Spoonbill visits Tawatawa

Spoonbill wading in wetlands at Tawatawa Reserve

Tawatawa Reserve was graced with a very special regal visitor earlier in the year: a Royal Spoonbill.

The spoonbill took up residence in the wetland for a few days, enjoying a feast of frogs. The visitor caused quite a stir on Facebook.

Spoonbills flew to New Zealand from Australia of their own accord, with the first sighting in Castlepoint in 1861.

The species is now widespread across New Zealand, inhabiting mainly coastal estuaries.

It is one of a few bird species doing well in recent years, with the population increasing from 52 in 1977 to over 2,300 at present.

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