Gull-billed terns at Awarua Bay, Southland

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Phil Rhodes
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:08 pm

Gull-billed terns at Awarua Bay, Southland

Postby Phil Rhodes » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:48 pm

The two resident Awarua Gull-billed terns are once again on the Tiwai Bridge Sandspit. I had great views of them as they flew quite low over me several times, they are in full breeding plumage. There had been a 3m tide and large areas of the spit were flooded, huge flocks of Redpolls were making the most of the mini lakes. I had the impression the terns were hunting the Redpolls as they were flying low over the flocks and I see on NZ birds on-line that they are known to catch them. There were also 12 NZ Dotterel (none were banded) roosting with at least 40 Turnstone up on the gravel banks.
Davidthomas
Posts: 1013
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:05 am

Re: Gull-billed terns at Awarua Bay, Southland

Postby Davidthomas » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:12 pm

Interesting that none of the nz dotts were banded Phil. Any of them appear to be Juveniles?
Phil Rhodes
Posts: 103
Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:08 pm

Re: Gull-billed terns at Awarua Bay, Southland

Postby Phil Rhodes » Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:06 pm

Hi David
Yes most of them looked liked juveniles.
Jan
Posts: 1384
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Gull-billed terns at Awarua Bay, Southland

Postby Jan » Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:51 pm

Gull-billed terns are known to catch, drown and consume redpolls and other small birds like chicks of species that nest near them. The redpoll predation was observed at Lake Ellesmere a few years ago. There's a bit in Notornis about it. The chick thing was observed in UK.

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