You can see my blog entry from that day here
So after this great start, I headed out to do some bird surveys on the Tutaekuri River with a mate - Butch Menzies. The plan was he was going to catch lots of trout at the drop-off spot, and then meet me further down the river. A good plan, if only the fish had known about it! Anyway, lots of good birds, but the real highlight was finding TWO pairs of South Island oystercatchers, one of them with a nest and two eggs. These guys (as per their name) are only supposed to breed in the South Island of NZ, but have been recorded breeding on the nearby Ngaruroro River since 1978. The site they have bred at there is only about 17 km as the crow flies, but there were only two breeding pairs that I found there last year, and numbers seem to have never really increased above a handful of pairs since their discovery. They have also historically bred at a site in the Wairarapa (also North Island and several hundred kilometres away), but it is unknown if they still do. This is the first record of them on the Tutaekuri, pretty awesome.
|Find the nest!|
|South Island oystercatcher nest and eggs - the first recorded on the Tutaekuri River, Hawkes Bay|
|Middle reaches of the Tutaekuri River, near Lower Range Road|
Lots of shining cuckoos calling today too, so they are in full swing trying to find grey warbler nests to lay their eggs in. Fewer banded and black-fronted dotterels than expected today on the stretch of river covered (around 15kms), but this might be a result of the recent rain and high river levels.
A pretty satisfying day in the end...