Wrybill at Mangawhai

Mangawhai 2015 (65)

Recently had a wonderful weekend at Mangawhai on the east coast north of Auckland. I’ve been there before but had missed the best part. This time we had a dinghy and rowed across Mangawhai Estuary to the huge sandspit that protects it. The birdlife was great, NZ dotterels, white fronted terns…  but for me the treat was a few banded dotterels which I don’t see much of, and this guy, a wrybill. The bill is indeed wry, apparently the only bill in the world to kink to the side though many other birds have upward or downward curving bills. This curve (always to the right) is thought to be an adaptation for feeding in the large shingle riverbeds of the South Island where they breed. Wrybills normally winter in flocks but this one somehow ended up on its own here on the dune lake at Mangawhai. Here is a little video of both dotterel and wrybill.

Mangawhai 2015 (2)

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