It’s a bird’s life in Hobsonville

In an exciting new initiative, a group of 20 community volunteers at Hobsonville have started a bird monitoring programme to measure the prevalence and types of native birds and then track changes over time.

There are some very encouraging signs of native birds coming back to the area partly as a result of the predator trapping over the past two years by Habitat Hobsonville. A pair of NZ banded rail have been spotted in the mangroves and recently a spotless crake was seen in a water catchment. These are cryptic species as they are secretive, hard to spot and often overlooked. They are sometimes found by playback where a recording of their call is played.

The new group will be particularly interested in tracking indicator species which are those which return when the habitat is restored. Examples are fernbird, kereru (wood pigeon), and NZ dotterel. To the delight of many birders Hobsonville has been a preferred destination for the rare and endemic NZ dotterel over the summer with the regular appearance of a flock of over 50 birds on a building site.

The group will conduct forest bird counts and wader bird counts on a regular basis. Scott Point has one of the best sites in Auckland for observing wader birds. Species such as godwits, knots, oystercatchers, and dotterel will visit our shell beaches if we avoid disrupting their feeding and nesting by treading carefully and keeping dogs on a leash.

The more people doing the bird counts the better the data collected so if you are interested in participating then email habitathobsonville@gmail.com The group is grateful for the support of Auckland Council (via Habitat Hobsonville), the Hobsonville Point Residents Society and Kaipatiki Project. Image: The secretive spotless crake.