What was supposed to be a weekend counting shorebirds at Rangitoto and Motutapu islands turned into a little lizard survey by surprise.
The breeding season 2018-2019 is over and it looks like it hasn't been bad for the west coast. As far as I know a total of 10 chicks have successfully fledged but I expect the final count to be announced at the Auckland dotterel forum next April.
During the past weeks, as little blue penguin (Eudiptula minor) and grey-faced petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) eggs started to hatch, we decided to step up our trapping game. I got my hands on a Moultrie a-20i trail camera and installed it to monitor a couple of traps in the heart of the grey-faced petrel breeding grounds here in Piha.
Shorebird breeding season in Aotearoa NZ is almost here and I thought it would be helpful to share some tips from previous years. Last season Sean and I had to deal with a nasty bunch of black-backed gulls here in Piha that predated the eggs of a pair of northern NZ dotterel / tūturiwhatu we were monitoring. This is what we did to prevent it from happening again.
A while ago I had the pleasure to read the book "Seashores, an ecological guide" by Julian Cremona. I knew rocky shores were highly rich ecosystems but this book increased my curiosity so I decided to go exploring the rock pools down by the beach. I undusted my old compact Lumix and water case and spent a few days having a go at underwater photography as the water was quite warm (about two months ago). In the process I learned heaps, discovered species I never heard of and came across some really interesting websites.
A few months ago, Auckland Council advertised a volunteer position to monitor the pair of New Zealand Dotterel nesting at Piha. Since I like shorebirds and I live a few minutes away from the beach, it would have been silly not to come forward. This is what happened after.
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