Canterbury Big Year

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.
gmckinlay
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby gmckinlay » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:12 pm

Has anybody yet made a good search of the remoter upper parts of Ashley estuary? The bird I saw Jan 1 downstream from the Saltwater creek bridge but beyond positive ID distance was probably a whimbrel, or less likely a Far Eastern Curlew.

I had a great time with this for three weeks, before I had to migrate back to the North. A key lesson was how many birds that are present choose not to show themselves. Persistence and multiple visits needed....
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Adam C
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Adam C » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:59 pm

Ok so I'm keen to be part of this but I'm still unsure how to run a Canterbury year list on ebird. Can someone step it out for this ebird newbie? :) Thanks all.
“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
andrewcrossland
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Location: Christchurch

Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:25 pm

Ok, so the first step is simply to enter your observations on ebird, with the location details, date, bird list, etc.

Next step - to see just your Canty list without including other regions mixed in together - you need to click on the explore tab:

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Then scroll down to the section called "compare your totals" and click on the "top 100".

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In the box "enter country/state/province (red circle on screen shot beow) type in "Canterbury" and then select "canterbury, NZ". Also choose "2019" or "current year" (yellow circle):

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Then click the green coloured "show top 100" box. A list (which can be arranged by number of species, or number of submitted checklists" comes up. It looks like to jump a place higher than someone on the same number of species you need to have a higher number of "full" checklists and it ranks you higher (I think).

see next post for image
andrewcrossland
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:28 pm

Ok, so as I wrote above, click on the "show top 100" button and a Canterbury list comes up. If you write down New Zealand instead, then a national list comes up. You can also write a district name like Christchurch city, Timaru, Selwyn, etc:

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Adam C
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Adam C » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:17 am

Ok cheers Ac.

I was hoping I could just ad one Canterbury list but looks like I'll just have to start using ebird properly! ;) So I'll just add a few (appropriately back-dated) records until my list is up to date (Might be the odd single recording etc) and then start using ebird in the normal way going forward.

Thanks heaps for taking the time to show how to get the totals etc.

Always appreciated!
“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
andrewcrossland
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:53 pm

Hi folks, a hot tip for those hoping to catch up with an Australasian Bittern this Canterbury Big Year, without trampling too close to a nest. The saltmarshes and freshwater swampland around the lower Waimakariri River and the Styx Rivermouth supports a good population, augmented in winter I believe by birds coming in from elsewhere. At least 4, maybe as many as 6-10 Bittern occur in this area and I have a >80% strike rate of spotting one or flushing one whenever I explore these remarkable wetlands.
I took some CCC colleagues out there a couple of days ago to review the spread of raupo swamp post the quakes (many hectares of new swamp has regenerated) and sure enough it didn't take long to see a Bittern. For anyone going there, prepare to get wet, take a bearing of where you're heading if you go head first into the extensive raupo or oioi marsh, and tread lightly. There are 3 main areas (shown otsts n map) but I suggest the best site is accessed from Stewarts Gully (red line on map)

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a pic (by big yearer and CCC ecologist Dr Antony Shadbolt) of two of our CCC park rangers up to the tops of their gum boots in swamp water and raupo.......
There ain't nothing better than messing around in swamps, eh..

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Adam C
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Adam C » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:30 pm

Great bit of info! Yet to see a Bittern properly!
Any Spotless Crake in that area AC? Marsh Crake showing well (at long range) across from Hearts Creek hide again tonight. Also all 3 cattle egrets in the cow paddocks on the left off Lake Road just before the turn off to timberyard again this evening. Seems theyre parked up there for a bit.
“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
andrewcrossland
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Location: Christchurch

Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby andrewcrossland » Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:46 pm

Well the Lake Ellesmere census yesterday sure started in an unexpected way with near winter conditions - heavy cloud, drisel, cold temps, chilling wind. Bizarre to wake up to that after weeks of blue sky and 25-33oC temps. But anyway, participants managed to find multiple layers of clothes and headed out into a winter's day.

Results haven't come in yet but bird numbers were certainly down on the Christchurch side of the lake - the vast flocks of Black Swan, Canada Geese, Shoveler,Paradise Shelduck and Grey Teal which had been there in the days prior for example, had largely disappeared. But Royal Spoonbills (519) and Pied Stilt (2800+) were in good numbers at the eastern end of the lake. Not many rare birds but interesting ones included some very dark hybrid stilts, Hudsonian Godwit, Pacific Golden Plovers and Red-necked Stints. It will be interesting to see how the big day has increased the year lists of Canterbury BIG YEARERS? How did folks on the Selwyn side of the lake go?

The pic below sums up the day's efforts pretty well - "Dr Livingstone I presume?" - yours truly (on left) and Phil Crutchley (on quad bike) meeting up at Hidden Bay on Kaitorete Spit, at about 4PM, after having covered 15 km and 8.5 km of the spit respectively. A hard slog and a long day, but always a great day. Pic stolen from Antony Shadbolt's facebook page (in return for the half dozen year ticks riding shotgun for Phil earned him!!).

Yep - the western end of the spit is done by quad bike rather than on foot because of the long distance, the lack of access points, and the fact that its an unvegetated stony/sandy/mud substrate rather than the delicate saltmeadow ground cover at the base of the spit and around much of the lake's other shoreline. Its also a CHCH City Council-administered paper road, rather than a DoC Reserve - just in case any fellow participants with aching muscles and heel blisters were thinking, "what the ??"

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Jan
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Jan » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:48 am

I don't know about the totals on the Selwyn side, which Birds NZ, Ecan, DOC and others do, but Denise from Waihora Ellesmere Trust who run this survey, will have those. I think only a lone Turnstone, Pec and Stint were seen at various places. My group had a lot of swan, geese and ducks, the latter very hard to id. as the waves kept obliterating views of them. And swallows flying very low over the hard mud, trying to disturb resting flies nodoubt.
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Adam C
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Re: Canterbury Big Year

Postby Adam C » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:55 pm

Yip only 'bird of slight interest' I got at Embankment was 1 Turnstone. Jack and I were covering the back away from the shore though so pickings were VERY lean other than small groups of dots and swallows hunkering down out of the wind. Yes also keen to know how the Selwyn River/Rennies Bay crews got on.
“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

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