Monday, 9 February 2015

Bird Spotting

You might remember that we spent some time trying to spot birds and other wildlife while we were in Suffolk (and the UK as a whole).

There are times when Christchurch and Canterbury remind us of Suffolk - flat farmland, rolls of hay dotted across paddocks, (what are those called ? they aren't hay bales - maybe they are hay rolls) haze across the water and lots of rivers.

Yesterday evening we decided to go to Southshore to see if we could spot any Godwits. I read about an event to be held there later this week to farewell them as they leave Christchurch for the winter. Seems they are a pretty big thing here.

They spend the summer in Alaska and make the trip back here to Christchurch every year, arriving in September/October. Theirs is the longest non-stop migration route, about 11,500 km (7145 miles) over about 8 days. Around 2000 of them make their summer home on the Avon/Heathcote estuary and on other waterways like Lake Ellesmere. They "summer" in other parts of NZ as well, but Christchurch seems to make a real big deal about them arriving and leaving.Their trip back to the north takes them up through eastern Asia with the opportunity to stop and rest on the way.

While we were wandering across the reserve toward the estuary we were reminded of the day we spent at RSPB Minsmere minus the "hides" that were placed there to sit and watch and wait, and spot birds.  It occurred to me that while councils and DOC do a great job providing and maintaining open spaces and access to them for residents and visitors - we could be doing this better. Why don't we have an organisation like the Royal Society for Protection of Birds or a Woodland Trust ? A little more information about what species we might encounter would have been great too.

Turns out we didn't see any godwits - just pied oystercatchers. Oh well, maybe next time. Hope you can see them in the photos. According to NZ Birds online, they are declining - I thought there looked like there were masses of them there feeding yesterday.

No comments:

Post a Comment