Wader bird count - Lake Wairarapa February 2018

An exciting highlight of the February 2018 wader bird count was the presence of a glossy ibis! This is only the second reporting of a glossy ibis at Lake Wairarapa since 1992. There have been about 50 records of them from around New Zealand - they come across from Australia.

Also, there were 202 banded dotterels counted. This number represents about half of the Wellington/Wairarapa population of banded dotterels so the lake shore is an important post-breeding gathering site for them.

Arctic migrants counted were bar-tailed godwits and Pacific golden plovers. The smaller Arctic waders (Pectoral sandpipers and sharp-tailed sandpipers) often seen in the February surveys were absent this time. This was possible due to the very high lake levels during December and January.

More details and photos of the birds counted on the survey can be found at nzbirdsonline.org.nz