from Palmerston North, Feilding, or Wellington
The Manawatu region sports a wide range of birding habitats, and bird species, all within easy reach of the main population centre at Palmerston North.
The immediate area around Foxton Beach, and the mouth of the Manawatu River, the Manawatu Estuary, holds the greatest diversity of bird species in New Zealand – with the estuary itself supporting good numbers of shorebirds year-round.
Sav has lived in the region for 11 of the past 16 years. He is the OSNZ Regional Representative and Regional Recorder as well as a founding Trustee of the Manawatu Estuary Trust. There isn’t anyone better equipped to guide in this area.
Places to bird -
Any trip around this region must include a visit to the Manawatu Estuary. Timing is important as the state of the tide has a huge effect on what might be seen. During October – April there will be many hundreds of shorebirds/waders, always including bar-tailed godwit, red knot and Pacific golden plover, along with as good a range of scarce/rare migrants as anywhere. The reputation of the estuary for rarities is well founded with e.g. 3 first records for New Zealand to date, about 90% of all NZ chestnut teal records and more great knots than anywhere else in the country.
Wrybill are present just about all year round, along with banded dotterel, pied stilt and both oystercatcher species. All three species of gull should be found, and terns are well represented with Caspian and white-fronted nearly always seen and another 8 species “on the list”.
Seawatching from Foxton Beach can sometimes be highly productive, particularly in westerly winds, and close to the township are freshwater lakes that hold NZ grebe (dabchick) and paradise shelduck (as well as many other duck species) and breeding little black and little shags. It is possible to find both Australasian bittern and spotless crake here as well.
Forest areas, either to the north or south of Palmerston North will yield NZ pigeon, whitehead, tomtit, tui, bellbird, shining cuckoo (summer), grey warbler (gerygone) and grey fantail, while NZ pipit should be seen in the higher non-forested areas.
Other interesting species that should be found in a Manawatu day include: sulphur-crested cockatoo, Eastern rosella, black-fronted dotterel, NZ scaup and Royal spoonbill.
What we offer -
We can offer 1-day birding trips around the area, or longer if you like. Just let us know what you want and we will be happy to try to make it happen. Pick-up and drop-off from accommodation in Palmerston North is no problem, and a day in the Manawatu is quite feasible from as far south as Wellington if you wish.
not hesitate to email us at email@example.com if
you would like more information or to take advantage of our excellent
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Updated last on Sunday, April 17, 2005