Advice for birdwatching between Picton and Christchurch

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.
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melissab
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Advice for birdwatching between Picton and Christchurch

Postby melissab » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:37 pm

Hello all,

I am looking for some advice on potential birdwatching spots between Picton and Christchurch.
I'm heading down there next week with a friend and the trip is only a few days so we could veer inland a little but preferably not too far.

We would love to see a mixture of bush and wetland birds, we're doing an E-ko tours Blumine and Moutara Island day trip and also Albatross encounter in Kaikoura.

I haven't been to Christchurch much and have found some wetlands that sound like they'd be worth a visit, but it's hard to know what's good from the internet, so I though I'd ask if anyone would be kind enough to share their recommendations for hot spots.

Thanks in advance!
Melissa.
mikullashbee
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Re: Advice for birdwatching between Picton and Christchurch

Postby mikullashbee » Sun Apr 14, 2019 8:33 pm

Hi Melissa,
Just north of Christchurch is a great spot called the Ashley estuary. You take the the turn off to Waikuku beach and eventually park at the end of a road named 'rotten row'. From there you can access the estuary where with any luck you will see the resident Black Stilt. Low tide is by far the best time to bird the estuary. Usually lots of birds there and this time of the year you should also be able to spot a White Heron as well. Other birdy stops would be St.Annes Lagoon just north of Cheviot and Travis Wetland right in Christchurch. If you are looking for any birds in particular let me know and i may be able to recommend more specific locations.

Cheers
Mike Ashbee
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melissab
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Re: Advice for birdwatching between Picton and Christchurch

Postby melissab » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:47 pm

Hi Mike,
Thanks so much for your reply.
I have seen mention of the Ashley Estuary Black Stilt on these forums and was very ambitiously hoping to see it but didn't know where to start looking, your directions will be a huge help!
By the looks of it, it doesn't seem like there are many bush birds south of Marlborough, hopefully we'll see them on Blumine and Motuara. I'll check out those estuaries you mentioned.
Thanks again for your help,
Melissa.
Davidthomas
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Re: Advice for birdwatching between Picton and Christchurch

Postby Davidthomas » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:38 am

Also worth stopping in your way through is Lake Elterwater south of Blenheim. It’s got three species of green jncluding breeding hoary headed grebe a recent self introduction.

You can also try he base of Mt Fyffe near Kaikoura for Bush birds (tomtit rifleman, Robin etc) and out towards here is good on dusk for little owl.

The rocky shore around South Bay of Kaikoura out towards the peninsula is quite good for reef heron, and other shags terns gulls etc.
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melissab
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Re: Advice for birdwatching between Picton and Christchurch

Postby melissab » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:02 am

Hi David.
Thanks so much, that's all very helpful!
I did forget to ask advice on spotting Reef Herons, I can never seem to find them in Wellington, hopefully I have more luck in Kaikoura, thanks for the tip.
I really appreciate it,
Melissa.
Davidthomas
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Re: Advice for birdwatching between Picton and Christchurch

Postby Davidthomas » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:55 am

If you give it a bit of time in South Bay you’re likely to see them. Just keep scanning the edges of the rocky and kelpy outcrops on partial tides

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