Brown Teal in Morrinsville

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RussCannings
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:23 am

Brown Teal in Morrinsville

Postby RussCannings » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:33 pm

Since becoming a father my "birding" has more or less consisted of driving to work and snooping around urban Morrinsville. Once a fortnight though I try to make a visit to the Morrinsville sewage lagoons (just southeast of town) as it's virtually the only place nearby where something different might show up. As far as inland small town poo ponds go, it's generally fairly productive with around 20 species per visit including around 80 Grey Teal (Generally the most numerous bird present). For more detail: https://ebird.org/newzealand/hotspot/L3508296

Earlier in the year I was excited to find a lone Banded Dotterel, a rare bird on the ground in the central Waikato. My hope is to one day find a snipe here as the habitat is ideal. Anyway, finally cracked 40 species for the site in style with a lone Canada Goose (Woo!), followed by a single BROWN TEAL, then a singing Shining Cuckoo.
BRTE_Morrinsville.jpg
BRTE_Morrinsville.jpg (76.9 KiB) Viewed 179 times

As far as I can tell (Looking on eBird and racking by brain), this is the only recent record of a Brown Teal in the central Waikato. Does anyone know of any from the past few decades in the central North Island away from the Tuakau/Firth of Thames/Maketu areas? Hopefully it survives long enough to carry on its adventure!

Russ C
Morrinsville, NZ

p.s. PM me for details on accessing this location
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David Riddell
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:46 pm

Re: Brown Teal in Morrinsville

Postby David Riddell » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:48 am

I was regional recorder for the Waikato for much of the 80s and 90s, and I'm pretty sure there were no records came in to the OSNZ from this region back then, nor do I recall any since. From memory the old Falla, Sibson and Turbott field guide (first edition 1967, think mine which I no longer have was 1979) said there were a few in the big northern Waikato wetlands, but I don't know when the last one was actually seen there, could be based on records from much earlier. The same goes for the first bird distribution atlas (1985), which says: "Except for a few pairs in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato districts, Brown Teal are now largely restricted to Great Barrier island (about 1000) and North Auckland (about 500). The only actual record in that atlas from the Waikato/BoP is from Matata or thereabouts.

I've seen a picture of duck hunters taken in the Waikato probably around the turn of the 20th century, and most of their day's bag consisted of brown teal. So there certainly used to be plenty here. Great to see the species back again, even if it is only one bird.

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