The Blenheim Sewage Lagoons have been popular for birders as well. Access is by permission only, and a permit is available from the local municipal office in Blenheim. I have been told by municipal staff that they issue between 300-400 permits annually to birders from across the province and beyond. So sewage lagoons can be a boost to the local economy in the form of ecotourism!
I have been to these lagoons several times in the last few days, and there is always something new to see and photograph.
One of the main attractions currently to be seen is a Willet. It is the western subspecies, and this one, or an identical one, has been here for at least three weeks.
Lesser Yellowlegs have been fairly common, as usual at this time of year.
|White-rumped Sandpipers, shortly before the arrival of a Peregrine|
Waterfowl are numerous as well. Being a no hunting area, it has a particular attraction for them during this time of year. At the moment there are several hundred birds of about a dozen species. Most numerous are Ruddy Duck. Between the four ponds, I estimated there were over 500 birds.
|Northern Shoveler in moult|
Often there is a Northern Harrier or two hunting in the grassy sections. Today another falcon, this time an American Kestrel, was harassing the starling population along the western edge.
|Northern Harrier (Juvenile)|