Showing posts with label Birding New Zealand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Birding New Zealand. Show all posts

20 May 2013

Hauraki Gulf Pelagic - 23rd March 2013

New Zealand Storm Petrel  Pealornis maoriana

We booked this trip through Pterodroma Pelagics before we left Hong Kong. Website here:-

There was plenty of parking near the pier at Sandspit, and we met Chris Gaskin the trip leader shortly before the start at 08:00hrs.

We also met Graham Speight, who, like us would be going on the "Western Pacific Odyssey" a couple of days later.

Although we'd been on seabird trips from Kaikoura on NZ's South Island there were a number of seabird "possibles" from the north part of North Island that we hadn't seen, with a significant attraction embodied by  New Zealand Storm-Petrel, recently discovered to be breeding on Little Barrier Island in the Gulf.  

We stopped at Little Barrier during the morning, and some of the resident ornithologists came aboard with us for the rest of the day, including Paul Schofield, author of the the 2007 Helm guide "Albatrosses, Petrel and Shearwaters of the World".

So, you couldn't have a better team to identify the seabirds…but if any of these picture captions are wrong, it's entirely my fault !

Blue Penguin Eudyptula minor

White-capped Albatross  Thalassarche steadi

Fairy Prion Pachytila turtur

Buller's Shearwater Puffinus bulleri

Cook's Petrel  Pterodroma cookii

A period of "Chumming" in late morning brought the Storm-petrels in.  There was only one NZ Storm-petrel, but one was enough for us ....

New Zealand Storm Petrel  Pealornis maoriana

Wilson's Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus

Black Petrel Procellaria parkinsoni

Flesh-footed Shearwater losing a scrap to Black Petrel Procellaria parkinsoni

Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes

Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes

A lunch break was taken in the lee of some rocky islets that held colonies of Grey Ternlets.. 

Grey Ternlet   Procelsterna cerulea

Hauraki Gulf

It was quite grey when we started, but clear and sunny by the time we finished. With a rain storm in between, typical NZ "Four seasons in one day" weather. 

We had a day in pleasant company, and,  as you can see above, a fine variety of seabirds, too. 

17 March 2013

Three Endemics and an Introduction

We're away from home again, and gadding around New Zealand.  After imposing ourselves on relatives in Auckland, we went up to "Birder's Rest", run by Detlef and Carol Davies in Kerikeri.

We went spotlighting with Carol, and were delighted to see five Kiwis.  The pics here don't really  do justice to the birds or the occasion.

Earlier, there had been a Morepork in the garden to welcome us, too !

Today we pitched up in rainy Turangi, on the Tongariro River.  We're staying at the "The Creel Lodge".  Their website has some details of where to look along the famous fishing river for the sought-after-by-foreign-birders Blue Ducks.

As unofficial "Rain Deities" we were pleased to spy a pair of Blue Duck a couple of kilometers upstream from our accommodation.

Until today there had been hardly any rain in New Zealand since mid-December 2012, and an "official drought" was declared a couple of days ago.  It feels like either that government declaration, or our presence has brought on today's downpours.

Some (introduced) California Quail near the edge of the river.

I commanded to rain to stop while we had the cameras out, but it didn't work. Still, at the moment New Zealand needs all the rain it can get.

23 November 2008

En Zud - Part Two

Fairy Prion
It's good Gary Melville the Captain/Guide was confident about these - all the prions look similar

Cape Petrels NZ race australe x 3

Antarctic race capense x 1

En Zud -Part One

Just back from New Zealand, we did three "Ocean Wings" trips at Kaikoura on South Island. The big albatrosses are used to human handouts as you can see here...

Salvins Mollymawk -

fun to try to get one of these in the FRAME, never mind in focus, from the back of the boat when under way...

Wandering (Gibson's) Albatross

You can't cling to a camera-and-lens AND a pair of binos AND the handrail so the binos stayed in the bag and I vowed to try to "work out" the bird identifications from the photos. But I'm basically unfamiliar with these so hope they are ID'd properly.

That takes care of some of the "big fellas"