There’s a bit of fun planned on Dec 16th. A kiwi birdathon. Register a team and see how many different species of birds you can see in 24 hours.
I did a very casual trial run attempt around Mangawhai and when I counted them up I was surprised at the number of species I had spotted. The photo below shows three species making it easy for me. These birds were patroling the same area while the tide was out, sharing the estuarine habitat with many other shorebirds including the rare fairy tern.
Here’s the list (in no particular order) of 33 birds.
Sparrow, song thrush, blackbird, starling, chaffinch, greenfinch, tui, Californian quail, waxeye, fantail, mallard ducks, royal spoonbill, fairy tern, pied stilt, variable oystercatcher, SIP oystercatcher, red-billed gull, black-backed gull, Australasian gannet, spur-winged plover, fairy tern, ruddy turnstone, bar-tailed godwit, pied shag, little shag, kingfisher, white-faced heron, paradise shelduck, Australasian harrier, pukeko, NZ dotterel, red knot, welcome swallow.
I heard but did not sight the shining cuckoo, grey warbler and morepork. Species that call Mangawhai home but which I missed include pipit, banded rail, Caspian tern, NZ dabchick, black shag. Then there are the shy birds still waiting for me to spot them.
I’m sure that a more dedicated effort would result in more species. In 24 hours a list with more than 40 birds would be quite achievable so check out your locality and share your results. Good luck and happy birding adventures.