Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great birds, real birders.
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ…….started out as a couple of birding mates making the decision to set up their own independent bird-guiding business. We felt there was a need for real BIRDERS, who were passionate about birding, really knew their New Zealand birds and birding sites inside out, and were based in New Zealand, with access to up-to-date information on the New Zealand birding scene. Sure we know our natural history as well, but we are BIRDERS, the name says it all!
Pelagic birding trips are just one of our specialties, with unrivalled knowledge within New Zealand. Our rediscovery of the supposedly extinct New Zealand Storm-petrel in 2003, as we were just starting to operate our business, was an amazing sign that we were really doing the right thing. However, we also know our land-birds just as well and know you will enjoy your New Zealand birding experience with us!
So here we are…….Sav Saville and Brent Stephenson, and recently due to being so popular, and restricting our group sizes to just 8 people, we have had to enlist the help of two other great New Zealand birders – Phil Hammond and Matt Jones. The decision to hire other guides was not one we took lightly, but as their clients have told us, they are excellent and fit well within our team! Our list of services can be found here, with anything from pre-trip planning advice, to a full North and South Island organised tour (including Stewart Island), and anything in between. As Sav, Brent, Phil and Matt live in different parts of the country, we are also able to offer guided trips around our ‘neck-of-the-woods’ for one or more days, and make custom itineraries. Trip reports from our pelagics, personal birding trips, and guided trips can be found here. If you are visiting New Zealand, then email us to let us know how we can help.
So why choose us?
- We must be doing something right if pelagic experts and overseas field leaders think we do a good job! Check out endorsements from World class seabirders here and see our testimonials page here.
- We only operate in New Zealand, choosing to run tours on our home turf where we know things best. That doesn’t mean we don’t travel and bird overseas though!
- Our trip lists speak for themselves – during the last two summers our 21-day itineraries have consistently seen over 150 species with both Brent and Sav seeing 168 species on separate tours in late 2011, and Brent seeing 172 species (now the record) with a great group in Nov 2015! No other New Zealand operator even comes close to species lists like this!
- Our 21-day tours are only run by birders we know and trust! Sav & Brent have been running tours by themselves since 2002, but have now enlisted the help of Phil Hammond and Matt Jones. Both Phil and Matt are excellent guides and birders and we have no hesitation bring them both onboard as guides.
- We are licensed Department of Conservation concessionaires, permitted to operate on New Zealand’s conservation estate. This means some of your fee goes towards ensuring the conservation of the birds you will see. We also hold concessions for many of the Auckland Regional Council Regional Parks.
- We love getting out and about birding, we are birders through and through – we even go birding on the weekend! BUT, we are also keen on plants, invertebrates, and other New Zealand wildlife. So a birding tour with us is NOT just hardcore birding, we take time to see the country and other things of interest during our 21-day tours.
- Consistently travelling the country to see new birds – see our Rarities section for the things we have discovered, successfully twitched, and (damn it!) unsuccessfully chased…a little out of date, but we are so busy out there doing it we don’t have time to keep the website completely up to date 😉
- Prominent in the NZ birding scene – Brent started and moderates BIRDING-NZ and is the record holder for the most birds seen in NZ in a calendar year (206 in 2006, see the streaming video here), Sav is now involved in the Rarities Committee for the OSNZ, having been the Regional Representative in his region in the past, and we both regularly contribute to BIRDING-NZ, are featured prominently in Steve Braunias’ ‘How to Watch a Bird’, and we rediscovered the supposedly ‘extinct’ New Zealand storm-petrel
- Plus we love showing New Zealand and its fantastic birds to overseas birders! Read client testimonials here.
- You will receive a free copy of Brent’s “Birds of New Zealand: A Photographic Guide” when you book on one of our 21-day tours!
- Do you need any more reasons to email us??
Upcoming Tours & News
Well another year is almost over, with Christmas 2016 having passed and New Years Eve fast approaching! Our 2016-17 season has gone well so far, with three 21-day tours during November and December 2016. Brent was also onboard the 'Spirit of Enderby' for several New...read more
Well the British Birdwatching Fair is over and the response was amazing! A lot of people are obviously planning a trip to New Zealand, and spaces on our tours both this season and next are filling already. So if you are interested in a tour with us, don't delay!...read more
Both Sav and Brent will be at the British Birdwatching Fair which starts Friday 19 Aug and runs through to the end of Sunday 21 Aug. We will be sharing a stand with our good friends from Albatross Encounter, and will be located with the other New Zealand operators in...read more
We have just launched this new website - with a lot of help from our good friend Richard Atkins - on 23 May 2016. During the switchover to the new site, there may be a number of links which have been broken, and certainly not all of the information from the old...read more
Our 21-day tours are proving to be incredibly popular this year again, with three departures before (as well as Brent in the Southern Ocean on some of our NZ Sub-Antarctic tour) and currently three departures after, the New Year. This means that all of our guides are...read more
Brent is very proud to announce that his book "Birds of New Zealand: A photographic guide" by Paul Scofield and Brent Stephenson has just been reprinted in New Zealand. First published in September 2013, the book sold out in just over two years, and has now been...read more
We now have pelagic dates on our Pelagics page through to late 2017. Early 2018 dates to follow soon...but get in quick as the boats are filling!read more
We are offering a New Zealand Sub-Antarctic Islands Tour - Nov 2016 - on a small ship through all of the New Zealand sub-Antarctic island groups. Includes the Chatham Islands, Bounty Islands, Antipodes, Campbell Island, Macquarie, and the Auckland Islands (two days)...read more