We are now 3 weeks into our NZ jaunt and currently in Wellington in the glorious weather before we ferry across to South Island in the earley morning. This is the first time I have been able to get a couple of pictures to post taken on my iTouch on a walk round a local park area.
A couple of local pied shags with a nest between, there were quite a few around this lake along with a Little Shag but no pics, there are 7 species of shag here.
A female grey duck, if she had not decided to put her head down you would have seen a very distinct yellow eye stripe and then it flew off.
Saw our first Black Robin today but my wife just managed to get a quick shot in deep shade but how amazing is that, a black robin, that would put a diff slant on Xmas cards. Have seen some amazing birds so far but can't get camera to talk to iPad so can't share. Visited a huge gannet colony the other day, on flat open ground with 3500 breeding pairs where we were and another 3 sites with upto 4000 pairs each, spotted a couple of eggs but too soon for chicks, this was at Cape Kidnappers near Napier. The smell and sight was incredibl, with males flying in almost touch our heads, you could feel the air move as they passed so close. Also managed to see some Wrybill amongst other waders at Miranda Shorebirds Reserve got talking with a volunteer who had been to Minsmere in the past couple of years, a fabulous reserve, if anyone does ger to NZ ittnis a must visit site.
Thats all for now, will post more if can get some pics from camera or on iPad.
Sounds like you are having a great time Tony, nice photos of the Pied Shag and the black Robin, well that would be a lovely one for the Chrsitmas Cards.
Coming up to their summer time I suppose over in NZ, fabulous for seeing all the birds and wildlife. Hope you manage to put up some more photos Tony, I have heard about the black Robin and would love to see one, my friend lives in Auckland and sent me news of them a few years ago.
Must be exciting seeing all those different species Tony and visit a reserve, so much to see out there along with the beautiful scenery so hope you continue to have a great trip exploring. I often regret not having been into bird-watching and photography whilst I lived overseas for 17 years of my life and the golden opportunities I must have missed ! I did see a Hornbill flying over our house once in Brunei, carrying a snake in its bill and heading towards the jungle area - just hoping it didn't drop it LOL
Keep having fun and you'll love South Island scenery.
Hi Catlady & gaynorsl, yes it's spring here but with very variable weather. The bird life is amazing but also incredibly familiar, sat on our veranda last evening with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc as you do and we could have been at home, all we could hear were thrush, blackbird and sparrows but the pair of nz harriers and snow capped mountains in the distance told us otherwise. I would post more pictures but can't get my little camera to talk to my iPad. On the ferry yesterday to South Island saw our 3rd & 4th different shag species, a spotted shag & king shag.
Watch this space if I can get technology to work. Otherwise it will be Dec before I can post good pics.
Hazel it is amazing here and the bird life is so different and colourful but also so very familiar. Had no idea we would see so many sparrows, blackies, thrush & starlings.
The gannet reserve at cape kidnappers was beyond amazing & just 10 ft from where we sat. Hopefully we will see albatross in a few days at another reserve further south.
Today was tough, chauffeur took us wine tasting to 4 diff vine yards, ready to sleep it off now! 5/6 diff wines at each place, almost too much ha ha
Sounds like a great trip, looking forwards to more :-)
Stewart, it's a trip of a life time, having been on business a few times wanted to visit with my wife and actually see the place. Been a 5hr drive today to skirt round the last earth quake damage to get towards Christchurch. Stopped for day with still 2hrs drive to Kaikora. Next event Sun & dolphin watch and swim, probably be difficult to spot diff between me in wet suit & dolphin.
I have a friend who has lived in Oz for years and knows a lot of people and the wildlife a lot of their birds are introduced from Europe and are now pests, the same goes for New Zealand this is a link to show how many are Introduced
Hi James, thanks for the link, so far have seen 20 of the 37 listed species. I have seen more thrush & sparrows here than at home. Plenty of starlings and blackies and mynah birds. Few calif quail, pigeons, chafies, flocks of goldfinch and greenfinch. I guess early settlers wanted to it to feel more like home....does make me think though, why go in the first place, still certainly adds to the variety, seen our 5th species of shag today, black shag, two more to go.