Went to Kidds, Karaka with Ian yesterday just to have a look at the site and to get an idea of the Red Knot roost there. Upon Arrival one of the first birds we saw was this Pectoral Sandpiper that I was surprised to be watching when Ian advised me that it has been around a while. Then as the Red Knot began to approach in big numbers on the rising tide and a Wandering Tattler was an added bonus but then it was time to get settled and start to scan through the Roosting flock.
Boom" I could not believe my luck when I picked up the Red Knot below wearing a yellow data logger. I knew that this was a Chukotka bird from last summer but at the start I just couldn't see the white flag as it was against the white shells. Above is CKN that I photographed last July in Russia.
Above shows CKN and I was so pleased to have actually seen this bird, but even better I managed to pick it up and photograph it, admittedly poor photos but still it proves the record.
Above shows the Pec Sand in amongst Wrybills, on the mudflats pre high tide roost and below on the shell bank.
Above shows a Sharpie in the roost at high tide and below shows 1 of 3 Curlew Sands present at high tide. Also today I saw my first Piersma race of Red Knot, This bird was in full breeding plumage and stood out in amongst the grey's of the remaining circa 4500 Red Knot. Ian advised me that this bird has reversed its moult and now moults in to full breeding plumage during the winter months and winter plumage during the summer months. So just to recap, 3 hours at Kidds produced both Pec Sand and Wandering Tattler new for the trip, my first Piersma race Red Knot and then the ultimate finale was actually seeing CKN again. So both CKN and myself were in Russia for the summer, then I went to China where I suspect so did CKN and then we have both ended up in North Island, NZ for the winter period. I doubt if CKN went via the Azores, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia though. What a great day, "Thank you Ian".