Love Waikawa Beach

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Birds

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.

Magpie

These are everywhere of course, but here's one of ours.

Magpie on flax bush.

Magpie on flax bush.

Hawk, kahu

This photo was grabbed through the car windscreen. Do you have a better one?

Hawk at a rabbit on Strathnaver Drive.

Hawk at a rabbit on Strathnaver Drive.

Eastern Rosella

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.

Eastern Rosella in the flax.

Eastern Rosella in the flax.

Pukeko

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.

Pukeko.

Pukeko.

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.

Australasian shoveler.

Australasian shoveler.

Pied Shag, kawau

Look for them in the colony just upriver of the footbridge.

4 Shags all in a row.

4 Shags all in a row.

Shag on tree branch, closeup.

Shag on tree branch, closeup.

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.

Swan and Spoonbill by Jan Jordan.

Swan and Spoonbill by Jan Jordan.

Black Swan, kakīānau

Most often seen at the Reay Mackay Grove lakes, but also sometimes floating round in the sea.

Five swans a-swimming.

Five swans a-swimming.

Mallard ducks

These were by the Reay Mackay Grove lakes. Spot the pukeko head in the background.

Mallard ducks.

Mallard ducks.

Canada geese

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.

Canada Geese.

Canada Geese by the lake at the corner of Strathnaver Drive and Reay Mackay Grove.

Arctic terns

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.

Arctic Terns with Seagull by Jan Jordan.

Arctic Terns with Seagull by Jan Jordan.

Pied Stilt, poaka

Both parents build the nest on the ground, often in a damp situation, and usually surrounded by or next to water.

Pied stilts, poaka.

Pied stilts, poaka.

Southern black-backed gull, karoro

Two adults and a juvenile.

Southern black backed gull.

Southern black backed gull.

Tui

We notice the tui most when the flax is flowering.

Tui on the flax.

Tui on the flax.

Tauhou

Also known as a waxeye or silvereye.

Waxeye, silvereye or tauhou.

Waxeye, silvereye or tauhou.

Variable Oystercatcher, tōrea pango

These are very common on our beach, but apparently there are only around 5,000 in New Zealand.

Variable Oystercatcher by Jan Jordan.

Variable Oystercatcher by Jan Jordan.

White faced heron, matuku moana

Find these birds on the beach or by the lakes.

White Faced Heron by Jan Jordan.

White Faced Heron by Jan Jordan.

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…

Welcome swallows by Jan Jordan.

Welcome swallows by Jan Jordan.

Barbary dove

Spot these around the village, in particular.

Barbary dove by Jan Jordan.

Barbary dove by Jan Jordan.

Chaffinch

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.