Golden Bay KCC ventured out on a beautiful frosty winter morning (Sunday 16th July) to see the fascinating phenomenon occuring at Tata Beach. The arrival of the spotted shags which arrive at dawn in small groups and gather along the beach (average is about 1500 but on first recording 5000 birds!!!) The shags dive below the water in the shallows gathering small pebbles, they bathe then come up to the beach where they stay stay for approx 20mins regurgitating the pebbles removing any intestinal worms and bacteria from their stomachs.
Then off they fly again into different areas of Golden Bay.
Fascinating! The kids had a blast and a huge thanks to Helen Kingston who joined us and shared her knowledge with us.
Find out more about spotted shags at Tata Beach by listening to this story from Radio NZ: www.radionz.co.nz/search/results?utf8=✓&q=spotted+shags+tata+beach
By Lea Pouly – KCO Golden Bay