Spring 2012

Omaha Shorebird Protection Trust News

 
Fence completed!
 
Omaha has a shorebird sanctuary. Yes, the pest proof fence at North Omaha Reserve is complete. It is just in time for the start of the nesting season, August to February, when the NZ dotterels and variable oystercatchers are most vulnerable to predation and disturbance. 10-15 NZ dotterel pairs are preparing to nest. With the protection of the fence and your assistance, it is hoped that this will be a successful breeding season.

 

Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit the Reserve to enjoy seeing these endangered birds. You can help prevent disturbance by keeping out of the taped-off nesting areas, staying below the high tide line where possible and moving away quickly if birds show distress.  Please do not linger as NZ dotterel chicks are not fed by parent birds and need access to the shore for food. Please help pick up litter. Birds get caught in discarded fishing line and bait left behind by fishers attracts predators.


OSPT, with the help of members of Omaha Beach Community and other local volunteers, has been weeding and planting dune natives to stabilise sand in the Reserve. Pest eradication is an ongoing activity. Cats are a problem, particularly if not kept well fed and indoors at night. It is surprising how far they travel.
 

The fence was built by Xcluder Pest Proof Fencing, contracted by Auckland Council, on behalf of OSPT which raised the funds. The 1.8 metre high fence extends from the shoreline on the estuary side to the rock groyne on the ocean side. The mesh is fine enough to exclude mice and a skirt extends underground to prevent rabbits burrowing underneath. The smooth metal capping prevents animals climbing or jumping over the fence. Double sliding “air-lock” pedestrian gates are provided at the ocean end and Walkway 1, where there is a locked gate for emergency and maintenance vehicles. To reduce the visual impact, the fence is painted karaka green and is located where it is partially screened by sand dunes.

New interpretive signs will provide information about the birds which live on the Reserve and migrant birds which visit throughout the year to feed on the rich supply of invertebrates in Whangateau Harbour. Auckland Council regulatory signs will remind visitors that dogs, horses, vehicles, camping and fires are not permitted in the Reserve.

Omaha Beach has many facilities.  Now we have on our doorstep a shorebird sanctuary of national and international significance which the community can treasure and enjoy.

For more information and details of how you can help visit www.omahashorebirds.co.nz