Abstract: Birds were surveyed once per season over three years from 2015–2018 at Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands, Otago. Eight species of waterfowl were observed, including four native species: New Zealand scaup (Aythya novaeseelandiae), Australasian shoveler (Anas rhynchotis), paradise shelduck (Tadorna variegata), and grey teal (Anas gracilis). Native species made up 68% of all waterbirds counted. New Zealand scaup dominated at 53%. The highest total number of birds counted was 1167 in winter 2015, and the lowest was 76 in spring 2016. The counts for some species varied greatly from year to year and each species showed some seasonal variation. It appears that more waterfowl are using the lagoons now than 15 years ago. Shag numbers were never greater than 8 individuals. The estimated density of fernbird (Bowdleria punctata) along a 750 m transect varied from 1.0/ha in winter to 2.7/ha in summer. This survey of waterfowl, shags and fernbird provides a reference against which future comparisons investigating long-term trends in bird populations at the Sinclair Wetlands can be made.
Seasonal survey of waterfowl (Anatidae), shags (Phalacrocoracidae) and fernbird (Bowdleria punctata) at Te Nohoaka o Tukiauau/Sinclair Wetlands, Otago: July 2015 – July 2018