Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

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Les Feasey
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Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby Les Feasey » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:29 am

Ten of us met at 6:30am (one of the get up at 4:00am days) and travelled straight out the the chum spot east of Poor Knights. The trip out was a bit rocky and there were some generous berley contributions and not too many photos. It was worth it when we got out there.

Highlights were:
Wilson's Storm Petrel that stayed around with the NZ Storm Petrel and White-faced Storm Petrel;
White-chinned Petrel (We don’t see them that often this far north):
A complete list of birds seen at the chum spot:

1 Buller's Mollymawk
1 Northern Royal Albatross
6 Wandering Albatross
1 Wilson's Storm-Petrel
7 White-faced Storm-Petrel
4 New Zealand Storm-Petrel
1 Northern Giant Petrel
8 Grey-faced Petrel
30 Cook's Petrel
40 Fairy Prion
1 White-chinned Petrel
6 Parkinson's Petrel (Black Petrel)
1 Flesh-footed Shearwater
3 Buller's Shearwater
10 Sooty Shearwater
12 Little Shearwater
7 Australasian Gannet

On the way out to Poor Knights:
450 Common Diving Petrel were directly observed, but we guessed there were over 1000;
100's of Buller's Shearwater;
100’s Fairy Prion were also passed before we reached Poor Knights;
120 Little Shearwater;
3 Little Blue Penguin;
1 Black-browed Molly;
43 Pied shag roosting on trees in the harbour;
135 Red-billed gull roosting on the rocks in the harbour

A Blue shark was very interested in the berley bag. It stayed around for over an hour, and when it wasn’t pestering the berley bag had an ongoing discussion with a young Wandering Albatross.

The return trip inside the Poor Knights started out with passing Buller’s Shearwater and Fairy Prion in a steady stream, then suddenly, it was all excitement. A boil-up of Mackerel pushing Krill to the surface brought around Buller’s Shearwater, Fairy Prion and a few Fluttering Shearwater.

A great end to another great Tutukaka Pelagic day. Thanks Scotty.
3 Boilup.jpg
Boil-up with Buller's
3 Boilup.jpg (519.34 KiB) Viewed 792 times
Les Feasey
Opua, Far North
Tim Barnard
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:30 pm
Location: Okere Falls

Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby Tim Barnard » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:35 pm

Great line up Les. Did you mean 120 Flutterer's rather than Little Shears on the way out ... if not its a remarkable count.
Cheers
Tim
Davidthomas
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Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby Davidthomas » Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:46 am

I believe in August we had well over 4-500 little Shearwaters. And in the late July epic trip I think they had 1000 odd. At the right time of year they’re probably more common than any of the other Shearwaters including fluttering.

After this trip the Wilsons Storm Petrel takes Tutukaka to 33 species of Tubenose which considering its only been occurring for about a year is absolutely remarkable. I reckon it puts it in the top 5 locations in the world for tubenose species observed on single day pelagics! Crazy. Kaikoura in all its years of running only has 41?
Tim Barnard
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Location: Okere Falls

Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby Tim Barnard » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:30 am

Excellent ... thanks David ...
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sav
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Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby sav » Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:27 pm

Hi all,

I'm absolutely intrigued by David's post.

Where the Little Shears in flocks? or were there just loads of small groups/pairs?
Where were all the Flutterers?
I never ever thought I would read the statement "probably more common than any other shearwater" with regards to Little Shearwater.

Has anyone else ever seen such numbers of Little Shearwater? - anywhere?

cheers,
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
Tim Barnard
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Location: Okere Falls

Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby Tim Barnard » Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:29 pm

The absence of Flutterers is surprising Sav. That said, there might be one at least hiding in the top right corner of the photo. Intriguing nonetheless.
Davidthomas
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Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby Davidthomas » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:08 pm

Apologies I appear to have got my common diving petrels and Little Shearwaters mixed up! Certainly felt like we saw significantly more littles than fluttering especially further out past the knights.

Sorry for the confusion guys!
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sav
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Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby sav » Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:27 pm

Thanks David, it wouldnt be at all unusual to have Littles out further, and Flutterers inshore.

So, back to Tims original question - were there really 120 Little Shears on October 7?

cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
igor
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Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby igor » Wed Oct 10, 2018 9:53 pm

Yep, I'd say absolute minimum 120. On the way out there was the odd flut between the mainland and Poor Knights, then from the islands outwards to our chum site there were regular individuals and small groups of little and no further fluts. On return there were modest numbers of fluts in with the prions feeding at the work-up close to the mainland.
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sav
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Re: Tutukaka Pelagic October 7.

Postby sav » Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:24 pm

Thanks Igor,
That's really good. My feeling was that we were seeing fewer Littles in recent years in the Hauraki Gulf, so it is heartening to know that they are still out there!
cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders

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