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Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:12 pm
by Colin Miskelly
Hi all

A third-hand report from Hugh Robertson that there was a bird that appears to be a northern shoveler at Otaki sewage ponds today.

Cheers
Colin

Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:15 pm
by troymakan
Was still there on Tuesday.
Some blurry photos below

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Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:58 pm
by Byrd
I had a look today and couldn't see any shovellers which I could turn into a Northern. There were two different birds which looked extremely similar to the one in the photos above. Both of them were sitting hunched down by themselves (at opposite ends of the ponds), quite apart from all the other shovellers, but when they (eventually) raised their heads the first one had a very obvious crescent on the face and was clearly a NZ Shoveller, while the second had a less-obvious crescent but still quite noticeable when the head was showing. Both birds actually looked like they had green heads when they were all tucked up, which was why I spent so much time waiting for them to move (!), but once they got up the colour "changed" to being a regular blue-grey.

Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:11 pm
by GrahamB
I had similar experience yesterday - many of the shovelers were tucked up asleep on the bank. I might have seen the Northern but its aspect/orientation wasn't good enough. A regular Black-fronted Dotterel was there for compensation and there was a pair on the exposed mud of the lagoon near the Otaki river mouth (from the unmade beach road) along with about six nicely coloured-up Banded Dotterels. Cheers, GrahamB

Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:10 pm
by ledzep
I spent some time there today (Sat) and like the others, I couldn't spot a Northern Shoveler. Most birds were on the right pond (standing with back to the main road), with quite a number of Australasian Shoveler. Pair of Black-fronted Dotterels also seen.

Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:10 pm
by Byrd
I saw about five Black-fronted Dotterels when I was there (total bird species for the day was 32 I think, a lot of them from the train between Wellington and Waikanae).

At the ponds, only a few of the shovellers were on land sleeping; most were on the water which made it easier to cross them off the possibilities.

Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:36 pm
by boneywhitefoot
Could that bird be some kind of crossbreed?

Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:27 pm
by RussCannings
boneywhitefoot wrote:Could that bird be some kind of crossbreed?


They say anything is possible (and I wouldn't say anything for sure), however I see no obvious reason to suspect hybridism. It is completely normal for drake Northerns to look like this (including larger crescent patches than on this bird) while transitioning between juvenile or eclipse to breeding plumage.

That said, I wouldn't at all be surprised if some of these wayward birds link up with some Austral females (much worse has occurred in the dabbling world!), so hybrids may indeed pop up. What will they look like? Might be a question for duck breeders for a start.

Russ

Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 6:18 pm
by boneywhitefoot
Taa I will be going to Otaki sometime next week so it will be a lifer if I can photograph it.

Re: Northern shoveler at Otaki sewage pond

Posted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:02 pm
by Alan Tennyson
I had a look there today but didn't see any unusual looking shovelers.