Common Sandpiper sightings

Bird sighting information. Use this forum to report bird sightings (especially rare and unusual birds), census and field count results, and trip reports. Messages posted to this forum will also be sent as a plain text email to the BIRDING-NZ newsgroup.
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Re: Common Sandpiper sightings

Postby Jan » Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:22 pm

I was rather shocked to hear that Greenshank had been seen for several years running at a Canterbury site several years ago but never reported outside the local few people who knew about it [not OSNZ members, most of them]. The reason given was that if it were reported, hordes of twitchers would turn up. But it's a sole migrant bird, not a rare nesting endemic.
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Re: Common Sandpiper sightings

Postby Grahame » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:43 pm

"Hoards of twitchers !". I have been to a small number of twitches in the last five years, only one person there on a couple, the most people were three.
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Re: Common Sandpiper sightings

Postby sav » Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:49 pm

Yes, chill out indeed.

"I am disappointed at the comments about possible suppression of sightings.
there are two main reasons to minimize publicity about sightings.
one is to protect vulnerable stages of life cycles, and the Omaha sighting is a good example. the bird was seen adjacent to a Fairy Tern nest as can be seen in the recent photos. so numbers of people looking could have had a detrimental effect.
The other reason is because of access issues and the South Manukau roost is a good example. While the landowner is currently granting access if asked, he did contact me yesterday saying that he was concerned at the numbers currently asking.
so while it may seem unreasonable the limits are not for selfish reasons, they are to protect the current rights into the future."

I agree, absolutely, with all of DL's posting except for the first line (and the fact that the Omaha sighting was no-where near a Fairy Tern) . Non-disclosure of bird sightings for the same 2 reasons that David puts forward is well understood by all - I think. BUT there is no doubt that there has been, and still is, a reluctance to share information about unusual records of birds within New Zealand. It's a darn sight better than it was in the past, but that is why I said Its a great shame that "suppression by neglect" is still so common in NZ. I stand by that statement, which wasn't meant to be pointed at anyone in particular but everyone in general - it really "isn't cricket" to keep interesting information to oneself.

There has been a lot of white noise attached to this thread already - and I wouldn't like to add to it.......... old folks can do technology, and if you can manage eBird then this forum is a piece of cake!

Take it easy
Sav Saville
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Ian Southey
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Re: Common Sandpiper sightings

Postby Ian Southey » Mon Jan 27, 2020 10:44 pm

I'm about done with this too but will close out by saying your information is your information until you choose to share it. It's a gift and definitely not an entitlement yet I think you get what you give so I try. I guess the same goes for complaints...

I'd also like to point out that Auckland Birds NZ has a nice little system where people can write their ebird lists on paper and have other people enter them. Captures a lot of information we wouldn't otherwise have.

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Marie Ward
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Re: Common Sandpiper sightings

Postby Marie Ward » Tue Jan 28, 2020 6:25 pm

I have come late to the discussion regarding the Common Sandpiper sighting at Omaha Spit earlier in the season, and agree with much of what has been said regarding the sharing of information. Not everyone has ready access to the internet and the knowledge of how to disseminate information amongst the birding community.

I regularly monitor the shorebirds at Omaha and was informed of the sighting by Gwenda. As Ian said, the bird was just passing through, and not seen the day before or in the days after Gwenda's report. Omaha Spit has a large number of shorebirds roosting at high tide, along with about 20 pairs of N NZ dotterels nesting in what is a very small area. We have also had non-breeding fairy terns regularly roosting on the spit this past season. Unfortunately, Omaha spit is right alongside suburbia with new houses still being built and people able to drive right up to the reserve gates. This places enormous pressure on the shorebirds birds that live and roost there. For example, last season we fledged only 6 N NZ dotterel chicks, and no VOC (also from ~20 pairs). The poor productivity is almost certainly a result of the almost continual human disturbance over the summer, mostly from people that want to bathe at a secluded beach without giving a hoot about disturbing the birds. Marie
David Lawrie
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Re: Common Sandpiper sightings

Postby David Lawrie » Tue Jan 28, 2020 9:59 pm

Just before we close this interesting discussion a couple of points.
Firstly it quickly became obvious that I used a bad example of disturbance to rare birds by quoting the Omaha sighting, I confess that I have only been to Omaha once and Waipu only once more so I do not know those sites very well, so I made a proper fool of myself there, even if my sentiment was valid. Besides I am reliably informed that Fairy Terns did turn up at Omaha this season, so my statement was not as wrong as some have indicated.
Has no body wondered how Gwenda has been putting ebird records into the system when she does not even have a computer yet alone know how to use one? The reason is because she hands me notes several months later and I enter them on her behalf. So if we did not do that the Omaha record would still be in her notebook and this whole discussion would not have occurred. Marie has confirmed that Gwenda did tell others, but without an instant computer posting it obviously did not spread far. So while there is some disappointment that it was not more widely known at least it is better? than not knowing at all!!!
The last Common Sandpiper I saw was at Mangere sewer ponds so the lesson there is get out into the field as often as possible because rare birds can pop up anywhere and at any time.
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Adam C
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Re: Common Sandpiper sightings

Postby Adam C » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:29 am

I also have no problem either way. If you want to keep your sightings to yourself for whatever reason so be it. Sometimes its nice to not have everything plastered over social media these days and a little old school secrecy shared amongst a few close friends is all part of birding isn't it? If you get peeved because you missed a bird that somebody didn't report it might be time to find a new hobby!
But I (like most on here I assume) get too excited to hold on to anything worth reporting. I enjoy (on the few occasions its happened) sharing the news and hope as many others as possible can see the same bird. Also as already stated the birding community in NZ is tiny! It's a very rare event to 'twitch' a reported bird in NZ and be there with more than 1 or 2 others.
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

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Re: Common Sandpiper sightings

Postby Jim_j » Wed Jan 29, 2020 6:26 pm

I can't speak to particular individuals motives and I guess we tend to assume everyone is on the "web" when in fact that is not the case.
But I will speculate that if you turn the peaceful pastime of bird watching into a competitive sport then may be some people might tend to keep sightings to themselves?
Cheers Jim

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