Firstly, please note that the next BRaid meeting has been postponed from Friday 06 November (this coming Friday) to Friday 25 November. This will be our final meeting for 2016.
#TheFlockNZ continues to appear around Canterbury, with schedules stops at Tuhaitara Coastal Park open day next Sunday, and a big appearance at the A&P Show in Christchurch, courtesy of the Waimakariri District Council. Thanks to Toni from the Coleridge Habitat Trust, Selwyn Libraries will be running education and activities days at the Selwyn libraries in February 2017, promoting The Flock and raising awareness of braided river birds. Meanwhile, some 500+ members of the North Island Flock gathered on the Kaiaua foreshore for Labour Weekend. Thanks again to everyone involved in this project. Without your help and enthusiasm, the success of The Flock simply could not have happened.
Thanks also to those who responded to the black-billed gull survey. Please do keep reports coming to Claudia Mischler (Claudia@wmil.co.nz) as the season has only just begun, and follow-up reports are just as (if not more) important to gather data on breeding success.
River Bird Surveys
- TOMORROW Tuesday 01 November: Orari River Bird Survey. Please call Sven (03) 693 7369 if you are planning on coming. After some heavy rain, with the sun shining, we are watching the water level closely to see if it will drop enough for us to meet at 9AM. At this moment we are sticking with this Tuesday, but please keep next Tuesday 8th November penciled in as a back up date.
- Saturday 12 November: Ashley Rakahuri River
- 19-20 November: Ashburton River
Wednesday 02 November: The Orari River Protection Group (ORPG) are planning to meet at the Burdon Road ford (43°59’30.8″S 171°14’12.5″) at midday (12 NOON) to do some hand weeding of the newly created bird nesting island. A big thank you to Fulton Hogan for creating the island and clearing most of the weeds a week or so back. The cleared area still needs a good bit of hand weeding to make it attractive to birds for this season. The intention is to create a place with good water flow, is accessible for the ORPG to place and maintain predator traps, and has water surrounding it to deter predators. If the water level drops to an extent where colonies further downstream are abandoned, they ai m to make this area hope this location will be an attractive plan ‘B’ for the birds looking for a new safe place to nest.
Hanmer Springs / Culverden / Waiau area: help needed for trapping: During the recent Waiau River bird survey, a colony of 100+ black-fronted terns was seen at Shark’s Tooth (42°40’14″S 172°46’30″E ). This is an easy access area visible from Mouse Point Road (SH7) about 10 minutes drive from Culverden heading towards Hanmer Springs, or 15 mins drive south of Hanmer Springs. The colony has nested here in previous years, and BRaid has traps (DOC 200 and Timms) that we can set up to give the returning colony a fighting chance. Nick Ledgard and/or Geoff Swailes will be able to set up the trapline, however we need volunteer(s) to check the traps and keep an eye on the colony. If you live in the area or know someone who lives nearby and can help, please contact me. No trapping experience is necessary as Nick or Geoff can demonstrate how easily traps can be checked. If we can get 3 or 4 people involved, each person may only need to check the traps once or twice throughout the breeding season.
Ashley Rakahuri Island Formation (4 min. video): Thanks to funding from the Zone Committee, the Orari River is not the only river undergoing some island formation work to attract colony nesting birds.
Upper Waimakariri River Bird Survey – preliminary results: Many thanks to all of you who assisted with the recent upper Waimak survey. The formal report won’t be ready for some time, however Nick’s field notes are here. Well worth reading as there is nothing quite like getting an on-the-spot feel for what’s happening on the river.
Today is the LAST DAY you can vote for Bird of the Year.
Canterbury rivers and groundwater: latest update (soil moisture, river flow, and rainfall data and maps from NIWA and ECan)
Other news items:
Membership Renewal for 2016/2017 was due September. If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. General Membership is a modest $20/annum, giving you voting rights and the opportunity to have a say in BRaid’s activities.
Thanks to those who have contributed to this newsletter. Please keep news items coming.