Bird Watching at Twin Waters Lodge

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Western Golden Bay, particularly close to Farewell Spit, is noted for its richness of bird life, particularly shore birds and waders. Totara Avenue, where Twin Waters Lodge is located, has a significant native bush and tree environment with a good population of native and exotic birds – on the property or within short walking distance.

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The following species are routinely seen on trees, shrubs and lawn on the grounds of Twin Waters Lodge and adjacent properties:

Tuis (many) ~ Bellbirds ~ Fantails ~ Native Pigeons ~ Grey Warblers ~ Silvereyes ~ Chaffinches ~ Thrushes ~ Blackbirds ~ California Quail ~ Swallows ~ Meadow Larks

Species that are commonly seen flying over Twin Waters or the adjacent estuary include:

Gulls ~ Australasian Harrier Hawks ~ White-faced Grey Herons

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In the last 12 months we have also sighted:

Banded Rails and Fernbirds These species are fugitive and rarely seen, although known to be present. We have recently had a shining cuckoo attended by its surrogate parent grey warbler in our garden.

Species regularly seen on beaches adjacent to Twin Waters or flying over the sea are:

Gulls (black backed, black beaked, red beaked) ~ Variable and Pied Oystercatchers ~ Banded Dotterels (the beach is a nesting area for both oystercatchers and banded dotterels) ~ White-faced Grey Herons ~ Gannets ~ Pied Shags ~ Spotted Shags ~ Spurwinged plovers ~ Bar-tailed Godwits ~ Caspian Terns

The presence of these birds is influenced by tides and weather. Species notably absent in the area are sparrows and magpies.

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Species that can generally be seen in the local area (within a radius of about 3 km) include:

Pukeko ~ Paradise Ducks ~ Royal Spoonbills ~ White Herons (except in the breeding season December-February) ~ Pied Stilts ~ Caspian Terns ~ White-Fronted Terns ~ Black-fronted Terns ~ Godwits ~ Black Swans

On nearby farmland can be seen:

Mallard Ducks ~ Paradise Sheldrakes ~ New Zealand Kingfishers and Pukeko (NZ swamp hen)

Migratory birds, commonly seen in the area from late October until early March:

Godwits ~ Knots (there is a small number of resident godwits that do not migrate)

Note on migratory godwits: In early 2007 a team working from Twin Waters Lodge tagged a number of godwits on local beaches with radio transmitters to follow their migration.

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Farewell Spit

Farewell Spit is a conservation area for birds and other wildlife. To visit the Spit requires a conducted tour. We are agents for Farewell Spit Tours (http://www.farewellspit.com/ ), and they will pick up and drop off at Twin Waters Lodge on their way to the Spit.