Sunday, 6 October 2013

Dotterel as Bird of the Year

I'm leaning towards voting for the New Zealand Dotterel as bird of the year. These cute birds love this sort of habitat. Pretty hard to spot them among the seaweed and driftwood, until they start to move. Then it's almost like their on wheels, they zoom along, stopping and starting. They hold still long enough for me to focus the camera, then they speed off just as I take the shot! 

 There's something wrong with this picture, and it's not just that it's a poor shot!

Yes you've guessed it, the vehicle tracks in front of this bird. These rare birds are at risk from vehicles driving through their nests or disturbing them and preventing them for feeding their chicks. So it's sad to see that people still drive on a beach that's known to have dotterels nesting on it. To read more about dotterels go here NZbirdsonline. NZ Birds Online is now my favourite go-to site for bird information, well done to Te Papa, DOC and The Ornithological Society of New Zealand for getting behind this and making this possible.

The bird pictured on the Bird of the Year website is the Banded Dotterel, rather than the New Zealand Dotterel they are more common around the coast but still at risk from predators, vehicles and other disturbances. So it was good to read that a rahui has been put on a piece of coast around Pencarrow to protect the Banded Dotterels or pohowera that are breeding there. Read more on stuff.