end of the lake. As I moved around the lake to get some record shots of the second pair, I was astounded to see yet another dabchick, this one by itself. I found a vantage point where I could see all five at the same time; yep- definitely 5 in Lake Killarney at the moment. Not sure how territorial these guys get -probably unlikely that a suburban lake as small as this could sustain all five. I check the lake every 2-3 days so will keep an eye on them.
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Ian Southey
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby Ian Southey » Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:25 pm

You can never have too many dabchicks

Ian
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kengeorge
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby kengeorge » Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:19 am

Totally agree- hopefully at least one of the pairs may have some success breeding locally this season - they'll stand a better chance now that DOC have gotten rid of the red-eared slider turtle that's also lived in Lake Killarney for a number of years.......a recognised predator of bird eggs and young on the nest. According to both Heather & Robertson and Scofield & Stephenson, the dabchicks haven't bred in the South Island since the early 1940's.
Footnote to this posting earlier today, unfortunately the red-eared slider is still in Lake Killarney despite DOC's efforts to get rid of it, myself and a DOC officer observed it back sunning itself on it's favourite log this afternoon........not good news for the dabchicks (or anything else trying to breed in the lake). Positive thing to come out of us being there this arvo- we were approached quite independently by a couple of the local home-owners and told they had counted 5 dabchicks in the lake yesterday. Good to have that verified. Anybody out there had experience at catching red-eared sliders?
fras444
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby fras444 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 8:17 am

Wow I thought that the red eared slider would have perished in the southern winter once. I know that they hibenate if water temp drops below 18. are they quite hardy things are they?
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kengeorge
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby kengeorge » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:27 am

Not sure how well they survive the winter further south, but they do OK at the top of the South Island, bearing in mind that parts of the top of the South Island are actually about the same lattitude as Levin or Waikanae in the North. There was another turtle pulled out of a stormwater ditch over Motueka way a couple of weeks ago, so there are a few around. Here's a link to an Environment Waikato press release about the turtles - essential reading: https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/servi ... r-turtles/
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kengeorge
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby kengeorge » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:39 am

Here's a couple of shots of the red-eared slider in Lake Killarney - taken a couple of years ago. The pale red stripe along the top of the head is diagnostic. This one is about the size of a dinner plate, the shot with the pukeko is to show scale. The turtle is an attractive enough animal, it's just a pity it's in a suburban lake in Golden Bay rather than a bayou in Texas or Louisiana.
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Mtn Breeze
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby Mtn Breeze » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:55 am

Not sure if you remember this post ......

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5670

I never did get back for a second look so not sure if it is still there.

Matt
At least it's not raining !!


http://www.wildnaturenewzealand.co.nz/
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby Michael Szabo » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:14 pm

Red-eared Slider is listed as an invasive pest species that can eat native fish and ground-nesting bird species:
https://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/servi ... r-turtles/
'New Zealand Birders' Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/857726274293085/
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:53 pm

Should be easy to shoot.
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David Riddell
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Re: Takaka Dabchicks - total of 5 on 27 Aug 2018

Postby David Riddell » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:06 am

Better watch for ricochets! I saw one a couple of weeks ago on Virginia Lake, Whanganui, apparently they've been there a while.

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