Urupukapuka Island birds (Bay of Islands)

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Colin Miskelly
Posts: 710
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Urupukapuka Island birds (Bay of Islands)

Postby Colin Miskelly » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:04 am

Urupukapuka is the largest island in the Bay of Islands (208 ha) and is accessible by public ferry from Paihia or Russell ($50 return). Sailings at 8:30 and return at 16:15 allow about 7 hours on the island, which is sufficient time to walk most the tracks.

It is a pest-mammal free restoration island with several endemic species reintroduced/translocated (brown teal, red-crowned parakeet, North Island saddleback, whitehead and North Island robin).

The following list is totals for each species compiled from eBird/Atlas checklists from a visit on 1 Jan 2020 (36 species):
Brown teal 4
Banded rail 4
Pukeko 22 (including chicks)
Variable oystercatcher 8 (2 on nests)
NZ dotterel 8 (1 on a nest)
Red-billed gull 59
Southern black-backed gull 15
Caspian tern 1
Australasian gannet 7
Little shag 11
Pied shag 27 (including breeding colony)
Sacred kingfisher 14
Red-crowned parakeet 5
Eastern rosella 2
Tui 153 (by far the most abundant species)
Grey warbler 19
Whitehead 14
Australian magpie 1
NZ fantail 14
NI saddleback 35
NI robin 3
Tomtit 1 (recently fledged; a nonbirding family member described another bird likely to have been a male tomtit)
Skylark 2
Welcome swallow 28
Silvereye 60
Starling 1
Myna 50
Song thrush 8
Blackbird 6
Dunnock 3
House sparrow 80
NZ pipit 4
Chaffinch 5
Greenfinch 3
Goldfinch 3
Yellowhammer 3

Species notable by their absence included paradise shelduck, kereru, white-faced heron, harrier and shining cuckoo, all of which have been recorded there previously, although the only kereru record on eBird was in 2006. The island appears to be ideal habitat for bellbird, if they could establish in the presence of so many tui.

Nga mihi
Colin

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