Land Birds

Hardhead Duck

Hardhead Duck (Aythya australis)

See this one once in a while, blown off course I would think. A large duck. Common in the south east of Australia will go as far as NZ in times of drought.

Pacific Golden Plover

Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva)

Great little bird this guy is here almost all year until he heads off to breed. They change into breeding plumage before they leave the island. You can find large numbers at the airport and on the beach. Breeds in northern Asia into western Alaska.

Double-banded Plover

Double-banded Plover (Charadrius bicinctus)

We get these hear each year not in big numbers just ones and twos. Tiny little bird you can find them at the airport and on the beach at low tide. Breeds in NZ and migrates to Australia to over winter.

Greater Sand Plover

Greater Sand Plover ( Charadrius leschenaultii)

I saw this one a couple of weeks ago at Mosley Park 20/11/11. Small bird looks like a Double banded but has a bigger bill. It breeds in the semi-deserts of Turkey and through Central Asia. Strongly migratory.

Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

A large wader here most of the year, some stay all year. Wingspan of 700mm. You can find them here on the airstrip grass and on the beach at low tide. They change colour before they breed. Breed in Africa, Asia and Europe. It makes the longest non-stop flight of any bird without stopping for food of 11,680 km from Alaska to NZ.

Red Knot

Red Knot (Calidris canutus)

We see a few of these each year not in big numbers also a migratory bird. You would look for this bird on the airport grass and on the beach. Breeds in tundra and the Arctic Cordillera and in the far north of Canada, Europe and Russia. Comes down to Australia and NZ in large numbers when not breeding.

Red-necked Stint

Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis)

A tiny little bird would only be about 50g in weight. Not common on the island but a few fly through each year stopping for a short rest. Breeding along the Arctic littoral of Eastern Europe and spending the non-breeding season as far south as NZ. A migratory bird.

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)

Here for most of the summer months breeds Artic circle, Alaska, Northern Canada and Russia to name a few. Amazing that a small bird can fly that far!! You can find them here in big numbers on the airport grass and on the beach at low tide.

Buff-banded Rail

Buff-banded Rail (Gallirallus philippensis)

A small rail with more colour in the chest than the Woodhen. The Woodhen is mostly brown. Has been breeding here now for about 20 years, over the last 10 years their numbers have exploded almost to becoming a pest. Not a good bird to have in your garden they will eat anything.

Tree Martin

Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans)

The size of a swallow, there were about 6 of these over here this winter 2011. Not common on the island, very hard to get a photo as they are so small and very fast.