At long last, my New Zealand trip report! It should never have taken so long, because we did not birdwatch intensively. We visited only the South Island and Stewart Island---October 22-30, 1996. We had a couple of mixups with guides for birdwatching. The biggest surprise and the highlight of the entire trip was the country itself! New Zealand is gorgeous: a combination of the rolling hills and sheep of Scotland, the snow-capped craggy mountains of Switzerland, and the fiords of Norway. The weather was lovely, albeit cold. If anyone wants more in-depth information, please just ask for the details in which you are interested. The birdlist is attached.
Drove to Te Huingi Manu Wildlife Refuge and Oxidation Ponds and then up into the mountains around Christchurch--breathtaking views. Drove south to Dunedin and Brighton.
Overnight on a sheep farm in Brighton (south of Dunedin), where I got to bottle-feed 2 new lambs and to hold a 3-hour-old lamb.
Drove to the Peninsula to see the Royal Albatrosses soaring above the Monarch tourboat and Yellow-eyed Penguins at Penguin Place, which resembles a military operation with their use of camoflage material for the blinds and system of walkways carved out of the dunes and hillsides.
Drove along the southeastern coast of South Island in the area called The Catlins. Ferry to Stewart Island in stormy water--very scary trip.
(Supposed to have an experienced birding guide, but turned out that guide was not really experienced in finding birds. He also didn't want to take out a party of only 2, but was obligated by his prior commitment to the day.) Took a small boat to look for sea birds in morning. Walked the trails on Ulva Island in afternoon. Kiwi spotlighting in evening with Phillip Smith,a guide who knew what and where--quite an adventure!! Using flashlights, scaled cliffs and walked through rainforest on poorly marked trail to get to beaches where Kiwis feed. Phillip can take a party of 16 only every second night to look for Kiwis, so check schedule, if you plan to take the trip and reserve ahead.
(Again, problem with guide--the one who was supposed to assist us was taken ill. Replacement was a field officer with the Department of Conservation.) Trip to Milford Sound by bus (4 hours each way from Queenstown to Milford Sound with several sightseeing stops) and cruise on the Sound. We spent the entire 1 1/2 hour cruise on the top deck, so that we didn't miss any of the spectacular scenery of mountains that descended right into the water with bizillions (carefully counted!!) of waterfalls.
Daylong drive with the field officer from Queenstown to Glenorchy with many stops along the way to search for birds. As everywhere else in that country, the scenery was beautiful. I know this sounds repetitious, but one cannot overstate the beauty.
Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris Spotted Shag Phalacrocorax punctatus Black Swan Cygnus atratus Canada Goose Branta canadensis Paradise Shelduck Tadorna variegata Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa White-eyed Duck Aythya australis New Zealand Scaup Aythya novaeseelandiae White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae Swamp Harrier Circus approximans South Island Oystercatcher Haematopus finschi White-headed Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus Silver Gull Larus novaehollandiae Australasian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula European Starling Sturnus vulgaris Silver-eye Zosterops lateralis House Sparrow Passer domesticus Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
Yellow-eyed Penguin Megadyptes antipodes Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora Australian Gannet Morus serrator Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Bronze Shag Phalacrocorax chalconotus Black Swan Cygnus atratus Paradise Shelduck Tadorna variegata Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa Swamp Harrier Circus approximans Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio South Island Oystercatcher Haematopus finschi Variable Oystercatcher Haematopus unicolor Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus Red-billed Gull Larus scopulinus White-fronted Tern Sterna striata New Zealand Pigeon Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae New Zealand Bellbird Anthornis melanura Australasian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula European Starling Sturnus vulgaris House Sparrow Passer domesticus Dunnock Prunella modularis Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Brown Kiwi Apteryx australis Yellow-eyed Penguin Megadyptes antipodes Little Penguin Eudyptula minor Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus Common Diving-Petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius Bronze Shag Phalacrocorax chalconotus Spotted Shag Phalacrocorax punctatus Paradise Shelduck Tadorna variegata Weka Gallirallus australis Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus Red-billed Gull Larus scopulinus White-fronted Tern Sterna striata Common Kaka Nestor meridionalis Red-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae Yellow-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus auriceps Sacred Kingfisher Todirhamphus sanctus Gray Gerygone Gerygone igata New Zealand Bellbird Anthornis melanura Tui Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae Tomtit Petroica macrocephala Pipipi Mohoua novaeseelandiae Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Swamp Harrier Circus approximans Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus Tui Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae Australasian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula Song Thrush Turdus philomelos European Starling Sturnus vulgaris House Sparrow Passer domesticus Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus Fiordland Crested Penguin Eudyptes pachyrhynchus Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo Paradise Shelduck Tadorna variegata Mallard Anas platyrhynchos Australian Shoveler Anas rhynchotis New Zealand Scaup Aythya novaeseelandiae White-faced Heron Egretta novaehollandiae Swamp Harrier Circus approximans New Zealand Falcon Falco novaeseelandiae California Quail Callipepla californica Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio Eurasian Coot Fulica atra South Island Oystercatcher Haematopus finschi White-headed Stilt Himantopus leucocephalus Spur-winged Plover Vanellus spinosus Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus Black-billed Gull Larus bulleri Rock Dove Columba livia New Zealand Pigeon Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae Kea Nestor notabilis Yellow-fronted Parakeet Cyanoramphus auriceps Tui Parakeet Brotogeris sanctithomae Rifleman Acanthisitta chloris New Zealand Bellbird Anthornis melanura Tomtit Petroica macrocephala Yellowhead Mohoua ochrocephala Australasian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen Eurasian Blackbird Turdus merula Song Thrush Turdus philomelos European Starling Sturnus vulgaris House Sparrow Passer domesticus Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
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