There are so many birds round here. I often refer to the NZ Birds Online website to help identify them, and I'm still trying to grab good photos of most. Please contribute photos and identifications. And do let me know if I've got something wrong.
Here's a starter, by no means complete. As the list grows I'll look at how to organise it better.
- Hawk, kahu
- Eastern Rosella
- Australasian shoveler, kuruwhengi
- Pied Shag, kawau
- Royal Spoonbill, kōtuku ngutupapa
- Black Swan, kakīānau
- Mallard ducks
- Canada geese
- Arctic terns
- Pied Stilt, poaka
- Southern black-backed gull, karoro
- Variable Oystercatcher, tōrea pango
- White faced heron, matuku moana
- Welcome swallow, warou
- Barbary dove
These are everywhere of course, but here's one of ours.
This photo was grabbed through the car windscreen. Do you have a better one?
Eastern Rosellas hang out at various parts of Strathnaver Drive, and perhaps in the village too. Have you seen them? You can recognise their parrot-style chattering and bright colours as they flash past.
They're so shy and skittish it's really hard to get a photo. You find these by the lakes at the corner of Strathnaver Drive and Reay Mackay Grove.
Australasian shoveler, kuruwhengi
At first I thought these were Paradise Shelducks, but NZ Birds Online put me right: Australasian shovelers. They were beside and in the lakes at the corner of Strathnaver Drive and Reay Mackay Grove.
Pied Shag, kawau
Look for them in the colony just upriver of the footbridge.
Royal Spoonbill, kōtuku ngutupapa
These birds get around and may be in the lagoon or even on the sea shore. They often disappear for a while.
Black Swan, kakīānau
Most often seen at the Reay Mackay Grove lakes, but also sometimes floating round in the sea.
These were by the Reay Mackay Grove lakes. Spot the pukeko head in the background.
The Canada geese are more usually in some of the paddocks, but this fine pair were in the lakes at the corner of Reay Mackay Grove and Strathnaver Drive.
NZ Birdsonline says:
The New Zealand population is primarily descended from an importation of 50 birds in 1905.
I believe these are Arctic Terns, but may be wrong.
Arctic terns are one of the world’s great migrants, each year journeying from the Arctic to the Antarctic region and back. Some fly more than 80,000 km each year.
Pied Stilt, poaka
Both parents build the nest on the ground, often in a damp situation, and usually surrounded by or next to water.
Southern black-backed gull, karoro
Two adults and a juvenile.
We notice the tui most when the flax is flowering.
Also known as a waxeye or silvereye.
Variable Oystercatcher, tōrea pango
These are very common on our beach, but apparently there are only around 5,000 in New Zealand.
White faced heron, matuku moana
Find these birds on the beach or by the lakes.
Welcome swallow, warou
Watch for their mud nests under eaves. There are plenty of Welcome swallows about but just try catching a photo of one as they whizz by…
Spot these around the village, in particular.
NZ Birds Online says:
Male chaffinches are similar in size to a house sparrow, with the females being a little smaller. They are sexually dimorphic; males are brightly coloured in spring and summer with brick-red breasts and chestnut mantles. The crown and nape are greyish-blue and the wings are black with a prominent white wing-bar and shoulder patch. During winter, the colours are duller due to the presence of buff tips to the feathers which wear off by early spring. Females are dull brownish-grey, but with similar wing markings as the males. Both sexes have white in the outer tail-feathers which is conspicuous in flight.
Does anyone have a photo? They've been too quick for me.