Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

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Davidthomas
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Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby Davidthomas » Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:50 pm

Hi all,

Visited Yarrs bay (the end of Wolfe’s road) Lake Ellesmere this evening with Mike Ashbee parking location is here:
https://goo.gl/maps/z1dH3QNm1ML2

Highlights were:
1 Hudsonian Godwit presumably the same one seen at Crescent island recently.
102 Bar tailed Godwits
7 red knots
12 Rednecked stints
80 Wrybill
20 Sipo
24 spoonbill
150 Banded Dotterel
3 Caspian tern
Plus all the usuals.
kelly111
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Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby kelly111 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:01 pm

Did you have to walk much to get to them.I may go out tomorrow with the kids as got the day off.
Davidthomas
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Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby Davidthomas » Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:08 pm

It’s a bit of a walk yeah, probably 300m through knee high grass then across the mudflat. You can see the Banded Dotterel, wrybill and stints well without going too far but we walked maybe 1km out to see the Godwits well. The knots were kinda tucked into the next bay around from where you walk out. A scope is recommended especially if you’re looking for the Godwit.
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Adam C
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Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby Adam C » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:24 am

Some interestingly shaped plantings there on Google earth! The local farmer part of some kind of secret society? :D

Has anyone scouted or know of access to the flats well to the south of Jarvis road to Birdlings flat. Seems a lot of extra good wader flats there in that area but not one I have tried or have seen anyone else posting about. Also some good looking pools and ground on the West side of the Selwyn mouth spit if you zoom in on it a bit. With Ellesmere being such a hotspot and our migrants probably getting slightly scarcer every year I think the more exploration and coverage of the lake the better. As far as I know this year other than the stint there is only 1 Curlew Sand, 1 marshy, 2-3 Sharp tails and possibly 2-3 Pectorals. Just really keen to know if anyone else is covering these other areas and what the general migrant wader totals for the lake this year are if different to whats stated above.
“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
Davidthomas
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Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby Davidthomas » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:05 am

It’s generally pretty sparse between Jarvis and Embankment road, and there are occasionally reasonable birds at the end of Greenpark road (aka Greenpark Sands) I haven’t explored much east of Jarvis road to be honest although I’m sure if the wind/weather was right there could be pools up there that no one checks.

My best advice? Just get out there and explore yourself. Ya never know what you’ll find. It’s such a massive area that things could be hiding in any number of places.
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Adam C
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Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby Adam C » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:54 am

Here are the 3 areas I think would be worth putting some time into. Im sure the area by the main Akaroa road gets covered, but not that I hear of often. But the 2 areas either side of the Selwyn mouth seem to not get covered to my knowledge and Im sure it just a question of access. Even Embankment can be a big day when the mud is soft! Guess I'm just keen to know if anybody else scans these areas or if its worth pushing in to find that Green shank thats been quietly biding its summer there :) Also realise the waders move around the lake as conditions change so they are all bound to turn up at each site at some stage. Thoughts?
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“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
Jan
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Location: Christchurch

Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby Jan » Wed Jan 16, 2019 3:05 pm

Hi Adam,

I don't know if you are an OSNZ member but the Ornithological Society regularly covers those ares you have marked in surveys done 3 times a year for the last 40 years. There are accesses to all of them but a lot of walking is still required. The next count is on Sat 16th Feb and if you would like to take part as a non-member, look at www.osnz.org.nz for regional representatives and get in touch. The Selwyn Huts patch is often very good when the lake is low. The area between Jarvis and Greenpark can be good for PGPlover and had OPratincole and RNPhalorope once but it was a while ago.
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Adam C
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Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby Adam C » Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:59 pm

Hi Jan.

Will attend the Feb Meeting but I think thats after the Count. Very keen Jan. I'll get on to it and sort out fees etc :)
“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
wazzagonewild
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Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby wazzagonewild » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:58 pm

It was lovely at Yarrs this afternoon. I saw the Hudsonian godwit almost immediately at the end of the spit, and the curlew sandpiper was also present, along with all the usuals.

Curlew sandpiper.jpg
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andrewcrossland
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Re: Yarrs, Lake Ellesmere - Hudsonian Godwit and Knots

Postby andrewcrossland » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:21 am

Yep, as Jan has said, Birds NZ (OSNZ) has put in considerable effort over more than 40 years all around the lake. This started in the late 1960s, early 70s with Geoff Tunnicliffe (see: Tunnicliffe, G.A. 1973. The avifauna of the Lake Ellesmere area, Canterbury. Mauri Ora 1: 107-135. ) rediscovering the areas that Edgar Stead had discovered in the 1890s-1910s (see: Stead, E.F. 1923. Notes on the migratory plovers of New Zealand, with records of some additional species. Trans. & Proc. NZ Institute 54: 490-495.). From the early 1980s OSNZ members explored every corner of the lake and back then there were over 200 Red-necked Stint, and over 40 each of Sharp-tailed and Curlew Sandpiper.

The peak period of coverage was in the early 1980s with an intensive study of the lake's birds by Colin O'Donnell, NZ Wildlife (see O’Donnell, C.F.J. 1985. Lake Ellesmere: A wildlife habitat of International Importance. Fauna Survey Unit Report No.40. Christchurch: NZ Wildlife Service, Department of Internal Affairs.). This was followed by a period of follow up surveys in 1987-89 when OSNZ combined with NZ Wildlife Service
/DoC undertook monthly all-species counts of the lake. From 1984 to present OSNZ undertook an annual winter and summer wader count, adding a late summer count in about 2003. From then onwards the CCC ranger team joined OSNZ to undertake the 3 annual counts and for 3 years this included a Feb count an "all species count" (see Crossland, A.C.; Crutchley, P.; Alexander, B.; Harrison, K.; Petch, S.; Walker, J. 2015. A three year census of wetland birds on Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora, Canterbury during the post-breeding period. Notornis 62: 121-129. and also, Crossland, A.C., P. Crutchley & N. Mugan. 2012. Record number of Wrybill (Anarhynchus frontalis) staging at Lake Ellesmere on southward migration. Stilt 61: 30-33.)

From about 2013 onwards, OSNZ and CCC rangers joined with Waihora Ellesmere Trust (WET), DoC, ECAN and volunteers from the birder community, universities, hunters and fishers, etc, to undertake an all species count every Feb. (see http://www.wet.org.nz/projects/). This enables long term longitudinal monitoring of bird pops on the lake, as well as useful info on wader nos and distribution. The more birders involved, the better the quality of data collected, and the more integrated the network of people and organisations who are interested in protecting this, the most important wetland for birds in NZ (by both total numbers and by species recorded).

So, Sat Feb 16 is the day - the more people helping the better: Contact manager@wet.org.nz for info on how to participate

see http://www.wet.org.nz/

http://www.wet.org.nz/resources/publications/

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