Great and Cattle Egrets near Rangiriri

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

Great and Cattle Egrets near Rangiriri

Postby RussCannings » Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:12 pm

Did a little bit of birding on my way to and from the cuckoo-shrike spot today (mostly around the lakes NW of Huntly). Highlights included a flock of 32 Cattle Egret in the morning at the junction of Glen Murray Rd and Annie's Way (just west of SH1 at Rangiriri). On the return trip I checked the NE arm of Lake Whangape and was pleased to find a Great Egret (kotuku) fishing near Shuggs Landing (boat launch area). There were also 7 Caspian Tern in the same area. Pied Shag were present on all 5 lakes I checked in the area. This is one of the few inland areas of NZ where they are common (and nest).

Russ
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David Riddell
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Re: Great and Cattle Egrets near Rangiriri

Postby David Riddell » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:57 am

So that's where they've been hiding! The cattle egret flock always used to be on the other side of the river along Churchill East Rd, and then for a few years they could be found off Horahora Rd on the western side, but they've been hard to find around Rangiriri recently. At their peak there could be a couple of hundred in some years, but those days seem to be gone. I did see 33 roosting on an old maimai in April 1997 in that NE corner of the lake, so I guess they have been utilising that area all along to some extent. Good to know they're still around.
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RussCannings
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Re: Great and Cattle Egrets near Rangiriri

Postby RussCannings » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:55 am

Yes, I've always been on the lookout when in the area but have never actually caught up with Rangiriri Cattle Egrets until now. This is probably the tenth time I've driven that road this year so either these birds are usually in more remote paddocks or may even be migrants prepping to return to Australia?

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