We undertook a survey of coastal wetlands in Canterbury (NZ) during a widespread river flooding event in Spring 2013 to quantify numbers and distribution of wrybill (Anarhynchus frontalis
). We found 740 birds, of which 685 (92.6%) were at Lake Ellesmere/Te Waihora. We calculate that 15.8% of the estimated effective wrybill breeding population were displaced from breeding rivers by floods at this time. Our findings support the evaluation by Dowding & Moore (2006) that the network of wetlands along the Canterbury coast appears to be of critical importance to wrybill as breeding season flood refugia.