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 three other great New Zealand birders – Phil Hammond, Matt Jones, and Neil Robertson. 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, Matt, and Neil 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, Matt Jones, and Neil Robertson. Both Phil, Matt, and Neil 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
Sav will be attending the American Birding Expo, which is being held this weekend - 29 September to 1 October 2017, in Philadelphia. It is being held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Centre, and Sav will be around all weekend. So if you are in the area and wanting...read more
Both Sav and Brent will be attending the British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water this coming weekend - 18-20 August 2017. We will be sharing a stand with Albatross Encounter in Marquee #2 at Stand 46 & 47. Come along and say hello, ask a question, or have a...read more
We are excited to be heading back to the Chatham Islands in early 2018, with a five-night trip running from 27 February to 3 March 2018. The trip will have a full day pelagic, focussing on heading to the famed 'The Pyramid' as well as skirting offshore of South-East...read more
We are really pleased to announce our newest member of the Wrybill team - Neil Robertson! We pride ourself on the fact that our guides are all birders, that love birding, but are passionate about sharing this with our clients. Neil is just such a person, and we are...read more
Well this summer has been a pretty outstanding one for our tours and for mega-vagrants. The amazing thing is that all of the vagrants have been twitchable, it really has been a rather interesting season. First up was a Wilson's phalarope in Napier in November, then...read more