Bird Watching at Twin Waters Lodge
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
Species that are commonly seen flying over Twin Waters or the adjacent estuary include:
Gulls ~ Australasian Harrier Hawks ~ White-faced Grey Herons
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.
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.
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.