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  • Braided River Newsletter #26: 21 December

    Posted on December 21, 2016 by in Ashley, Black-billed gull, black-fronted terns, Breeding, Education, Lower Waitaki, Newsletters, Waitaki, wrybill

    Merry Christmas everyone.

    Firstly, a big thank you for your support this year. I’ll keep this brief as I know your email inboxes will be jammed with end-of-year missives.

    I will be away from Friday 23 December until the end of January. If I manage to snap a few photos of Iceland’s braided rivers, I’ll post them on BRaid’s Facebook page. However, I will be not be checking emails. For anything urgent please contact Nick Ledgard:

    Safe and happy holidays,

    Sonny Whitelaw


    Chicks on a Farm’: a good news story A colony of black-billed gulls has decided that nesting in the middle of a paddock is preferable to battling lupins in the Ashley Rakahuri. This story has just made the entire front page of the Northern Outlook (there’s also video).

    The Ashley Rakahuri 2016 Annual Bird Survey is now out.

    Braided Rivers Seminar 2017: Like the 2016 Workshop, this is a free, full day event including lunch. As the last workshop was standing room only, and we were oversubscribed with presenters, I recommend booking sooner rather than later.

    #TheFlockNZ:  Selwyn District Libraries will be running school holiday programmes using the teaching resources that go along with #TheFlockNZ.  The North Canterbury wing is currently split between Hanmer Springs and Amuri Jet’s base of operations. Thanks to Sandy Nelson from Twizel Area School, the Twizel Area flock is now having a crack at flying the circuit from Twizel via Aoraki to Timaru and home via Waimate and the Waitaki Valley.

    Keep an eye out for them, and send us photos so we can track their progress!

    The Wrybill movie: starring Anarhynchus frontalis and Nick Ledgard.

    The Black-backed Gull movie: the tragic story of a tern nesting in a colony on the lower Waitaki River, and the black-backed gull that stole her eggs.

    Who is banding red-billed gulls around Picton? White L57 R leg. Yellow A71 L leg. White P90 L leg seen begging for fish & chips.

    The Ashburton River/Hakatere shorebird habitat management plan is now available.

    Other news items:

    • Thousands” of dead and dying koura floating down a stream in Putaruru (21 December – Stuff)
    • Didymo reduces fish biomass by 90% (Biological Invasions)
    • Environment battle heats up at proposed hydro scheme for West Coast river (Stuff)
    • 10,000 Snow Geese Die After Landing on Toxic Mining Waters in Montana (Ecowatch)
    • Thirty-two of satellite mapping of Earth’s surface water reveals influence of natural cycles & human activities (Nature)

    BRaid’s next meeting: Thursday 3.00pm 17 February at Ngai Mahi Road, Sockburn.

    Membership Renewal for 2016/2017 was due September. If you are not already a member of BRaid, you can join as a General, Casual, or Representative member. General Membership is a modest $20/annum, giving you voting rights and the opportunity to have a say in BRaid’s activities.

    Thanks to those who have contributed to this newsletter. Please keep news items coming.


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