Saturday, 29 October 2016

New Zealand: North Island Days 1 & 2.

Arrived in Auckland in the early hours of 24th October. After a few hours sleep met up with the rest of the group & then we drove to the Cascades in the Waitakere Forest Park. 

Eastern Rosella (introduced)
North Island Robin
New Zealand Fantail
Introduced species like this Song Thrush 
are common in NZ.
Part of the gannet colony.

Bringing nesting material.

White fronted Tern also nest here.

Visited one of the few mainland gannet colonies at Muriwai, which was very enjoyable & the area like much of New Zealand was very scenic.

Red billed Gull
Grey Teal
NZ is a world leader in conservation.
Variable Oystercatcher
These small enclosures keep out dogs & alert people
 to birds nesting before they are flushed off the nest.
It seems to work well.
The brilliant New Zealand Dotterel.

Part of the Wrybill group

We then enjoyed lunch at Waiwera, where a river enters the sea.

Spent the evening looking for Northern Brown Kiwi without success: we heard at least four birds but failed to see any. Hit the sack late, still inhibited by jet lag.

Shining Bronze Cuckoo

The morning of 25th October was a bit dark & gloomy after overnight rain. We made a quick trip to Waipoua State Forest to see the big tree. And it is huge! Managed to see Shining Bronze Cuckoo there & then drove to Waipu Estuary, one of the few places to see Fairy Tern in New Zealand. We saw two birds but as it was raining I took no photos.

Brown Teal
Male Paradise Shelduck
New Zealand Pigeon

In increasingly darkened skies we drove to Tawharanui, a protected area where a huge predator fence has been erected to safeguard indigenous bird life. it is working & Brown Teal can now be found here. This is a rare and endemic species which is largely nocturnal in habits. Without protection from predators it would have an uncertain future.

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