Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

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Paul Gibson
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Location: Wanganui

Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby Paul Gibson » Tue Oct 22, 2019 7:14 pm

A good birding afternoon on the Whanganui River Estuary. Firstly I saw 35 young Godwits land, possibly the strong westerly winds brought them in, then I spotted a lone wader further upstream and was unsure of its identity until it flew, then I saw the black armpits - a Grey Plover - possibly a first for Whanganui. Then a call came in from another local photographer, Lynne Douglas, via Peter Frost, reporting of a Crested Tern near the river month. Sure enough it was still there and allowed me close approach for some great pictures. Not sure how long these birds will stay, but while the wind is so strong they are likely to stay put.

http://www.upics.co.nz

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Davidthomas
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Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby Davidthomas » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:03 am

Edit: 10:30am

Grey plover has been refound, no sign of the tern as of yet.
FraserGurney
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Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby FraserGurney » Wed Oct 23, 2019 5:18 pm

Grey Plover is present now, roosting with godwits 100m downstream of the end of beach road.
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby Michael Szabo » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:34 am

Benjamin Davis has reported via the 'New Zealand Birders' Facebook group (yesterday) that it's possible he saw the Crested Tern there a few weeks ago: "I think there is a chance I spotted this bird a few weeks back when I was visiting Wanganui. Is it likely to have been around for that length of time? I can't be sure however, as I only got a look at it for about a minute, it's been weeks and I have no photo. I remember at the time that it struck me as not being very caspian tern-like, but that's the only one I could identify from my book that was similar."
'Birds New Zealand' Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/Birdsnewzealand/
FraserGurney
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Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby FraserGurney » Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:28 pm

The Grey Plover was still there this morning. No sign of the crested tern unfortunately, although the only tern I found all morning was a single Caspian.
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imogen
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Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby imogen » Thu Oct 24, 2019 5:59 pm

Am planning to head up to look for the grey plover on Saturday but I've never been birding in Whanganui before. I can see the beach area at the end of Beach Road and high tide is 2.7m at 9.15 on Saturday. Can anyone advise what time would give me the best chance of seeing it, if it is still there?
FraserGurney
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Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby FraserGurney » Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:37 pm

Hi Imogen, around high tide is your best bet as the birds will be in closer :) both times I've seen it were within about an hour and half of high tide. Best of luck!
Paul Gibson
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Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby Paul Gibson » Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:51 pm

Checked the river again tonight and eventually found the grey plover, all alone about a km downstream from the godwits. Got quite close tonight for some good photos. I tried to find the crested tern but due to horrible weather (only birders and fools were out) I was unable to check everywhere and could not even find the white fronted tern roost. Will check again tomorrow. For anyone that wants to come Saturday for the grey plover, high tide is at 9:15 am, so as Fraser says above, best to be there within an hour and a half of high tide, on the stop bank at the end of Beach Road. Not sure really the best time for the terns.
Paul Gibson
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:49 am
Location: Wanganui

Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby Paul Gibson » Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:05 pm

The Crested Tern was back at the Whanganui River mouth - this morning at 11 am.
Paul Gibson
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Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 9:49 am
Location: Wanganui

Re: Whanganui River Estuary - Grey Plover & Crested Tern

Postby Paul Gibson » Sat Oct 26, 2019 1:05 pm

The grey plover was located this morning again at 10:50 am, after several hours looking. Several birders had come to see it so were not disappointed. So far today we have not found the crested tern, a very elusive bird.

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