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New Zealand Birding

12 November – 6 December 2001

By Anders Paulsrud

Participants

Thomas Jansson, Alströmergatan 21, 112 47 Stockholm, e-mail: thomasjansson[at]spray.se

Anders Paulsrud, Seminariegränd 3, 752 28 Uppsala, e-mail: anderspaulsrud[at]spray.se

General Information

As there is a 12-hour time difference between Sweden and New Zealand, one should plan to leave at least 3-5 days for recovery after returning to Sweden. The word "jetlag" has gained new meaning after the trip to New Zealand. The going exchange rate at the time of our trip was 1 NZ $= 4,50 SEK. ($ refers to NZ $ in the continuation.) That which was booked ahead of time was:

Lodging at Stewart Island;

Kiwi tour with Bravo Adventure Cruise with Phillip Smith, fax (03) 219-1144;

Ferry ride to and stay on Tiri Tiri;

Ferry to Stewart Island (Foveaux Express, fax 03-212-8377) roundtrip;

Picton ferry, probably not necessary;

as well as the Ocean Wings Kaikora tours several days before.

Even the tour with Dolphin Watch Marlborough was pre-booked.

For the weak of stomach, the boat tours provide an excellent opportunity to experience proper seasickness. We handled it wonderfully with the help of Scopoderm bandages, which also have the advantage of lasting up to 3 days if desired. An insect repellent is recommended on the southern part of the north island as well as the western side of south island, as there are a great deal of piercing sand flies. There is no grocery store on Tiri Tiri, which is why you have to take your own food and drink along.

Driving is on the left side in the entire country. The roads as a rule are in very good shape, although some roads are very twisty. We rented a car from AVIS. The costs excluding gas for a middle class car for 19 days on north island came out to $775 including unlimited mileage and car damage reduction. The costs for 13 days after Chatham = $912. The gas is cheap from a Swedish perspective, approximately $0,93/l = 4,20 SEK/l. The food is good, about the same prices as in Sweden if one doesn't order fish and chips, for example, which costs about $5.

Chatham Island

A time difference of 45 minutes before NZ time. A roughly farmed island with few remains of primary biotopes and flooded with introduced species. Population 800. No reception on mobile phones. Flights to Chatham leave to and from Wellington Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as well as to and from Christchurch Tuesdays and Saturdays. Should be booked well ahead of time as the seats are limited. Large parts of the plane are used as cargo. There are rumours that they are even finicky about overweight passengers, but we did not notice anything like that. We pre-booked a flight direct via Chatham Air (fax (03) 305-0208) for $602 per person roundtrip, which seemed cheaper than booking through Air New Zealand. One requirement is supposedly that you must have booked someplace to stay in order to be allowed to fly, but no one asked us formally if we had any place to stay. Booking lodging on Chatham is however recommended. We stayed at the very price worthy Roo's Roost Backpackers (tel 305 0157). Our rented car was pre-booked at Chatham Motors (tel 305 0093). The cost for three days including mileage for 30 miles as well as car damage reduction was $300. Valuable information about birds can be attained through the DOC center (tel 305 0098) which you pass by from the airport just north of Waitangi. DOC closes at 17.00.

The best and cheapest map of Chatham can be purchased at the souvenir boutique in Chatham Hotel by the harbour. As all land is private, you must ask the relevant landowner for permission to go on his land. DOC gives out information about who one should contact.

On the main island there are two hot areas for birds: Matarakau on the northeast side, north of Lake Rangitai (for Pitt and Chatham Island Shag as well as C.I. Oystercatcher), and Tuku Nature Reserve on the south side of the island for Chatham Island Warbler. Matarakau is reached without difficulty by car. More difficult is the Tuku Nature Reserve. For those who are scared of walking for almost two hours in order to get to Taiko Camp in the Tuku Nature Reserve, it says that the Tuanuis family can be paid to drive and guide in a car with four wheel drive to the Taiko Camp area. The Tuanuis were however not there at the time of our visit.

Trying to get to the sea is of course a must do. Rain, poor vision and rough winds don't usually allow for a boat tour. One should perhaps stay at least one week on the island for the weather to be suitable for a tour of the sea. Mr. Val Croon at the Hotel Chathams (vcroon[at]vogaer.co.nc) can help organize a boat tour. It isn't cheap. You can plan on a cost of about $350 per hour.

To get to and from South-East Island is estimated to take at least 3 hours and then there is also time for bird watching. From the boat there is a good chance of seeing Buller's Albatross, which nest in the area. It is forbidden to go ashore on South-East Island where the Black Robin and Shore Plover are. From the boat it should however be possible to see Shore Plover on the northeast part of the island. Spotting the Chatham Island Petrel is very difficult as is the Chatham Island Taiko as those species only come to the island in the cover of night and leave the island before dawn. The species are very seldom seen at sea. Permission to land at The Forty Fours can apparently be arranged, where the species to see is the Chatham Island Snipe.

If possible, one should of course take a trip around the Pyramid, the southernmost island in the Chatham group, where the entire world's population of Chatham Island Albatross nest. The species is seldom seen outside of that area. How much time it takes and how much it costs to go to The Forty Fours and The Pyramid one can only guess.

In Witangi there is a boutique with groceries, but the prices are of course higher than on the mainland. Good take out food is available at several places in Waitangi as well as good quality restaurant food at Hotel Chathams. All car drivers on Chatham Island wave to each other.

Literature

-The Hand Guide To The Birds of New Zealand (Robertson & Heather), works well and also includes a whole bunch of sensible tips in the beginning of the book.

-Birds of New Zealand – Locality Guide (Chambers), a must have in order to find all the bird locations, although the book has its obvious shortcomings and is not always as brief as one might hope.

-Lonely Planet – New Zealand, is a huge help for finding eating places, lodging and functional city maps. Rich in valuable and useful information.

Good maps are as usual better and cheaper to buy on location.

Some of the travel reports we used before the trip:

NZ 10-27 November 1999, Jon Hornbuckle

NZ 4-24 November 1999, Neva Pruess

NZ 7-30 November 1996, Richard Fairbank

NZ 6-25 November 2000, Neil Money

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Nick Allen (nick_allen[at]xtra.co.nz) for a lot of useful tips, to David Crocket who replied to my inquiries about Chatham Island, to the host couple at Paekakariki Backpackers who took care of parts of our luggage during our round trip, to Rodger Wasley and his wife for their great hospitality at Taiko Camp, Chatham Island, to Jan and Birgitta Andersson for valuable information and pleasant company on Tiri Tiri, and moreover to all helpful and friendly kiwis. Special thanks to my travelling mate Thomas Jansson who managed to persuade me to go to New Zealand and who made all the bookings and planned the journey.

If you want more information please do not hesitate to contact any of us.

Travel Route

November

10-11 Stockholm-Chicago-Los Angeles

12 Auckland-Trounson Park

13 Trounson Park-Tutamoe-Aroha Island Ecological Centre-Goat Island Marine Reserve-Orewa

14 Orewa-Auckland-Miranda-Muriwai Beach-Orewa

15 Orewa-Tiri Tiri

16 Tiri Tiri-Strakas Refuge-Wenderholm Regional Park-Orewa

17 Orewa-Auckland (bboattrip with Dolphin Explorer around Tiri Tiri)-Maurewa, Wattle Farm Reserve-Te Kuiti

18 Te Kuiti-Pureora Forest-Lake Taupo, Frethey Drive-Maunganui Ateao River-Wanganui-Paekakariki

19 Paekakariki-Nga Manu Sanctuary-Waikanae Estuary-Wellington

20 Wellington-towards Red Rocks-Wellington

21 Wellington-Chatham

22 Chatham

23 Chatham

24 Chatham-Christchurch-Kaikora

25 Kaikora-Lewis Pass-Karamea (Heaphy Track)

26 Karamea-Franz Josef-Fox Glacier-Haast Pass-Lake Havea

27 Lake Havea-Omarama-Te Anau-Homer Tunnel-Milford Sound

28 Milford Sound-Homer Tunnel-Te Anau-Tautapere-Monkey Island-Riverton Rocks-Riverton Eastury-Invercargill

29 Invercargill-Bluff-Foveaux Strait-Stewart Island

30 Stewart Island

December

1 Stewart Island

2 Stewart Island-Foveaux Strait-Catlins River/Lake-Nugget Point-Sinclair Wetland-Taiaroa Heads-Oamaru

3 Oamaru-Lake Ellesmere-Akaroa-St Annes Lagoon- Cheviot

4 Cheviot-Kaikora-Picton

5 Picton-Queen Charlotte Sound-Picton-Cook Strait-Wellington-Taihape

6 Taihape-Rotorua-Auckland-Los Angeles-Chicago

7 Copenhagen-Stockholm

Diary

November 10 – 11 Take off from Arlanda at 10:25 am with SK 945 towards Chicago. Some attention when I get caught at Arlanda airport, where they find a forgotten knife in my camera case marked Kenya Airlines. Enjoy the last cinnamon bun for four weeks on the SAS plane. Nice views of an Eastern Phoebe at O'Hare airport in Chicago before UA 841 takes us from Chicago to Los Angeles where we begin our 12-hour non-stop flight to Auckland.

12. Land at Auckland's Airport at 8 o'clock in the morning. Manage to see about a dozen introduced species before Avis produces a car with large enough baggage space, a Holden Astra. See the trip's only Spotted Dove just outside the airport before we work our way up towards Trounson Park. We wander around in beautiful weather and check out Tomtits, NZ pigeon etc. Check in at Trounson Kauri Park in a double room for $16 per person. Pay an extra $15 per person for a guided evening tour in the park where in the light of our flashlights we see some wetor (terrifying insects) of the larger variety. We only hear the Brown Kiwi. An eel in the little brook allows itself to be fed grated cheese. Those interested in trees get a thorough review of all the different tree species that we look at in the light of our flashlights before we go back to the lodge. We fall asleep to the sound of a Morepork.

13. We travel via Tutamoe further northeast towards Aroha Island on roads that almost require tablets against sickness, with the rain increasing all the while. We do not find any Fernbirds but do however spot a few new shags as well as some oystercatchers. The manager at the Aroha Ecological Centre claims that this is the best place in NZ to see the (Northern) Brown Kiwi. We travel further towards Leigh and Goat Island where we enjoy some seabirds before rain and thunder force us back to the car. We stay overnight at Pillows Traveller's Lodge in Orewa. A double room costs $19.50 per person.

14. Go south towards Auckland but get stuck in rush hour traffic and thus miss the SubritzkyLine ferry to Great Barrier Island. Try for a dolphin tour instead, but it's cancelled due to rough weather. We travel instead to Miranda. Here we quickly meet the trip's first Wrybills. Enjoy a fish and chips at Kaiaua Fish and Chips Shop while waiting for the tide. Jet lag makes us doze off heavily in the car and I am plagued with an allergic reaction of vague origin where the eye-lids becomes incredibly itchy and swollen. Not good when one is searching for NZ Dotterels. After a few hours, the tide eventually comes in and with it the target species NZ Dotterel. Close to a dry little river-mouth about 50 meters south of the hiding place, it allows itself to be checked out in detail at close range together with a Terek and a Pectoral Sandpiper. Drive further on towards Muriway Beach and its gannet colony. In the rain and wind we photograph some of the colony's inhabitants. Spend the night once again at Orewa at Pillow Traveller's Lodge.

15. Take the pre-booked 10 o'clock ferry for $40 per person from Gulf Harbour to Tiri Tiri Island in broiling sunlight. The boat trip is nearly cancelled due to heavy winds. Plenty of Fluttering Shearwaters and a glimpse of the first Buller's Shearwater of the trip are seen from the ferry. Some Takahe graze peacefully on the lawn outside the lodge and the walk along Wattle and Kawerau Track gives us all we could hope for, including a close view of a Kokako that flutters by right in front of our feet. The tripod comes in handy as protection against a people hating Takahe that chases us along Ridge Track. Twilight is spent by the pond close to the pumping-station northwest of the lighthouse where the desired Brown Teal revealed itself at 20:20. Soon two Little Spotted Kiwis are heard in the area of the Pump House Track. Rustle and snuffling sounds coming close to the path between the pumping-station and Cable Track make us stiffen. After a breathless wait, a kiwi suddenly sticks its head out from the thicket about 3 meters in front of us, fantastic! A few minutes later we see the back of a kiwi running across the path. Spend the night at the lodge in a four bed room to the cost of $20 per person.

16. Start the day with a walk in the strong sun to Northeast Bay. Stand and listen to peculiar song of the Kokako. An individual allows itself to be photographed. Beautiful scenery along Eastern Track on the way back. But when it comes to birds we have seen every species that Tiri Tiri has to offer. We have a hard schedule in front of us and decide to cancel the next night on Tiri Tiri. Instead we take the ferry to the mainland and find our way to Strakas Refuge according to Chamber's description. We don't find any Fernbirds but do find the only Banded Rail of the trip, which climbs around in the mangrove on the right side of the road along the river's edge maybe about 500 meters beyond the ponds (Waiwera Sewage Ponds) which are also on the right side. No Kokkaburras at Wenderholm Regional Park. We sleep again at Pillows Traveller's Lodge in Orewa, now for $20 per person.

17. Thirsty for seabirds, we go to Auckland. For $90 we leave the harbour at 9 am with the Dolphin Explorer which takes us out to the waters around Tiri Tiri Island. We don't see any Black Petrels in the wind and rain. The interesting birds that come close enough to be identified prove to be Flesh-footed Shearwaters. Cascades of plunge-diving gannets from above reveal the presence of about 200 Dusky Dolphins. But the highlight for us is of course the White-faced Storm-Petrel that jumps along over the swells near the boat among hoards of Fluttering Shearwaters. Back on land we go to Wattle Farm Reserve/Manurewa just south of Auckland for ticking the NZ Dabchick. Drive south via Hamilton where we have a hamburger at Burger King. We check in at Domain Motor Camp in Te Kuiti for $15 per person for a double room with sheets and towels. We never find the nearby birdwatching place that was recommended to us.

18. We get to Pureora Forest where we see everything we planned to with the exception of Kokako, which we neither see nor hear. Our suspicion that the sounds we hear about 1 kilometre in along Link Road on the left side belongs to New Zealand's only endemic raptor proves to be correct after a moment's wait. Above the opening in the forest along the road we get some excellent views of an hovering New Zealand Falcon. Fantastic! Drive south towards Lake Taupo via road 32 and turn north from Turangi about 7 km on highway 1 before we take a left on Frethey Drive and pull over after about 20 meters. A Fernbird answers our tape recording immediately and shows itself in the best possible way. Drive south on road 4 and turn off a few kilometres north of Raethi in on Ohura Road towards Maunganui Ateao River. After about 12 km come to a fork in the road, we take left over a bridge and begin our search for Blue Duck, which is said to be very difficult to see in the middle of the day. We stop about 700 meters after the bridge and look down the river. On some stones in the middle of the river, 2 adult Blue Ducks are sitting with 4 juveniles in the broiling sun in the middle of the day! Almost too easy. Now we've seen everything we wanted to on North Island. We drive south. Check in at Paekakariki Backpacker's located up on a hill in Paekakariki just north of Wellington. For $24 a person we get a two person room with sheets, a private shower and bath. We also get the absolutely coolest view of the trip, where on the room's veranda we are offered tea from the host couple while darkness is falling over a stormy Tasman sea.

19. Drive to Waikanae and Nga Manu Sanctuary. We watch a Brown Kiwi that wanders restlessly in its artificial room and a caged harrier that doesn't look too healthy. Search in vain for the Spotless Crake in the ponds. The owner offers to show us the park's Blue Duck but we've already seen that species in the wild. After a quick look at Waikanae Estuary we continue towards Wellington. Make a few fruitless attempts to arranging a pelagic birdwatching trip for the next day. We book a few nights at Rowena's City Lodge for the cost of $23 per person per night for a double room. It's hard to believe that according to Lonely Planet, Rowena's should be one of the better backpacker places. In the steadily increasing rain we drive up to Mount Victoria, which with its 199 meters above sea level has nice views of a rainy and windy Wellington.

20. The author of this text limps into After Hours Medical Center where Dr. Coxhead (his real name) together with myself don't find anything wrong with the "cox head" (caput femoris). Continue along the coast of Wellington towards Red Rocks. The weather and roads could've been better. We trudge for several hours along the rocky road in a persistent rain shower. Enormous amounts of prions which were forced in to the coastline by yesterday's hard winds now fight their way back along the coast. It is literally teeming with fearless Dunnocks who sing intensely in the pouring rain, and the first Reef Heron of the trip flies back and forth along the rocky coastline. The rain increases and we go in to Wellington's centre where we change the battery on the clock, fix the broken speakers, etc. Much later we find out that the postcards we put in the mail outside the store close to Rowena's never reaches Sweden. At Rowena's our neighbour's alarm clock keeps us awake.

21. We drive to the airport and drop off our rented car after 2140 kilometres on North Island. Spend several hours in the most peripheral terminal waiting for a plane that will take us to Chatham Island. The plane turns out to be the airport's most ugly aircraft, a CV580 that appears to have been taken directly from an Indiana Jones film. While we impatiently wait for departure the plane is filled to the tilt with everything from car tires to fish crates before we together with another two passengers get to board the airship that has probably seen better days. After a few hours flight through thick fog, Chatham Island appears under us; a flat green pancake where the visibility is less than a few hundred meters. We see our first Weka right from the landing strip. At the airport we get our reserved rental car, an old diesel estate Toyota with 160 000 kilometres on the engine without side mirrors, unlocked with the keys in the engine! We stop at DOC centre and get some tips and information as well as a bunch of telephone numbers to various landowners for the necessary permission to access to their land. We check in at the Roo's Roost Backpackers in Waitangi which we get all to ourselves for the price of $25 per person per night, worth its price. Making some phone-calls trying to arrange a pelagic bird-watching trip without success due to the heavy rain and zero visibility.. We drive south on muddy roads towards Tuku Valley until the road at Awatotura Valley becomes impossible to drive on. The Tuanui family, owners of Tuku Valley and donators to the Tuku Nature Reserve, aren't at home but we are met by friendly Tuku Nature Reserve staff who are involved in the Taiko project. They attain verbal permission for us to stay in Tuku Valley over the phone with Tuanuis on the mainland. We find out that the last time a Chatham Island Warbler was spotted in Awatotora Valley was one year ago! And we thought it would be common there! We get ourselves back to Roo's for the night.

22. Wake up with a start in hopes of better weather, but no… we can quickly ascertain that the rain has on the contrary increased. We skid off in the mud southwards on new attempt at the Chatham Island Warbler on Awatotora. We get a good look at the Chatham variety of the New Zealand Pigeon, by the locals considered to be a distinct species of its own. Walk a few hours south along the muddy but we never find a real forest, just some clumps of trees on the ground grazed by sheep. We entertain ourselves with close studies of the local Wekarace which in the rain looks much darker than the literature indicates. Turn at Waterfall Creek. On the way back we enjoy and take photographs of a "Chatham Pigeon" at close range near Awatotora. In Waitangi we have a gourmet fish and chips which we are forced to share with some Red-billed Gulls. We hurry northwards when the sun almost breaks though the cloud cover. Incredible amounts of Black Swan along the road to Te Whanga Lagoon. After scarcely an hour's drive we reach Matarakau. The landowner, Theresa MacDonald, isn't home but we have already received permission to enter by earlier mail-corresponding. We trot out towards the cormorant rocks in the wind and pouring rain and find without any difficulty that which we were looking for: both Chatham and Pitt Island Shag. Nearby we find another goody; Chatham Island Oyster Catcher. Fantastic! We drive south again. A new stop at the DOC centre has less to offer this time. Make a few more persistent attempts to arrange a pelagic tour for the next day but we have just got to accept that the weather is the worst imaginable: rain, wind and no visibility! We go back to Roo's where we try to see the weather report on TV. Not so easy, as the weather man apparently has a habit of concealing all of Chatham Island with his wide back.

23. No, if possible the weather is even worse today, the visibility is just a few meters. Despite the rain we once again drive south; now for the Gerygone! Try to move deeper into Awatotora Valley but the terrain is inaccessible. We park by the pond outside of Tuanuis and begin the trudge south in the unrelenting rain along the increasingly slippery road. We almost get lost in the fog, but thanks to buoys laid out in the grass we find our way to the Taiko Camp after almost 2 hours trampling. The camp consists of a few large tents without any floor. We are met there by Rodger Wasley and his wife who offers us a cup of tea before we with Rodger's help are led into a section of lovely primary forest where we quickly find several singing Chatham Island Warblers. One of them shows itself off nicely in the pouring rain. We are not hard to convince when Mrs. Wasley offers us exquisite fish and chips, which we eat together with the rest of the Taiko personnel and a Weka which runs around our feet at the table. After receiving a presentation on the Taiko project we give our thanks and wish the Taiko staff good luck in their attempts to preserve one of the rarest seabirds of the world for the future. The only way to see a Taiko seems to be trying to get permission to sleep at the camp and hope that one night the searchlights attract a Taiko. On the way back we are inspected by 2 Southern Skuas which are hovering close to us in the thick fog. At the pond near Tuanuis we have a conversation with a pleasant and cute girl who turns out to be working for the Taiko project. Bitter regrets at not asking for her phone number! We find out that the Chatham flight is cancelled due to the weather-conditions and it is unclear if it can land on the island tomorrow. The last night on Chatham is spent at the Chatham Hotel restaurant where we celebrate several nice species and an interesting trip with a Chatham ribbed steak and a good local red wine whose name is quickly forgotten.

24. We wake up to another rainy day. Leave the car as instructed at the airport, unlocked with the keys in the engine. A few hours delayed our plane lifts off with the destination Christchurch on south island. I notice a whole bunch of screws missing on the plane's wing.

We roll out of Christchurch's airport in a luxurious 6-cylinder Toyota Avalon as the mid class car we reserved is missing. We move quickly north towards Kaikora and Ocean Wings Pelagic Birdwatching. In their boutique we make some reservations for the next day's first pelagic for $60. The boutique's roof is decorated with a dolphin clearly visible from a distance. Check in at A1 Kaikora Motels & Holiday Park in cabin nr. 1 that costs $16 per person. The night's sleep is disrupted by the breaking of long distance trucks that makes our cigarette smoke infested cabin shake significantly.

25. At dawn we leave the cabin without regret for the six o'clock tour with Ocean Wings Pelagic Birdwatching. Lose a half hour when the boat turns around a good way out to sea in order to pick up more personnel. After a little roving around with close studies of Cape Petrels and diverse dark Petrels, two Wandering Albatross land close enough to touch. We barely have time to take these amazing birds in sight before our captain decides we've seen enough and turns us back towards land to look for Turnstones! Not exactly a species we travelled to the other side of the earth to see! Not completely satisfied, we sink back into the Toyota to continue our journey to Karamea where we arrive in sunny weather in the afternoon. Check in at Karamea Holiday Park, cabin #16 for $10 per person and night. The owner of the place tells us that in 1996 he saw a Huia in the garden! The last accepted sighting of that species was in 1907! Of course we don't find any Huias in the garden, which does offer a bunch of lovely birds as does the beach close by. After a fish-and-chips at Last Resort in Karamea we walk along Heaphy Track to Scott's Lookout where we are attacked by hoards of sandflies. We await dusk which offers nice views of a calling Morepork. Then suddenly we hear what we have been waiting for, the call of a Great Spotted Kiwi. We wander along Heaphy track a bit back towards Karamea River in the dark, but the Kiwi's call is not heard as close to the track as we hoped. The bird becomes quiet, we start to almost give up. Suddenly, a rustling sound near the path makes us stiffen. Shine the flashlight down the steep slope but everything is just quiet and still. The minutes go but nothing happens. Then, suddenly, something moves on the path in front of us. All of a sudden, a Great Spotted Kiwi is bathing in the beam of light a few meters in front of us. With surprisingly long and quick steps it comes resolute towards us and stops at 1 cm (!) from my boots. We stand there and look at each other for a few seconds, which feels like an eternity. The Kiwi suddenly takes a few steps back, stands in profile and calls out loudly while we wide-eyed continue to observe the show. After a few more quick steps to my boots, which apparently have a very interesting bouquet, it appears to have had enough and lumbers away down the path! An absolute dream sighting, you can't get a better look at a Kiwi! We go back to our cabin to try to make up for the previous night's bad sleep. Have a difficult time calming down after the astonishing meeting with the Kiwi.

26. We wake up much too early as a Welcome Swallow is conducting a successful nesting under the roof. After a short morning bird watching in the garden we take off to the south, we have many miles ahead of us today. Beautiful weather and nice views along the south island's west coast. The rain starts up again when we stop at Fox Glacier and see the first Kea of the trip. The rain increases when we stop at Haast Pass. Make an attempt at the rather tricky Yellowhead along Historic Bridle Track by Haast Pass. Nice views of several Riflemans along the path but no Yellowheads. Some consolation are the 2 Brown Creepers which accompany several Silvereyes. We go back to the car thoroughly soaked. Right next to the parking lot we suddenly hear a long-desired sound from the treetops. After a moment's watching with rain soaked binoculars, we finally spot 2 Yellowheads who in slow flight fly back and forth between the treetops. Now it is pouring. Sunny weather in the evening when we stop by, and in, Lake Havea. We spend the night at Lake Havea Holiday Park, cabin #3 for the price of $17.50 per person.

27. Once again we have a bad night's sleep, this time due to a rumbling refrigerator that we can't manage to silence. Leave a sunny Lake Havea, steer course towards Omarama. We make an attempt at the charismatic and endangered Black Stilt, which is usually seen and was spotted by Omarama River several weeks ago. After a few minutes searching from the bridge over Omarama River north of Omarama we see this trip's absolute most desired species, an adult Black Stilt, guaranteed free of white feathers. On windy roads we drive down to Te Anau where we eat a – guess what? – and visit the trip's most remarkable toilet, located around the corner of the Settler's Steakhouse. Here one can relieve himself in a Hi-Tech environment with music, toilet paper is served up by pressing various buttons. The sun is shining when we drive on northwards towards Homer Tunnel, where the clouds await us. But there's surprisingly little rain, almost clear when we photograph the Keas who show their interest for the parked car's rubber trim and windshield wipers. Make an attempt at the Rock Wren by the tunnel without results. Try a few hundred meters further down by the Metrological station. The weather is clear when we climb up the mountain slope to some large boulders. Some scarcely audible peeps reveal the species we're looking for and suddenly there it is, sitting there and curtsying and swinging back and forth on a stone, a Rock Wren. We get a good look at that extraordinary bird before we leave it in peace. The species is the lone representative of the family Xenicus after its closest relative, the Bush Wren, has not been observed on this planet since 1972. We drive on towards Milford Sound through the 1207 meter long Homer Tunnel, which took an entire 17 years to build before it was put in use 1952. Drive down towards Milford Sound, where it is raining, as it should be. It rains here 300 days of the year and the yearly downfall in the area is around 8 meters! We book a double room at Milford Sound Lodge for $26 per person including sheets and towels. We also book a boat tour for the next day for $50 per person. We order lamb file with red wine in the restaurant and are fascinated by the system with radio receivers which all of the restaurant's guests are given. When the food is ready, a loud sound like an ice cream truck's melody is emitted from the receiver.

28. The night's sleep is disrupted by violent storms and forceful cloudbursts. While waiting for Mitre Peak Cruises, the boat tour that is said to go furthest out in the fjord, we check out the southern variety of Tomtit. The humidity is close to 100% when in the pouring rain we chug out in the mirror-like fjord at 9:55 am. It's literally dripping from humidity from the high vertical mountain walls. Some of the highest waterfalls in the world are also in the area. After about 40 minutes we finally find what we are looking for, Fjordland Crested Penguin. In total there are 7 by the time the boat turns at the lighthouse Saint Anne's Point, where the wind freshens up. We bid farewell for this trip to the Keas by Homer Tunnel before we leave this rain magnet going to the south, where the weather quickly becomes comfortably sunny. We pass by Tautapere with a photo stop along the road for beautiful NZ views. At Monkey Island we manage to se Cape Petrel from the land. But we fail to see Buller's Albatross. No vacancy at Hostels Southern Backpackers, according to Lonely Planet the best backpacker place in Invercargill. We manage instead to ferret out the trip's worst lodging, Beach Road Motor Camp, a few miles west of Invercargill, where we pay $13 per person.

29. Somewhat stiff in the joints, we stagger out of our beds which have probably seen better days. We take the ferry from Bluff over Foveaux Strait to Stewart Island for $84 per person round trip. It's rich with South Diving Petrels in the sound. In general there aren't many birds, probably due to the calm weather. In Oban harbour on Stewart Island we book a seabird tour for the next day with Thorfinn Charters for $70 per person. We check in at our reservation at Jo & Andy's B&B for $20 per night including breakfast, sheets and towels. We take a walk out to Acker's Point where we see Blue Penguins, Southern Skuas and White capped Albatross, among others. No Buller's Albatross here either. We find out that the Kiwi tour we booked months in advance has been cancelled. As the Kiwi tour only goes every other evening, we're counting on the next day's tour to actually happen. And we based our bookings completely on Phillip Smith's recommendations!

30. Finally wake up well rested. Sunny and calm weather when we climb onboard Thorfinn's Charters little boat at 9:00 am. Our captain and guide, Bruce, tells us that the sea is only this calm five days a year! And we who want it to be windy, in order to see the best variation of sea birds! But we do get some good close views of White-capped Albatrosses, who prefer to rest on the water in the calm weather. The high-light of the boat tour is without doubt the Yellow-eyed Penguins who curiously swim and dive around the boat in the clear water. We continue on to Ulva Island where we find that the Brown Creeper is common. Some New Zealand Robins along the path are very unafraid. Much more timid is the only Saddleback who we see on the island. Good fish and chips is purchased in the trailer in Oban which goes under the name Kai-Kart. Still winds but downpour in the evening when we venture out on our Kiwi-tour with Bravo Adventure Cruises, booked months in advance. It's beautiful with all the penguins in large groups around the capes in the twilight. Already upon arrival to the island where Kiwis are supposedly most easily spotted in the world we hear some Tokoekas close by. Despite several hours of persistent searching under Phillip Smith's experienced guidance there are still no sightings. The closest we get are few fresh Kiwi tracks along the beach and the nearby call of a Tokoekas. According to Phillip it is the 16th time in 1300 attempts that no Kiwi wanted to show itself! Gloomy trip back in steady rain. This night at Shearwater Inn Backpackers for $20 per person without sheets, hand towels or cigarette smoke.

December

1. Sunny and warm again. Once again the sea is smooth as a mirror so we refrain from further sea tours. We visit various land spots like Lee Bay, Ackers Point, Thule Bay, some of us on rented moped for $50/day. The last night on Stewart is spent on Church Hill Café Bar where we exchange information with some British bird watchers, mostly to their advantage. Dinner for one of us consists of muttonbird (= Sooty Shearwater) which demonstrates itself to be an interesting acquaintance on the dish but that definitely does better in the wild. Spend the night once again at Shearwater Inn Backpackers.

2. Leave Stewart with the morning tour over Foveaux Strait and now it is considerably more windy. A whole bunch of Albatrosses are seen from the ferry but no Buller's. From Bluff we work our way to the northeast but miss a turn off and end up somewhere other than we had planed. At Nugget Point we look at Yellow-eyed Penguin on a beach close by. Via Sinclair Wetlands we take a winding coast road out to Otago Peninsula and Taiaroa Head. After paying admission we get good views of 7 breeding Northern Royal Albatross from a glassed hut. One of the birds is a 41-year old female which is together with a 16 year old male. We also get to hear the dizzying story of Grandma, one of the world's oldest birds in the wild, a Royal Albatross female from Taiaroa Head. She was banded in 1937 at the nest and her age then must have been around 8-12 years. She then nested regularly and successfully and managed to survive four husbands before she disappeared after having been spotted for the last time in 1989! We also see a flying Royal Albatross which takes several turns around the parking lot. A Blue Penguin lies in a burrow in the wall by the parking lot. There's a cloudburst on the road from Otago Peninsula. We book cabin nr 6 for $16 per person at Oamaru Holiday Park in Oamaru before we rush to the nearby Bushy beach. Between 20:30 – 20:45 we see 6 Yellow-eyed Penguins come in to the sandy beach from the sea. For $8 we see 153 Blue Penguins which at 21:30 pass in front of the platform where we are sitting. We drive carefully from the parking lot as there are some penguins running amongst the cars.

3. Drive further north towards Akaroa. Stop by Lake Ellesmere Lakeside and find a rare introduced species for New Zealand, Mute Swan. In sunny weather we arrive at Akaroa where we take a boat tour with Dolphin Experience Akaroa for $30 per person. After a little persuasion to get to see White-flippered Blue Penguin, our captain Ron takes us directly to Cathedral Cove where we see 10 of this special race of Blue Penguin. The rest of the passengers get to wait a good while before they get to swim with some Hector's Dolphins for a few minutes. A short evening visit at St. Anne's Lagoon just north of Cheviot doesn't do much for the species list, but the weather is beautiful. The night is spent in Cheviot Hotel Caravan and Campsite Park for $18.75 per person, which is recommendable.

4. From Cheviot to Kaikora we take a 13.00 tour with Ocean Wings Pelagic Birdwatching. Now it costs $50. Significant swells but good weather when the day's skipper Pete takes us further out than last time. Now it really comes together, there are many more birds today. The highlight is of course the Chatham Island Albatross, which lays itself down for a moment just by the boat. We appreciate that our skipper does not go searching for Turnstone. Night is spent in a rainy Picton. We stay at Blue Anchor Holiday Park, cabin nr 10 for $17.50 per person.

5. Start out by leaving the car after 3220 kilometres on South Island. Now there's just one species left to see: the King Shag. It feels doubtful that a boat tour will actually happen as it's really raining, but for $65 Marlborough Dolphin Watch is willing. Our hosts, Les and Zoe Battersby are unsure if we'll get to see a King Shag, which apparently usually goes farther out to sea in the morning hours, and we can't go there today due to weather conditions. Everything works out in the end, on Bluemine Island there are 23 King Shag, the rarest Shag of the world. Rain and more rain when we visit Motuara Island under Zoe's guidance. We are shown two Blue Penguins which huddle around their burrows. Several Saddlebacks wake up a bit in the intense downpour. We take the Picton ferry over Cook Strait for $36. Despite intense searching from the ferry we don't see any Buller's Albatross this time either. In Wellingon we sign for our new rental, a Holden Commodore. We get ourselves back to Paekakariki Backpackers where we claim a bunch of our luggage which we left during our trip. The last night in New Zealand we end up in Taihape Motels. We pay an entire $30 per person for rooms with sheets and towels.

6. The day to return home, always sad to leave a country you have got to know and like. We stop in Rotorua with all its sulphur spewing hot springs and geysers turns out to be a real tourist trap. We wait in vain at Lady Knox, the largest geyser for an anticipated show. We drive to Auckland International Airport where we return the car after a total of 605 miles on our trip. The time is 11:45 when we take off with United Airlines flight 842 to begin the long trip home. Arrive December 6th at 14:00 to Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

SPECIES LIST

Taxonomy and names mainly based on Lars Larsson's Birds of the Worlds

(E = endemic, + = introduced)

1. E Brown Kiwi Apteryx mantelli 2-3 heard Trounson Park, 12.11. Endangered.

2. E Tokoeka (South Island Brown Kiwi) Apteryx australis 2 heard on Philip Smith's evening trip on Stewart Island, 30.11. Vulnerable.

3. E Great Spotted Kiwi Apteryx haastii 1 seen, 2 heard on Heaphy Track, Karamea, 25.11. Vulnerable.

4. E Little Spotted Kiwi Apteryx owenii 1 seen, 2 heard on Tiri Tiri Island, 15.11. Vulnerable.

5. E New Zealand Dabchick Poliocephalus rufopectus 2 adults + 1 pull Wattle Farm Reserve/Manurewa, 17.11, 1 Lake Taupo, 18.11. Vulnerable.

6. E Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora

Northern D .e. sanfordi, 7 nesting birds and 1 in flight at Taiaroa Head, Otago Peninsula, 2.12, 3-5 on Kaikora Pelagics 4.12. Endangered.

Southern D. e. epomophora, 1 on Kaikora Pelagics 4.12. Vulnerable.

7. Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans 2 at Kaikora , 25.11, 15 of 3 races, Kaikora Pelagics, 4.12

Shy Albatross Diomedea cauta (8, 9, 10);

8. White-capped Albatross, D. (c.) cauta 3 Kaikora, 25.11, 5 Bluff ferry, 29.11, 40 on Stewart Island Pelagics, 30.11, 20 at Ackers Point, Stewart Island 1.12, 20 Bluff ferry, 2.12, 10 Kaikora 4.12, 5 from Picton Ferry 5.12

9. E Salvin's Albatross, D.(c.) salvini 4 Kaikora, 25.11, 25 Kaikora, 4.12Vulnerable.

10. E Chatham Island Albatross D.(c.) eremita 1 seen close to the boat on Kaikora Pelagics 4.12. Rarely seen outside its nesting site,The Pyramid, Chatham Island. Critical endangered.

11. Black-browed (subantarctic) Albatross Diomedea melanophrys melanophrys 2 on both Kaikora pelagics (25.11, 4.12)

12. Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli 5 and 20 on Kaikora Pelagics (25.11, 4.12), 1 on Stewart Pelagics, 30.11, 5 from Picton Ferry, 5.12

13. E Buller's Shearwater Puffinus bulleri 1 from the ferry to Tiri Tiri Island, 15.11, 5 with Dolphin Explorer outside Tiri Tiri 17.11, 7 on Kaikora Pelagics 4.12, 1 from Picton Ferry 5.12. Vulnerable.

14. Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus Fairly common on suitable locations

15. Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carniceps 20 with Dolphin Explorer outside Tiri Tiri, 17.11, 100 outside Red Rocks, Wellington, 20.11, 1 on Kaikora Pelagics 4.12

16. E Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia Common off Goat Island, Tiri Tiri, Muriway Beach, Cook Strait, Marlborough Sound. 1 on Kaikora Pelagics 25.11

17. E Hutton's Shearwater Puffinus huttoni Common at Kaikora. Endangered.

18. Common Diving Petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix

Common in Foveaux Strait 29.11 and on Stewart Pelagics 30.11. 15 in Foveaux Strait 2.12

19. White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctalis 7 Kaikora Pelagics 25.11, common on Kaikora Pelagics 4.12. Vulnerable.

20. E Westland Petrel Procellaria westlandica Only seen on Kaikora Pelagics , 20 on 25.11, fairly common 4.12. Vulnerable.

21. Cape Petrel Daption capense australe Common on both Kaikora Pelagics. (A few D.c.capense on both Kaikora Pelagics, probably overlooked by us). 1 at Monkey Island, 28.11, 8 on Stewart Pelagics 30.11, 2 in Foveaux Strait 2.12

22. Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur Prions abundant near Red Rocks, Wellington, 20.11. Birds close enough for identification were Fairy. Seen on both Kaikora Pelagics; 3 on 25.11, 15 on 4.12, Prions common in Cook Strait 5.12, those close enough were Fairy Prions.

23. Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera 1 Kaikora 4.12

24. White-faced Storm Petrel Pelagodroma marina 1 outside Tiri Tiri 17.11

25. E Yellow-eyed Penguin Megadyptes antipodes 10 on Stewart Pelagics 30.11, 3 Roaring Bay, Nugget Point, 2.12, 6 Bushy Beach, Oamaru, 2.12. Endangered.

26. Little Blue Penguin Eudyptula minor 1 off Goat Island 13.11, 3 with Dolpin Explorer outside Tiri Tiri 17.11, 3 Ackers Point, Stewart 29.11, common at dusk on Philip Smith's evening trip around Stewart 30.11, 153 at dusk, Blue Penguin locality, Oamaru, 2.12, 15 on Dolphin Watch, Queen Charlotte Sound, 5.12. 15 in Cook Strait 5.12.

White-flippered race albosignata :16 at Akaroa 3.12

27. E Fiordland Crested Penguin Eudyptes pachyrhynchus 7 on Mitre Peak cruise, Milford Sound, 28.11, 20 on Stewart Pelagics, 30.11. Vulnerable.

28. Australian Gannet Sula serrator Common at Muriwai Beach 14.11, fairly common with Dolphin Explorer outside Tiri Tiri 17.11, a few at most other coastal watch-points and pelagic trips.

29. Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Several at most coastal watch-points. 20 in Te Whanga Lagoon, Chatham Island, 22.11.

30. Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos A few at Mangere Sewage Ponds, Auckland, 12.11, Aroha Island 13.11, Lake Taupo 18.11. Fairly common on Otago Peninsula 2.12

31. Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius A few Mangere Sewage Ponds, Auckland, 12.11, Strakas Refuge 16.11, Kaikora 25.11, 4.12, Stewart Island, Queen Elisabeth Sound 5.12. Fairly common Aroha Island 13.11.

32. Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris A few Strakas Refuge 16.11, Lake Taupo 18.11, Waikanae Estuary 19.11, Kaikora 25.11, 4.12, Karamea 26.11, Queen Elisabeth Sound 5.12

33. E Spotted Shag Phalacrocorax punctatus Fairly common at Kaikora, Westland 26.11, Mitre Peak cruise, Milford Sond 28.11, Bluff, Stewart Island, Queen Elisabeth Sound, 5.12

34. E King Shag Phalacrocorax carunculatus 23 Blumine Island, Queen Elisabeth Sound, 5.12. The rarest of all Shags in the world. The world population estimated to less than 600 individuals. Vulnerable.

35. E Pitt Island Shag Phalacrocorax featherstoni Common at Matarakau, Chatham Island, 22.11. Vulnerable.

36. E Stewart Island Shag Phalacrocorax chalconotus Fairly common Otago peninsula, Bluff. Common around Stewart Island. Vulnerable.

37. E Chatham Island Shag Phalacrocorax onslowi Common at Matarakau, Chatham Island, 22.11. Endangered.

38. Reef Heron Egretta sacra 2-3 near Red Rocks, Wellington, 20.11, 1 at Wellington Airport 21.11, 1 at Kaikora 25.11

39. White-faced Heron Ardea novaehollandie Fairly common throughout. Noticed on Chatham Island.

40. Royal Spoonbill Platalea regia 2 Wattle Farm Reserve 17.11, 5 Catlins River/Lake 2.12, 2 Lake Ellesmere 3.12,

41. +Black Swan Cygnus atratus Common in most open waters. Common in Te Whanga Lagoon, Chatham Island 22.11.

42. +Mute Swan Cygnus olor 2 Lake Ellesmere 3.12

43. + Canada Goose Branta canadensis A few at Nga Manu Sanctuary of doubtful origin 19.11. A few noticed 2.12. Fairly common Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, 3.12.

44. E Paradise Shelduck Tadorna variegata Fairly common and widespread in small numbers.

45. E Blue Duck Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos A pair with four young on Manganui Ateao River near Taetihi 18.11. Vulnerable.

46. +Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Fairly common throughout. Noticed on Chatham Island.

47. Grey Duck Anas superciliosa Fairly common throughout. Noticed on Chatham Island.

48. Australian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis 4 Strakas Refuge, 16.11, 2 in a pond near Omarama River, 27.11, several in St Anne's Lagoon, Cheviot, 3.12

49. Grey Teal Anas gracilis Widespread in small numbers. Highest amount 20 at Strakas Refuge 16.11.

50. E Brown Teal Anas aucklandia 1 female in the pump-station pond at dusk, Tiri Tiri, 15.11. Endangered.

51. E New Zealand Scaup Aythya novaeseelandiae Widespread and fairly common.

52. Swamp Harrier Circus approximans Common and widespread throughout including Chatham Island. Noticed every day.

53. E New Zealand Falcon Falco novaeseelandiae 1 at Link Road, Pureora Forest 18.11

54. + Pheasant Phasianus colchicus 2 near Muriwai Beach 14.11, 1 noticed 18.11

55. +Wild Turkey Meleagris gallopavo 18 individuals in total mainly on the northern island with 7 17.11

56. + Peafowl Pavo cristatus 4 along the road from Trounson to Aroha 13.11, 1 on the 18.11

57. + California Quail Callipepla californica Common in Trounson Park 12-13.11, a few along the road to Aroha Island 13.11, 1 Aroha Island 13.11, 4 in Pureora Forest 18.11, 2 Karamea, 26.11

58. + Brown Quail Synoicus ypsilophorus 1 along the road from Trounson to Aroha 13.11, common on Tiri Tiri 15-16.11

59. E Weka Gallirallus australis (Vulnerable)

G.a. hectori Fairly common on Chatham Island

G.a.scotti Fairly common on Ulva Island, heard on Stewart Island and on Philip Smith's evening trip around Stewart Island 30.11

G.a.australis 1 Karamea 25.11

60. Banded Rail Rallus philippensis 1 Strakas Refuge 16.11

61. E Takahe Porphyrio mantelli 10 Tiri Tiri 15-16.11. One individual attacking us on the Ridge Track, Tiri Tiri 15.11 The world population estimated to 221 individuals. Endangered.

62. Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porpfyrio Common and widespread. Noticed on Chatham Island.

63. Common Coot Fulica atra australis 1 noticed 25.11, 10 St Anne's Lagoon, Cheviot 3.12

64. E South Island Oystercatcher Haematopus finschi Common and widespread with the highest amount 150 at Miranda 14.11

65. E Variable Oystercatcher Heamatopus unicolor Widespread in coastal areas in small numbers. The black phase seemed to dominate.

66. E Chatham Island Oystercatcher Haematopus chathamensis 2-4 at Matarakau, Chatham Island 22.11. The world population estimated to 140-150 individuals. Endangered.

67. Spur-winged Plover Vanellus miles Fairly common throughout. Noticed on Chatham Island

68. Australian Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus Fairly common and widespread

69. E Black Stilt Himantopus novaezelandiae 1 adult at Omarama River north of Omarama 27.11. One of the rarest shorebirds of the world.. The total wild adults population at present is 61 and there are only 8 breeding pairs. There are also 27 adults in captivity including 7 breeding pairs. Critical endangered.

70. E Double-banded Plover Charadrius bicinctus 2 Miranda 14.11, 1 near Taiko Camp, Chatham Island 23.11, 3 at Chatham Island Airport 24.11, 1 near Karamea Holiday Park, Karamea 25.11. The population partially migrate to south east Australia in winter.

71. E Red-breasted Plover Charadrius obscurus 3 at Miranda 14.11. Vulnerable.

72. Red Knot Calidris canutus 1000 Miranda 14.11. 3 at Te Whanga Lagoon, Chatham Island 22.11

73. Sharp-tailed Sandpiper Calidris acuminata 2 Miranda 14.11

74.Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos 1 Miranda 14.11

75. E Wrybill Anarhynchus frontalis 30 Miranda 14.11. Vulnerable.

76. Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres 20 Miranda 14.11, 15 in Te Whanga Lagoon, Chatham Island 22.11

77. Terek Sandpiper Xenus cinereus 1 Miranda 14.11

78. Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica 1000 Miranda 14.11, noticed near Karamea Holiday Park, Karamea 25.11,and near Invercagill 28.11, 20 Catlins River/Lake 2.12

79. Grey-tailed Tattler Heteroscelus brevipes 3 Miranda 14.11

80. Arctic Skua Stercocarius parasiticus 2 at Goat Island 13.11, 2 Muriway Beach 14.11, 2 outside Tiri Tiri with Dolphin Explorer 17.11, 1 near Akaroa 3.12, 5 in Marlborough Sound 5.12

81. Brown Skua Catharacta antarctica lonnbergi 2 near Taiko Camp, Chatham Island 23.11, 5 on Stewart Island pelagic including 1 adult on nest with 1 young 30.11. 3 noticed from Ackers Point, Stewart Island 29.11 and 1.12

82. Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus Common. Noticed on Chatham Island.

83. Red-billed Gull Larus scopulinus Common. Noticed on Chatham Island.

84. E Black-billed Gull Larus bulleri 50 Miranda 14.11. A few noticed at Waikanae Beach north Wellington 18.11. Also noticed in small numbers near Karamea Holiday Park, Karamea 25.11, Catlins River/Lake 2.12 and at Lake Ellesmere 3.11. Probably overlooked by us. Vulnerable.

85. Caspian Tern Sterna caspia Seen in small numbers on 8 days with the highest amount 3 at Miranda 14.11

86. White-fronted Tern Sterna s. striata Common at coastal localities. S. s. aucklandorna common at Chatham Island.

87. E Black-fronted Tern Sterna albostriata Noticed in small numbers on braided rivers on South Island. Endangered.

88. E New Zealand Pigeon Hemiphaga n. novaeseelandiae Fairly common and widespread.

Hemiphaga n. chathamensis Fairly common in Awatotora Valley, Chatham Island where the population has raised from 30 1990 to more than 100 owing to predator control.

89. + Feral Pigeon Columba livia Common.

90. + Spotted Dove Streptopelia chinensis 1 along a blind alley (Prices Road??) from Puhinui Road east of Auckland Airport 12.11

91. E Kea Nestor notabilis 1 Fox Glacier 26.11, 10 and 6 at Homer Tunnel 27-28.11, 1 at Milford Sound Lodge 27.11. Vulnerable.

92. E Kaka Nestor meridionalis 1 Tiri Tiri 15.11, fairly common in Pureora Forest 18.11, common on Stewart and Ulva Island. Vulnerable.

93. + Eastern Rosella Platycercus eximius 15 noticed 12.11. mainly in and near Trounson Park. 2-3 Tiri Tiri 15-16.11

94. E Yellow-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus auriceps Fairly common in Pureora Forest 18.11. 1 probably heard on Ulva Island 30.11.

95. Red-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae Common on Tiri Tiri 15-16.11. 5 in Pureora Forest 18.11. Fairly common in Awatotora Valley, Chatham Island, 22-23.11, 1 at Taiko Camp, Chatham Island 23.11, 1 heard near Karamea Holiday Park, Karamea, 25.11. Fairly common on Ulva Island 30.11, a few on Stewart Island 29.11-1.12.

96. Shining Bronze-Cuckoo Chrysococcyx lucidus Singles heard at severel scattered localites but just a few seen. 1 heard on Chatham Island.

97. E Long-tailed Cuckoo Eudynamys taitensis 6 Pureora Forest 18.11. 1 near Dunedin 2.12. Only 2 where seen.

98. Morepork Ninox novaeseelandiae 2 heard Trounson Park 12.11, 1 seen and 2-3 heard Heaphy Track, Karamea, 25.11, 1 heard on Philip Smith's evening trip on Stewart Island 30.11.

99. Sacred Kingfisher Todirhamphus sanctus A few throughout.

100.Welcome Swallow Hirundo neoxena Common and widespread in small numbers. Noticed on Chatham Island.

Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe 1 at O'Hare Airport, Chicago, USA 10.11

101. E Rifleman Acanthisitta chloris 1 Pureora Forest 18.11, 10 Historic Bridle Track, Haast Pass 26.11

102. E Rock Wren Xenicus gilviventris 1-2 at Homer Tunnel 27.11

103. Silvereye Zosterops lateralis Locally common, widespread. Common in Awatotora Valley, Chatham Island.

104. E Grey Gerygone Gerygone igata Fairly common and widespread.

105. E Chatham Island Gerygone Gerygone albofrontata 2 –3 at Taiko Camp, Chatham Island 23.11

106. + Blackbird Turdus merula Common throughout including Chatham Island.

107. + Song Trush Turdus philomelos Common throughout including Chatham Island.

108. + Dunnock Prunella modularis Common throughout including Chatham Island.

109. + Skylark Alauda arvensis Common throughout including Chatham Island.

110. New Zealand Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae 3 Totamoe School 13.11, 1 noticed 18.11, 3 near Red Rocks, Wellington, 20.11, 10 Chatham Island.

111. E Fernbird Bowdleria punctatus 1-2 Frethey Drive, Lake Taupo 18.11

112. E Brown Creeper Mohua novaeseelandiae 2 Historic Bridle Track, Haast Pass 26.11, fairly common on Ulva Island 30.11

113. E Whitehead Mohua albicilla Common on Tiri Tiri, a few in Pureora Forest 18.11

114. E Yellowhead Mohua ochrocephala 2 Historic Bridle Track, Haast Pass 26.11. Vulnerable.

115. Grey Fantail Rhipidura fuliginosa Common in scrub and forest. R.f. penitus 8 On Chatham Island.

116. E Tomtit Petroica macrocephala 2 Trounson Park, 1 noticed 13.11, 6 Pureora Forest 18.11, 5 Milford Sound 28.11, 4 Ulva Island 30.11, a few Lee Bay, Stewart Island 1.12

117. E New Zealand Robin Petroica australis 2 Tiri Tiri 15.11, common in Pureora Forest 18.11, 2-3 Ulva Island 30.11, 6 Motuara Island, Marlborough Sound 5.12

118. E Kokako Callaeas cinerea 1 seen Tiri Tiri 15.11, 1 seen and 2-3 heard Tiri Tiri 16.11. Endangered.

119. E Tui Prosthenadera novaeseelandiae Fairly common throughout north island forests and on Stewart Island but scarcer elsewhere.

120. E Stichbird Notiomystis cincta 4 and 2 on Tiri Tiri 15-16.11. Vulnerable.

121. E New Zealand Bellbird Anthornis melanura Fairly common throughout

122. E Saddleback Philesturnus carunculatus rufusater Common on Tiri Tiri. P.c.carunculatus 1 Ulva Island 30.11, 2 seen and 1 heard Motuara Island, Marlborough Sound 5.12

123. + House Sparrow Passer domesticus Common throughout including Chatham Island.

124. + Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs Common throughout including Chatham Island.

125. + Redpoll Carduelis flammea Common in many areas including Chatham Island. Not noticed north of Auckland.

126. + Goldfinch Carduelius carduelius Common throughout including Chatham Island

127. + Greenfinch Carduelius chloris Fairly common throughout including Chatham Island

128. + Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella Fairly common throughout. Noticed on Chatham Island.

129. + European Starling Sturnus vulgaris Common throughout including Chatham Island

130. + Common Myna Acridotheres tristis Common on North Island. Not seen south of Turangi.

131. + Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen Common in open areas. White-backed form seemed to dominate, a few black-backed noticed on North Island.

Mammals

New Zealand Fur Seal Arctocephalus forsteri Seen on many coastal areas such as Muriway Beach, Nugget Point, Milford Sound, Marborough Sound, Stewart Island and at Matarakau, Chatham Island.

Hooker's Sea Lion Phocarctos hookeri 1 Nugget Point. Probably overlooked by us.

Dusky Dolphin Lagenorhynchus obscurus 200 outside Tiri Tiri. 17.11

Hector's Dolphin Cephalorhynchus hectori 5-7 Akaroa 3.12, 1 with Dolphin Watch, Marlborough Sound

Right Whale Balaena glacialis 4-5 outside Tiri Tiri 17.11 was said to be this species. Since they had a clearly visible dorsal fin it must have been another species.

and a lot of introduced species such as brush-tailed possum, rats, rabbits, hedgehogs, stoats and mankind


Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall