Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

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Steve Wood
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Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:57 pm

Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby Steve Wood » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:22 pm

Between 15:15 - 16:00 hrs on my Lower Moutere property, I was treated to a rather special sighting of 80+ (conservatively) but could be as many as over 100+ birds, circling in a relatively tight spiral, approximately 150 meters high, heading in a SW direction.

It started off with at least 12 birds feeding over the garden trees tops (50m) and occasionally witnessing two birds chasing each other in tight formation. They hung around for 5+ minutes and whilst searching for them, to hopefully reappear, I noticed the large "swarm" of birds up higher.

I checked as many individuals as possible with a pair of borrowed Bi nos from the neighbor and were all of this species.

A truly extraordinary sight... I wish you could have witnessed it

keep looking up... they are possible coming your way ;)
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Adam C
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Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby Adam C » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:20 pm

Wow! That is some news!
“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.”

Samuel Ullman
Roblyn
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Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby Roblyn » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:23 pm

I’m at the golf course again tomorrow. I’ll have my camera with me this time!
harryhatman
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Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby harryhatman » Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:08 pm

Wow! Totally wow!
Tim Barnard
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Location: Okere Falls

Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby Tim Barnard » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:32 pm

The most spectacular garden record I've heard of ... I suspect it will never be beaten.
andrewcrossland
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Location: Christchurch

Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:03 am

I was up in Motueka (Kaiteriteri) over Waitangi weekend and searched every likely spot between Marahau and the Kina golfcourse and didn't see a one. Maybe I wasn't looking high enough? I'm just gonna go and throw my binocs away now and hang my head in shame!! (got the Wood Ducks though...)
Steve Wood
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:57 pm

Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby Steve Wood » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:57 pm

I haven't been available for watching very much since the small invasion on the 13th.However tonight at 20:15- 20 :30 there were 4 more birds seen circling/feeding in the same area. Hard to say whether they have been here all this time or new birds coming in.

It is unclear why they seem to favor this site ( if at all they do )as it isn't anything special from the neighboring properties, mixture of lifestyle blocks on a small foot hill (50 m altitude) pasture and forested gullies.
I will check the area tomorrow evening again but there is rain forecast for tomorrow.
Steve Wood
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:57 pm

Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby Steve Wood » Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:53 pm

I know this might be getting a bit tedious for some but -
25 WTN right now over property amongst the drizzle.
All over in 5 min. I Stayed till 18:10
White throated Needletails  (25+)- Lower Moutere Feb 18th 2020.jpg
White throated Needletails (25+)- Lower Moutere Feb 18th 2020.jpg (61.91 KiB) Viewed 546 times
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby Michael Szabo » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:20 am

There are reports in the literature for this species that they have been recorded roosting on cliff faces. There is a cliff face at Kina Cliffs near where these sightings come from and there is an earlier record of this species being seen at Kina Cliffs, so it might be worth local birders checking out Kina Cliffs for them towards dusk (time of day they go to roost).
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Grahame
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Re: Mega - White-throated Needletail- Motueka.

Postby Grahame » Thu Feb 20, 2020 11:44 am

I have just had a text from Paul G saying that he has 20+ W-t Needletails over Stoneybridge Motueka, and would like to thank Steve Woods and his father Bert.
Cheers, Grahame

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