Broad-billed sandpiper

24/01/03 Broad-billed sandpiper, Limicola falcinellus, at South Manukau, Auckland

We decided to make a trip to the South Manukau estuary with David Lawrie prior to the Whitianga Pelagic, in the hope of seeing the broad-billed sandpiper that has been seen there for the last couple of summers. It had been seen on several occasions already this season, so we knew it was around. Although the weather wasn’t favourable, we did manage to find the bird feeding with a small flock of curlew sandpipers, and even with my 300mm lens Brent was able to get a couple of ok photos. This appears to be the only broad-billed sand to visit New Zealand in recent times, the last bird frequenting the Manawatu Estuary for several summers in the early 1990’s.

Broad-billed sandpiper (left in both photos) feeding alongside a curlew sandpiper for comparison.