Sunday 26 February 2012

Rare birdies check into top green

A family of rare birds has made one of Christchurch's top golf courses home.
Press photographer David Hallett spent half an hour at Clearwater Golf Club last week snapping a pair of Australasian crested grebe (kamana), and their three chicks.
They were in a pond near the course's 11th green and did not seem bothered by golfers, Hallett said.
"It's a really weird place for them to breed, with Clearwater being such a new development, and there's no vegetation round the edge of the lake, or very little," he said.
There are fewer than 400 of the protected diving waterbirds in the South Island.
Crested grebes rarely come ashore - they feed, sleep and build their nests on water. Chicks are often carried on a parent's back.
Clearwater Golf Club general manager Lindsay Crocker said the course attracted plenty of waterfowl but the crested grebes were something special.
"I like to see them about, they're magnificent things."
The Conservation Department website says the birds live on various-sized lakes and require vegetation on the margins for nesting and shelter from rough weather.

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