Could be birds not cows


E.coli has been found in the swimming holes in the Taieri River.

. . . Council director of engineering, hazards and science Gavin Palmer says staff have tracked the river through nearby farms looking for the source of the contamination but haven’t found any cause of the e.coli.

Further inspections and water quality testing are planned this week. . .

Cows are usually the first to be blamed for poor water quality and sometimes there is just cause for that, but that’s not always the case.

High levels of E.coli in the Kakanui River last summer were blamed on cattle but it turned out the culprits were seagulls.

A large colony nesting upriver from popular swimming spots – and the intake for the water scheme which supplies the district’s homes – was fouling the water.

But because some are a protected species no action was taken.

How far can seagulls fly?


The conversations started with a question about why there were seagulls in Wanaka which is so far inland.

That  led to the observation that so  far inland is relative because no where in New Zealand is very far from the sea when compared with most other countries.

That led to the recollection of a conversation with someone who lived in the top corner of Victoria who mentioned they got seagulls there too.

That led to the next question, to which none of us had an answer: how far can seagulls fly?

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