Grebes gone from Qtown Bay

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - DASHA KU­PRIENKO

A nest and eggs of en­dan­gered crested grebes in Queen­stown Bay has washed away, de­spite a lo­cal boatie’s at­tempt to save them.

A grebe cou­ple made the busy Queen­stown wa­ter­front home for four weeks un­til Lake Wakatipu rose on the week­end and washed away their nest and three eggs.

For two weeks an­i­mal-lover and Mil­lion Dol­lar Cruise worker Max Perkins would spend al­most an hour be­fore work ad­just­ing the nest and cre­at­ing a break wa­ter.

‘‘As the rain came the lake kept com­ing up and then I had to put the break wa­ter higher,’’ he said.

On the week­end Perkins and his co­work­ers posted on so­cial me­dia ask­ing if any­one could help with con­struct­ing the break wa­ter with sand bags, rocks and con­tain­ers.

As large waves and strong winds in­creased on Satur­day, the pair of grebes left the nest, he said.

‘‘At night it got su­per rough so mama grebe jumped off the nest and just wan­dered away.’’

De­spite the ef­forts not pay­ing off and the eggs be­ing washed off, Perkins ap­pre­ci­ated the help pro­vided by lo­cals.

De­part­ment of Con­ser­va­tion op­er­a­tions man­ager Ge­off Owen said noth­ing could have been done to save the nest.

‘‘Sometimes it is best to let na­ture take its course so that these birds can learn how to nest suc­cess­fully.’’

DASHA KU­PRIENKO

A pair of rare crested grebes left the nest with three eggs be­hind on Queen­stown Bay once the lake level rose.

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