White heron breeding in Golden Bay

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alecmilne
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:31 pm

White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby alecmilne » Mon Apr 27, 2020 10:14 am

I've recently received an account of successful breeding by a pair of white heron near Paton's Rock, Golden Bay during the 2018/19 season. Are there any other accounts of them breeding outside of Okarito?
Paul Scofield
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:39 am

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Paul Scofield » Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:16 am

If true this is extraordinary. I am not even aware of any attempts. Sure they didn't mean spoonbill??
Paul
Jim_j
Posts: 613
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Jim_j » Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:46 pm

If true I wonder if it imight be connected to any possible new arrivals?
With all the reports lately of Barn Owls, Needle tails etc - it may be that weather patterns are bringing in new birds?
Cheers
Jim
Jan
Posts: 1475
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 10:43 am
Location: Christchurch

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Jan » Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:20 pm

I would like to get to the bottom of that report from Potts' Out in the Open book where it is reported that he said
they used to breed around Banks Peninsula but were disturbed and went elsewhere. I have no access to Potts, so
I wonder if anyone else knows what he wrote?
alecmilne
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:31 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby alecmilne » Tue Apr 28, 2020 8:31 am

The observers confident they were not spoonbills, less confident that they weren't cattle egrets. The pair returned this season but appeared to be driven off by a pair of white-faced heron which nested in the same tree. Best way to proceed an unusual bird report to RAC?
Paul Scofield
Posts: 132
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:39 am

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Paul Scofield » Tue Apr 28, 2020 9:59 am

Hi Jan,

Yes had forgotten about Potts (1882).

He appears to believe that the abundance of Eastern Great Egrets at Lake Heron in the mid 19th C must have indicated a breeding colony but he never saw direct evidence of such.

He states:
"For a long period the West Coast must have been the head quarters of the heron it is probable that through mountain passes wandering birds settled the colony at Lake Heron from thence stragglers following the tributary streams that swell the Rakaia reached the River Harper and Lake Coleridge These small settlements have for years become things of the past the last survivor of the Lake Heron family remembered by the writer remained for a length of time about the gorge of the Ashburton or Haketere roosting often at night on the roof of a hut on the Clint Hills station till a sporting new chum made him into a specimen. We have a note of having seen four young birds on the Rakaia in the autumn of 1856 these were most probably bred in the fagus forest that skirts the Harper river. We have a memorandum of a nest at Kaitunu as the name indicates eels again in plenty near Lake Ellesmere from the shores of which extensive mere many noble specimens have been obtained rarely have we noticed it standing at the outlet of a tidal creek in Lyttelton harbour. One heronry far to the south a few years since was lost through the insatiable greediness of a collector it was on the Oreti River. This ardent naturalist to use an authorised epithet after several plundering visits to the ill fated breeding station started off once more to the forest. Following the notable example of the brother of Ali Baba he took with him the necessary appliances for effecting a clean sweep His approach for once was not heralded by restless herons sweeping around on their broad pinions all was still lo the old heronry was deserted and by these magnificent birds the place was known no more"

So one could infer "formerly bred on the Oreti River, Southland; a single nest was reported from Kaituna on Lake Ellesmere and perhaps breed at Lake Heron, Canterbury" (Potts 1882).

P
Colin Miskelly
Posts: 750
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:31 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Colin Miskelly » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:59 pm

Kia ora Alec

If there is information that allows the birds to be identified and demonstrate that they are nesting (e.g. a photograph of the birds at the nest), then yes, an Unusual Bird Report should be submitted. Neither white heron nor cattle egret is reportable from Golden Bay, but if they laid an egg, that would be.

Thanks
Colin
alecmilne
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:31 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby alecmilne » Tue Apr 28, 2020 7:15 pm

Hi Colin. Only had cell phone photos, since deleted. They gave a detailed description of the adults feeding the single fledgling, which hung out beside there home for 2 weeks after it left the nest. I've put a letter in the local Golden Bay Weekly to see if anyone saw the pair nesting elsewhere in Golden Bay this past season.
Steve Wood
Posts: 218
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:57 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby Steve Wood » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:43 am

Hi Alec
Is it possible to get the details of the person who sent you the photo? I would be keen to follow this up.
Thanks.
Steve
alecmilne
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:31 pm

Re: White heron breeding in Golden Bay

Postby alecmilne » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:53 pm

Hi Steve, contact Baerbel Hack, Grant's Rd, Puramahoi on 03 5259434. The tree was right beside their home so they observed the bird's behaviour constantly and clearly a chick fledged. Will keep you up-dated with anymore info coming thru.
Regards, Alec

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