20161119 DHW7425 EditThese guys have a tough time perpetuating the species. This is the sole surviving chick from 16 eggs laid on a beach on Moturua Island in the Bay of Islands.  Cute little critter.

Some eggs got swept away by high tides. Some hatched and the chicks were taken out by black-backed gulls. Moturua is pest-free so thankfully they didn't have to cope with rat or stoat predation.

Dotterel number just 2,000. Here's what we can do lifted from the DoC website:

  • Dotterels nest between September and February.
  • Nests are really just a small scrape in the sand, usually on the high tide mark and sometimes protected by driftwood or seaweed.
  • Nests are very easy to accidentally walk on. Walk below the high tide mark on beaches where dotterels are breeding.
  • If you see a dotterel pretending to be injured, it has chicks or a nest nearby. Please move away from the area and step lightly on the beach.
  • Do not disturb nesting birds, their eggs or chicks.

After watching these guys through a 400mm lens we went around to Otupoho (Homestead Bay) also on Moturua. There were some folks there having a picnic, they had their two dogs on the beach. So to the DoC list I'd add - please, please, leave your dog on the boat. Give these guys every chance to thrive.

Dotterel

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