Dunedin. Did anyone see the huge flock of large birds heading out to sea yesterday evening. April 9th

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
Nickyb
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:10 pm

Dunedin. Did anyone see the huge flock of large birds heading out to sea yesterday evening. April 9th

Postby Nickyb » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:48 pm

Hi everyone. I’m here on behalf of my elderly Dad who lives in Dunedin. He is fascinated by birds and lives on a hill looking out to sea. 2 events have happened that he is curious about. About 3 days ago he saw a huge bird with a white belly, brown feathers on top and a smattering of black feathers towards its tail. It had a huge wingspan. It had 2 smaller birds with it. He’s never seen a bird like it before in his life. The second event happened yesterday evening (April 9th). He was sitting outside and groups of large birds started flying overhead and heading out to sea. After about half an hour the groups had turned into a huge flock of birds, thousands all flying out to sea. He had never seen anything like it ever before. Does anyone know what those birds would have been and where they were all going in such huge numbers. He has rung the department of Conservation with no joy and bird and forest ( no reply). I would really appreciate some answers for dad. I’ve been online most of the day but I can’t find any satisfactory answers. Thanks.
fras444
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:06 pm

Re: Dunedin. Did anyone see the huge flock of large birds heading out to sea yesterday evening. April 9th

Postby fras444 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:57 pm

We've had a huge flock of black backed gulls rafting at lake Taupo on the main water front (hot water beach where everyone swims)
Nickyb
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:10 pm

Re: Dunedin. Did anyone see the huge flock of large birds heading out to sea yesterday evening. April 9th

Postby Nickyb » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:15 pm

Thanks for your reply. They weren’t black backed gulls. Dad said they were bigger than that and didn’t have the white on them. Interesting they all left yesterday when it was unseasonably warm for Dunedin and then today it’s rainy and squally horrible weather. Would any large birds be migrating in huge numbers at this time of year?
Nickyb
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:10 pm

Re: Dunedin. Did anyone see the huge flock of large birds heading out to sea yesterday evening. April 9th

Postby Nickyb » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:45 pm

I looked at the albatross and crossed it off the list because of the huge amount of white on them. However looking at the images it appears some of them are dark feathered. I will show Dad some pictures tomorrow and see what he thinks. Thanks for that.
Jan
Posts: 1377
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: Dunedin. Did anyone see the huge flock of large birds heading out to sea yesterday evening. April 9th

Postby Jan » Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:46 am

What about Canada Geese? They raft up on the sea a fair bit especially during shooting season, though for them that is all year round now. It used to be May to Aug.
Nickyb
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:10 pm

Re: Dunedin. Did anyone see the huge flock of large birds heading out to sea yesterday evening. April 9th

Postby Nickyb » Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:33 pm

Hi Jan. After reading about them it is entirely possible. They are certainly prolific and they are known to fly in large numbers. Also they are large. The only thing that doesn’t match up is that he said they weren’t making a sound and the videos I just watched of the geese flying in large numbers they were very noisy. Unless the sound was carried away on the wind. I’ll put it to him and see what he thinks. Thank you.

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