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Home arrow Other Coastlines arrow Bream Bay arrow Kiteboarders blamed as godwits flee
Kiteboarders blamed as godwits flee PDF Print
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Other Coastlines - Bream Bay
Written by Lindy Laird, Northern Advocate   
Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Bream Bay Action Group member Margaret Hicks. Picture/John Stone

A dispute over the plight - or flight - of godwits has broken out between Ruakaka conservationists and kiteboarders.

Bird watchers say kiteboarders may have frightened away thousands of godwits during the birds' vital pre-migration fattening and resting period.

Their concerns were aired on a television news programme on Sunday night, but they are angry the item did not include their own footage which they say clearly shows the birds being disturbed by kite riders.

Bev Woods, Royal Forest and Bird representative, and fellow member Margaret Hicks, who is also founder of Bream Bay Action Group, said the film showed the birds wheeling around in an agitated manner when they would normally be resting to build up body mass and conserve energy.

Eye witnesses said the birds were flying around for up to 45 minutes, eventually left and haven't returned, Ms Hicks said.

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