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My Canterbury Lists 2021 (1 Viewer)


Gregor Tims
I’ve decided to set myself the challenge of a year list for Canterbury, New Zealand this year. I’ve sadly got limited time for birding this year around work and studying, but let’s see what I can get to! 100 might be unrealistic, but I’ll have that as my aim for now.

So far:
January 1st, Papanui, Christchurch
1. House Sparrow
2. Song Thrush
3. European Greenfinch
4. Kelp Gull
5. Red-billed Gull
6. Common Blackbird
7. European Goldfinch
8. Common Starling
9. Lesser Redpoll
10. Welcome Swallow
11. Feral Pigeon
12. Silvereye

Halswell Quarry
13. Eurasian Skylark
14. Yellowhammer
15. Swamp Harrier

Travis Wetlands, Christchurch
16. Dunnock
17. New Zealand Bellbird
18. New Zealand Fantail
19. Canada Goose
20. Paradise Shelduck
21. Australasian Swamphen
22. Black Swan
23. Mallard
24. New Zealand Scaup
25. Great Cormorant
26. Royal Spoonbill
27. Little Pied Cormorant
28. Australian Magpie
29. Common Chaffinch
30. Grey Teal
31. Australasian Shoveler
32. Masked Lapwing
33. South Island Pied Oystercatcher
34. White-headed Stilt
(Also Cape Barren Goose, but this bird is believed to likely be an escape, rather than from NZ’s feral population, I’ll have to travel to north Canterbury at some point to try and get them!)

Riccarton Bush, Christchurch
35. New Zealand Pigeon

January 2nd, near Lincoln
36. Common Pheasant

Lake Ellesmere
37. Double-banded Plover
38. White-faced Heron
39. Wrybill
40. Red-necked Stint
41. Caspian Tern
42. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
43. Black-fronted Dotterel

January 3rd, Hagley Oval
44. Sacred Kingfisher

January 5th, Ashley Estuary
45. Pacific Black Duck
46. Bar-tailed Godwit
47. White-fronted Tern
48. Black-fronted Tern
49. Australian Pied Cormorant
50. Variable Oystercatcher
51. Black Stilt
52. Black-billed Gull
53. California Quail

Kaikoura (sadly only a brief stop on my way north, I’ll be back for a pelagic trip)
54. Australasian Gannet
55. Hutton’s Shearwater
56. Ruddy Turnstone

January 10th, Avon Heathcote Estuary
57. Little Black Cormorant

Godley Head
58. New Zealand Pipit
59. Spotted Shag

I’ll hopefully be able to get a quick trip to Ellesmere in before work tomorrow- there are Grey-tailed Tattler, Pectoral and Marsh Sandpipers and Pacific Golden Plovers there, and an Australasian Bittern would be nice too...


Gregor Tims
I sadly ran out of time to get to Ellesmere before work today, but I got a couple of additions at a wetland in Christchurch:

January 11th, Roto Kohatu, Christchurch
60. Eurasian Coot
61. Great Crested Grebe


Gregor Tims
January 15th, Travis Wetlands, Christchurch
64. Greylag Goose

January 16th, Harts Creek, Lake Ellesmere
65. Mute Swan
66. Wild Turkey

Today was fairly frustrating overall, as I walked about 15km searching for the Grey-tailed Tattler and Pectoral Sandpipers along the shoreline of Lake Ellesmere (I did have beautiful views of some Sharp-taileds at least!), before a stake-out for Australasian Bittern at another location on the lake drew blank. It’s perhaps a sad representation of the state of NZ’s birds that for all my effort today and yesterday, the only year ticks have been non-native birds! At least the Turkey could have been a tricky one- this is the only feral population in Canterbury.

Even with 22 introduced species already in the bag, the following are still possible for Canterbury:

Cape Barren Goose- small population in north Canterbury
Peacock- population near Rangiora
Chukar Partridge- difficult to find, restricted to the mountains of west Canterbury
Spotted Dove and African Collared Dove- small populations near Rangiora
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo- now restricted to some valleys on Banks Peninsula
Cirl Bunting- small numbers at some locations in and around Christchurch

Rook and Eastern Rosella are most likely now extinct though individuals are still occasionally seen. It’s quite a selection but I’m really hoping the next addition will be something native😂


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Gregor Tims
A fantastic day of walking in the hilly forests of the Banks Peninsula, and a few new birds from it!

January 23, Hinewai Reserve, Banks Peninsula
67. Pipipi
68. Tomtit
69. Rifleman
70. Tui

The Banks Peninsula is the last refuge for these species (along with Morepork and NZ Falcon, though these are very rare) within the Christchurch area. I’ll try for the Cockatoos tomorrow!


Gregor Tims
I made the long journey to Hawdon Valley this weekend, where I enjoyed a beautiful tramp up to Hawdon Shelter. My main target was Yellowhead, a species I have never seen, but sadly I missed them. I will be back when I can!

Meanwhile, I did manage a trio of nice year ticks:
February 7th, Hawdon Valley
71. South Island Robin

February 8th, Hawdon Valley
72. New Zealand Kaka

Arthur's Pass Village
73. Kea

Also large numbers of Rifleman and Tomtit around. It was too windy at night sadly to look for Great Spotted Kiwi and Morepork, while I also missed Yellow-crowned and Malherbe's Parakeet and Long-tailed Cuckoo in addition to the Yellowhead. Hopefully I'll have more success next time!


Gregor Tims
A long break since my last tick, in which time I've enjoyed an amazing week of birding in Stewart Island, followed by virtually non-stop work and study, though I have had time to make a small number of birding excursions, finally resulting in another year tick!

March 15th, Harts Creek, Lake Ellesmere
74. Baillon's Crake

The search for an Australasian Bittern there continues! Spotless Crake and Great White Egret have also been in the area recently, so I'll be back as soon as possible...


Gregor Tims
May 1st, Bromley Wetlands, Christchurch
75. Indian Peafowl
76. White-winged Tern

Linwood Canal
77. Great White Egret

Nice to finally be able to get out for some birdwatching, and to have some birds to see! The tern was especially pleasing for me as a New Zealand tick, but sadly I missed mega vagrant Northern Shoveler seen earlier in the day. Still a few easy ones to find so the target of 100 is still feasible!


Gregor Tims
Exciting news this morning was that the Shoveler had been re-found, this time at a wetland just north of Christchurch where it had been seen around the same time last year. A fantastic and unexpected New Zealand tick for me! It was nice to be able to take a photo of the Northern Shoveler alongside the NZ subspecies of Australasian Shoveler (with a NZ Scaup in the foreground!).

May 8th, Pegasus Wetlands, Waimakariri
78. Northern Shoveler


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