Of 214 wader species worldwide, 63 have been recorded in New Zealand and 43 at Pukorokoro Miranda. Some of these are rare vagrants, while others are annual migrants in flocks of thousands.
Download the checklist of all species seen at Miranda.
1. COMMON SANDPIPER Tringa hypoleucos
World Status: Breeds temperate & sub-arctic Eurasia.
Non-breeding range, Africa, S & SE Asia & Australia. Usually seen singly or small groups (Flyway Population c30,000)
NZ Status: Very rare, only about 20 records. Distinctive bobbing action when bird at rest is diagnostic.
Miranda Status: One record of a bird seen with 2,000+ Wrybill on 9.4.1981.
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2. GREY-TAILED TATTLER Tringa brevipes
World Status: Breeds NE Russia & winters SE Asia & Australia. Coastline species but prefers large mudflats & estuaries. Most common N Australia in flocks of several thousand (Flyway Population 50,000). Also known as Siberian Tattler
NZ Status: First recorded Parengarenga 1950. Annual visitor in small numbers, usually seen alone.
Miranda Status: First record as recent as 20.4.1976 at Mataitai. Almost annual visitor & any tattler seen at Miranda is likely to be Siberian. (Wandering Tattler prefer more open, rocky shores). Two species difficult to separate in the field, except by call.
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3. WANDERING TATTLER Tringa incana
World Status: Breeds in Alaska but oceanic migration throughout Pacific, reaching east coast Australia. Generally does not form flocks & prefers rocky, wave-washed shores.
NZ Status: Perhaps annual vagrant. First recorded 1883 at Portland Island. More likely seen on east coast.
Miranda Status: First record August 1948 at Kawakawa Bay. Also noted at Kaiaua. One possible record at Miranda in 2011. (See above for identification problems).
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4. EASTERN CURLEW Numenius madagascariensis
World Status: Largest curlew, breeds E Siberia. Mainly migrates to Australia after breeding. (Flyway Population <20,000).
NZ Status: Regular in small numbers. (NZ Pop. c20) Favoured sites, Manukau Harbour & Farewell Spit.
Miranda Status: First record 4.4.1942. Record 10 on 22.2.1987. Largest Miranda wader, was annual visitor but increasingly rare.
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5. RUFF Philomachus pugnax
World Status: Breeds N Europe / Scandinavia to N Siberia / Alaska. Winters mainly W & S Africa, also from Mediterranean to S Asia. (Flyway vagrant)
NZ Status: Rare vagrant, c10 records since 1964
Miranda Status: Two records Nov 2001 & Nov 2005
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6. NEW ZEALAND DOTTEREL Charadrius obscurus
World Status: Only in New Zealand
NZ Status: One subspecies breeds on bare mountain tops of Stewart Island. Other population on west coast from North Cape to Aotea Harbour & east coast, North Cape to Hawkes Bay Recent studies put total population at around 1,700 birds. Breeding on beaches, they are subject to much human disturbance & predation & many nests fail.
Miranda Status: Present all year along coast but do not appear to breed every year. Often an influx in winter, up to 15 birds
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7. DUNLIN Calidris alpina
World Status: Very common circumpolar breeder. Non-breeding common Britain, W Africa, China (Flyway population 650,000).
NZ Status: Very rare, only six records. Latest record on the Manukau Harbour in 2006 Details here
Miranda Status: Two confirmed records 12.3.1977 & 24.10.1994
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8. RED-NECKED STINT Calidris ruficollis
World Status: Breeds high arctic Siberia & winters E. India to Australasia. Most abundant arctic wader in Australia, with c250,000 but declining, (Flyway population 325,000).
NZ Status: About 100 each year. Most found Far-North, Auckland, Lake Ellesmere & Southland
Miranda Status: First record of 4 on 27.10.1941. Annual visitor in very small numbers. Average of 3 last ten years. Smallest wader at Miranda, weighs 25-35 g. (sparrow-size). Annual round trip migration of 30,000km
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9. RUDDY TURNSTONE Arenaria interpres
World Status: Breeds high arctic. Non-breeding range coasts of most continents & many islands including Pacific (Flyway population 28,000).
NZ Status: 1-2,000 each summer & 100+ overwinter. Largest number in Far-North, also Auckland, Nelson, Southland & Chatham Islands.
Miranda Status: First record 27.10.1941. Summer numbers usually >10
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10. WHIMBREL Numenius phaeopus
World Status: Three or four sub-species in arctic Alaska, Canada, Europe & NE Siberia. Winters on coasts of most continents. In Australia, occur in flocks up to 50 birds with Broome, Cairns & Moreton Bay favoured sites (Flyway population 100,000).
NZ Status: Asiatic sub-species occur here. Shy, elusive, preferring more remote harbour areas.
Miranda Status: First record on 5.4.1942 at Piako. Species seen each year, but not often at Miranda itself, preferring mangrove areas between Karito & Thames.
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11. LITTLE CURLEW Numenius minutus
World Status: Smallest curlew & close relative of probably extinct Eskimo Curlew. Breeds C & NE Siberia. Non-breeding range New Guinea & N. Australia, (Flyway population 180,000). Also known as Little Whimbrel
NZ Status: First record Lake Ellesmere 1900, almost annual visitor in very small numbers.
Miranda Status: First record 13.10.1964. Then one Jan-April 1994, one 24.02.2005, one on 31.12.2008 and one 21.01.2012. Rarely stay more than one day.
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12. PECTORAL SANDPIPER Calidris melanotos
World Status: Breeds high arctic C Siberia to NE Canada. Bulk of pop’ winters in southern S America, taking great circle route over W Atlantic. Small numbers regular in Australia.
NZ Status: First collected 1903 at Lake Ellesmere where still regular. Annual visitor in very small numbers, often associating with very similar Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.
Miranda Status: First record 27.10.1942. Now reported almost annually
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13. SHARP-TAILED SANDPIPER Calidris acuminata
World Status: Breeds NE Siberia, winters mainly Australasia, often far inland. Feb 1982, 54,000+ at Coorong, S Australia. (Flyway population 160,000 but declining).
NZ Status: Less than 100 each summer in small flocks. Largest numbers in Auckland region. Rarely overwinters.
Miranda Status: Usually on Stilt Pools, c5-10 being usual.
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14. ASIATIC DOWITCHER Limnodromus semipalmatus
World Status: Breeds Mongolia and C Russia. Winters mainly SE Asia & NW Australia. (Flyway population 18,600).
NZ Status: Only two records, Avon-Heathcote 8.9.1985.
Miranda Status: One present between 6.2.1987 & 6.5.1987.
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15. BLACK-TAILED GODWIT Limosa limosa
World Status: Breeds Europe, C & E Asia. Non-breeding range Europe to Australia. (Flyway population 162,000).
NZ Status: Small numbers from E Asia pop’ reach NZ annually. Difficult to separate from Bar-tailed Godwit (except in flight) with which it is usually found.
Miranda Status: First record 30.8.1952. One almost annually.
Black-tailed Godwits at NZ Birds online
16. BAIRD’S SANDPIPER Calidris bairdii
World Status: Breeds NE Siberia to NW Greenland. Migrates southern S.America. (Flyway vagrant).
NZ Status: Only five records. First in March 1970.
Miranda Status: Two records – Dec 1970 & Oct 1972.
Baird’s Sandpiper at NZ Birds Online
17. HUDSONIAN GODWIT Limosa haemestica
World Status: Breeds Alaska & Canada. Most of the population gathers on Hudson Bay, Canada before non-stop flight to S. America. (Flyway vagrant).
NZ Status: Hudsonians reaching NZ may be many thousands of kilometres off course, but distance travelled to NZ is much the same as to S America. Annual visitor
recorded from many sites.
Miranda Status: First record 10.3.1946. Now almost annual and tend to stay many months.
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18. WESTERN SANDPIPER Calidris mauri
World Status: Breeds E Siberia – Alaska. Non-breeding range, southern U.S.A., northern S. America, (Flyway vagrant).
NZ Status: Very rare, five records.
Miranda Status: Two records, 1970-71 & 1984
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19. BAR-TAILED GODWIT Limosa lapponica
World Status: Breeds high arctic Scandinavia, Russia & W Alaska: found on coasts of Europe, Africa, India, SE Asia & Australasia in non-breeding season (Flyway population 230,000, of which 120,000 are sub-species baueri)
NZ Status: c.85,000 baueri (60% of pop’) each summer from breeding grounds in W & N Alaska. Southward migration involves a direct flight across the Pacific (11,500+km). Auckland region is the stronghold, but good numbers found at most suitable NZ sites.
Miranda Status: 4,000+ each summer with several hundred young birds staying for southern winter. Females larger and with longer bill than males.
Bar-tailed Godwit at NZ Birds online
20. CURLEW SANDPIPER Calidris ferruginea
World Status: Breeds very high arctic Siberia, Canada & Greenland. Non-breeding birds common on coasts of sub-Saharan Africa, India, SE Asia & Australia. (Flyway population 180,000 & declining).
NZ Status: First record 1903. Regular but uncommon visitor with c30 each summer although numbers declining. Far-North, Auckland & Canterbury favoured sites.
Miranda Status: First record 27.10.1941. Usually 20-25 present in 1980’s. Now uncommon, 1-2 annually. Very rare in winter.
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21. VARIABLE OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus unicolor
World Status: Only in New Zealand.
NZ Status: Found mainly on open coasts of main islands & many offshore islands. Population c.5,000. Occurs in both all-black & pied forms.
Miranda Status: Small numbers – rarely more than six. Usually seen with Pied Oystercatchers. Prefers coast from Kaiaua – Kawakawa Bay.
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22. SOUTH ISLAND PIED OYSTERCATCHER (SIPO) Haematopus finschi
World Status: Closely related to European and Australian oystercatchers.
NZ Status: Breeds inland South Island, on riverbeds & farmland. Mainly winters on northern harbours. (NZ population c.90,000).
Miranda Status: Common all year, especially autumn & winter with counts of 15-20,000+. Dramatic population increase since full protection in 1940s, but now declining again.
SIPO at NZ Birds online
23. GREAT KNOT Calidris tenuirostris
World Status: Breeds arctic highlands of E Siberia. Non-breeding range mainly SE Asia to Australia. Thought to be rare until 1980’s when 100,000+ birds found in NW Australia
(Flyway population 270,000). Suffered big losses (c90,000) in 2007 with Saemangeum development in South Korea.
NZ Status: First record Manawatu Est. 1967. Now annual visitor usually associating with slightly smaller Red Knot. Longer bill than Red Knot. Non-breeding plumages very similar.
Miranda Status: Very rare, only 7 records. Two birds seen on 7.2.1970, since then singles in 1971, 72, 73, 1981 and 2002.
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24. BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER Limicola falcinellus
World Status: Two sub-species described, one in Scandinavia the other across Siberia. Main wintering grounds appear to be along coasts in Middle East, India, SE Asia, & a few sites in Australia. (Flyway population 16,000).
NZ Status: Very rare vagrant, most records on Firth of Thames.
Miranda Status: Very rare, first record 5.1.1960 at Karito. Subsequent sightings of singles in 1964 & 1966, two birds in 1968 &1969, one in 1993/94 & 1995/96.
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25. RED KNOT Calidris canutus
World Status: Breeds very high arctic Siberia, Alaska, Canada & Greenland. Long distance migration to southern S America, Africa Europe, & Australasia. (Flyway population c120,000 and declining).
NZ Status: Second most common arctic wader in NZ (but declining), with <40,000 annually. Arrives Sept-Nov & departs March-April. Most found Far-North, Auckland & Farewell Spit.
Miranda Status: Second most common arctic wader but declining from 4-5,000+ during summer in 2000 to around 1,500 in 2011. Roost with godwit in large, dense flocks. Young birds stay through southern winter.
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26. TEREK SANDPIPER Tringa cinerea
World Status: Breeds across Siberian low arctic. Mainly winters coasts of Africa to N Australia. (Flyway population 36,000).
NZ Status: First record 1951, now annual visitor in very small numbers: 8 in Jan 1986 Kaipara Harbour.
Miranda Status: First NZ record at Miranda 22.11.1951. Not seen every year, commonly roost with Wrybill.
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27. SPUR-WINGED PLOVER Vanellus miles
World Status: Found throughout S New Guinea & much of Australia where known as Masked Lapwing.
NZ Status: Two records in 19th century but became established in Invercargill area about 1932. Now throughout NZ & Chatham Islands. Prefers open country.
Miranda Status: First recorded in 1970’s. Now well established & breeding along Miranda coast. Very noisy, often in small flocks.
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28. PIED STILT Himantopus himantopus
World Status: Found warmer parts of major continents. (Flyway population 500,000).
NZ Status: Throughout country and partly migratory within NZ. Winter counts c15,000, with c6,000 in Auckland region.
Miranda Status: Numerous all year along coastal margins.
29. PACIFIC GOLDEN PLOVER Pluvialis fulva
World Status: Breeds Siberia & Alaska. Non-breeding range, India, SE Asia, Australasia & Pacific (Flyway population 90,000).
NZ Status: Miranda Status: First record 31.10.1943. Shy wader, wary of people but on Pacific Islands very confiding. Not often seen at Miranda itself, preferring mangrove fringes
of southern Firth. Also roosts alone at Limeworks.
30. GREY PLOVER Pluvialis squatarola
World Status: Breeds tundra of Siberia, Alaska & Canada. Non-breeding spent on coasts of most continents. (Flyway population 125,000).
NZ Status: First record 1948. Probable annual visitor.
Miranda Status: First seen 29.8.1948. Seen most years during 1980’s, less common now. Last one Jan 1991.
31. GREENSHANK Tringa nebularia
World Status: Breeds forest zone Scandinavia across central Eurasia. Wide winter range south of Sahara across Asia & N & E Australia. (Flyway population 40,000).
NZ Status: Regular stragglers to New Zealand.
Miranda Status: Surprisingly only one record on 7.2.1993.
32. SHORE PLOVER Thinornis novaeseelandiae
World Status: Only in New Zealand: confined to offshore islands in Chatham Is. group, but introduced to various offshore islands around the North Island (Total population c150).
Miranda Status: Two records 8.10.2000 and a long term stayer in early 2013.
33. BANDED DOTTEREL Charadrius bicinctus
World Status: NZ breeding endemic, many migrate to eastern Australia each year after breeding. (Flyway population c55,000).
NZ Status: Widespread in NZ, sub-species found on Auckland Is. Habitat includes riverbeds & beaches.
Miranda Status: Summer c.20, winter 100-150. Can be confused with Lesser Sand Plover. Favours Stilt Pools and bare farmland.
34. GREATER SAND PLOVER Charadrius leschenaultii
World Status: Breeds in deserts of S Eurasia; winters on coasts around Indian Ocean. Between 80 Mile Beach & Broome 58,000 counted in Nov 1982. (Flyway population 99,000). Sometimes known as Large Sand Dotterel.
NZ Status: Rare but annual visitor, usually singly. First record 1943. Most often in Auckland region, Farewell Spit & Canterbury.
Miranda Status: First record 20.12.47. Species often confused with Lesser Sand Plover, but is notably larger, with a longer, heavier bill. However care needed with identification.
35. LESSER SAND PLOVER Charadrius mongolus
World Status: Breeds Tibet & NE Asia. Mainly winters all coasts of Indian Ocean, with large flocks in NW Australia. (Flyway population 27,000). Also known as Mongolian Dotterel.
NZ Status: Rare, but annual visitor in small numbers. Most often found in Auckland region.
Miranda Status: First record 25.11.45. Now almost annual visitor, usually singly. May be mistaken for Greater Sand Plover and Banded Dotterel, with which it associates.
36. MARSH SANDPIPER Tringa stagnatilis
World Status: Breeds steppe & boreal wetlands of C Asia. Non-breeding range sub-Saharan Africa, India to Australia. Common on parts of China coast in May. (Flyway population 100,000+)
NZ Status: First record 1959; now annual, sometimes in small flocks c4-5.
Miranda Status: First record 28.4.63. Uncommon, but can stay for a year or more. Can be confused with Greenshank.
37. SEMIPALMATED PLOVER Charadrius semipalmatus
World Status: Breeds Arctic N America and very far-eastern Siberia. Non-breeding range, Central & S America. Vagrant to SE Asia and Australasia.
NZ Status: Three records, all at Miranda, one was also seen on Manukau Harbour.
Miranda Status: 1970-71, Nov 1983 to 19.10.85 & Oct 2010.
38. BLACK STILT Himantopus novaezelandiae
World Status: Only in New Zealand.
NZ Status: Historically probably the only stilt in NZ. About 100 of these rare and endangered birds remain in the wild. Breeds only on Canterbury & N Otago braided riverbeds. Adults tend to be sedentary, but some sub-adults wander as far as the North Island.
Miranda Status: One or two seen most years, but these are usually hybrids of Pied Stilts, also known as ‘smudgies’.
39. ORIENTAL PLOVER Charadrius veredus
World Status: Breeds N China, winters mainly Indonesia & N Australia. (Flyway population 70,000).
NZ Status: Rare vagrant. 10 records Parengarenga to Invercargill
Miranda Status: One record of 10 seen on 12.12.54.
40. WRYBILL Anarhynchus frontalis
World Status: Only in New Zealand.
NZ Status: Threatened species. Population c5,000. Breeds only on braided riverbeds of Canterbury. Most (95%) spend non-breeding season in Auckland region
Miranda Status: Regularly up to 2000-2500 (c50% of total population) in 1990’s, now 1500-2000
41. BLACK-FRONTED DOTTEREL Charadrius melanops
World Status: Found only in Australia & New Zealand. Widespread in Australia, including inland, especially during wet seasons. Not usually seen in large flocks.
NZ Status: Became established in Hawkes Bay around 1954. Breeds on shingle river beds. Stragglers noted in most parts of New Zealand. Recently found nesting on the Manukau Harbour.
Miranda Status: Rare visitor to Miranda area. Last seen at the Miranda Shorebird Centre 8.5.01 & on Stilt Pools December 2002.
42. RED-NECKED PHALAROPE Phalaropus lobatus
World Status: Breeds northern Britain & Scandinavia across Eurasia & N America. Winters mainly at sea off Peruvian coast, north of Indonesia, & Arabian Sea, (Flyway population 100,000).
NZ Status: About 12 records, first Lake Ellesmere 1929. Seen recently for several years at Lake Grassmere.
Miranda Status: Only record 23.12.96 to 25.12.96.