The migratory bartailed godwit or kuaka will soon be departing for its nesting grounds in Alaska.

Kō te hekenga nui ō ngā manu - It is the great journey of the birds.

Members of the Manawatū Estuary Trust is inviting all who are interested to farewell these tiny birds as they depart from the Manawatū Heads on March 14.

Migration of some of the wading birds will have been going on for about a week.


The trust says no one can tell if or when the birds are ready to make their departure from the estuary in small flocks.

"We can only observe their agitation and hear their calls signalling their preparation for the event.

"Departures usually occur, weather dependent, later in the afternoon."

Another summer visitor to the estuary, the lesser or red knot Huahou will return to the breeding grounds in Siberia.

The sandspit is also a gathering area for the wrybill, one of the threatened native species that relies on the Manawatū Estuary as a feeding ground.

These little birds can be spotted easily using the spotting scopes which will be made available and there is a good chance that you may see a flock of these special birds at this time.

Massey University ecologist and coordinator for the international study of migratory birds Dr Phil Battley will again be present on the day to share his knowledge.

The trust said Dr Battley will be joined by others in the gathering who will share their knowledge and enthusiasm.


You are invited to meet 1.30pm (before the 2.15pm high tide) at the Dawick St viewing platform off Seabury Ave, Foxton Beach, with viewing and photographic opportunities.