Bird Watching

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.

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. Weka (native woodhen) have recently returned to the area – they were wiped out in the 1990s by a virus. A weka can sometimes be seen around the property.

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

Gulls ~ Australasian Harrier Hawks ~ White-faced Grey Herons

We have also sighted:

Banded Rails and Fernbirds These species are fugitive and rarely seen, although known to be present.  Shining cuckoos are migratory and can be seen here during the summer.

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 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.