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Recent Items

Two gulls seeming to chat as they walk by the sea.

Red-billed gulls

I was never really very fond of gulls, but I'm coming to quite like the ones at Waikawa Beach. Tarapunga, Red-billed gull.

Rare Lamprey in Waikawa stream

Sometimes you notice one little snippet about Waikawa Beach in a larger article on the web: one of New Zealand’s rare native fish Lamprey (Geotria australis) has been discovered in waterways like the Waikawa Stream and reaches of the Ōhura River in the Horizons Region. This comes from a Horizons Regional Council article: DNA techniques reveal the full spectrum of…

Small bird with ruddy chest, on driftwood on the beach.

Little dots: the Dotterels

Down close to the river, if you look really carefully, you might see the tiny Dotterels dashing around. I think they’re quite hilarious, the way they dash from one spot to another. It was only on examining my photos closely that I discovered we have two kinds of dotterels at Waikawa Beach: the Banded Dotterel and the New Zealand Dotterel.

Interactive Coastal Risk Screening Tool

The interactive Climate Central | Coastal Risk Screening Tool is extremely interesting and well worth your time to explore if you own a property at Waikawa Beach. For example, if we choose a best-case scenario with a combination of low sea level rise, immediate sweeping cuts to pollutants such as CO2 and good luck then we can see that in…

Large black and white bird with wings folded, reflected in wet sand.

Pied shag at the beach

Two photos from mid-March 2022 of a Kawau, Pied Shag at the beach. 🐦 Length: 65 - 85 cm; Weight: 1.3 - 2.1 kg A large, relatively slim black-and-white shag with white face, black feet, blue eye-rings and yellow facial skin. Black back, nape and upperwings contrast with white throat, breast and belly.

Bird with long beak feeding in wet sand.

Late season kuaka

It’s almost Autumn Equinox and soon most of the Kuaka will head back home to Alaska. There were still some feeding at Waikawa Beach on 11 March 2022 though.

Screenshot of article header.

Drones help find cryptic Bitterns

Matuku-hūrepo, Australasian Bittern were common in New Zealand in pre-colonial times but are now classified as Threatened – Nationally Critical, numbering fewer than 1000. There are three breeding sites at Waikawa Beach: two along Strathnaver Drive (mid way and near the north beach track) and one at the south end of Reay Mackay Grove. The bird are really shy though…

Taranui Caspian terns on a low tide beach at dawn.

Taranui, Caspian terns

Down by the Waiorongomai Stream mouth at dawn on 06 March 2022 were a couple of Taranui, Caspian terns: A very large heavily built tern, silver-grey above and white below, with dark wing tips, a large pointed bright red bill with dark tip, a relatively short slightly forked tail. Length: 50 cm; Weight: 700 g. There is little evidence of…

Bittern by north track

In the last couple of days a local spotted the elusive Matuku-hūrepo, Australasian Bittern only a couple of metres from the north track off Reay Mackay Grove. A large, stocky heron with a thick neck, heavy yellowish bill and relatively short yellow legs. The beige plumage has dark brown streaking and mottling, and there is a buff eye-stripe on the…