Banded Dotterel at Lake Whangape (Waikato)

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Banded Dotterel at Lake Whangape (Waikato)

Postby RussCannings » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:59 pm

This will likely be of local interest only, but in my (albeit brief) experience living in the Waikato, finding Banded Dotterels anywhere inland (excluding breeding sites near Rotorua etc.) in the North Island is a rare things---at least these days. I've recorded some once near Whangamarino and once at the Morrinsville WTP (the latter also in Autumn).

Yesterday (Wednesday), I popped into the north end of Lake Whangape (NW of Huntly) which is a large (man-made?) lake that has produced some good birds back in the day (Intermediate Egret, Pectoral Sandpiper!). The north end is the easiest access point but it's also probably the best for birding as after dry spells you can get a lot of exposed mud/sand along the shoreline. Since I've started visiting over the past year or so it's just been good numbers of the usual ducks and paddock birds (Swans, Canada Geese, dabbling ducks, stilts, lapwings etc), so today was nice to see a single adult BANDED DOTTEREL feeding with stilts as well as a single Dabchick (Scarce in peaty lakes adjacent to dairy farms in the Waikato--and very choosy--this was my first for this lake).

I would guess that a few Bandies regularly "drop in" to sites like this on their migration to wintering sites at this time of year--just hardly ever get picked up due to low numbers and minimal inland birding coverage.

Russ C
Morrinsville, NZ

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