Well Sav is off to a great start on his 21-day tour. The weather has been kind so far and a great group got off to an excellent start with four beaut North Island brown kiwi on the first evening! Excellent views and a lot of calling activity also. Next day had nice views of fairy tern as well as takahe, saddleback, brown teal and banded rail. Their day on the Hauraki Gulf was breezy to say the least, with strong winds in the afternoon making for a slightly early return. But excellent views of New Zealand storm-petrel, often at arms reach and possibly more than 20 over the course of the day. Other usual suspects seen with Cook’s and black petrel, Buller’s Shearwater, and white-faced storm-petrel. Weka a nice end to the day.
Then out to Tiritiri Matangi Island where the targets came easily. Five kokako sightings, stitchbird, saddleback, etc plus four tuatara seen as well as a great little spotted kiwi sighting.
The next day leaving Tiritiri Matangi Island shorebirds became the target and a great haul of all the usual bar-tailed godwit and red-knot at Miranda. Plus excellent broad-billed sandpiper views and pectoral, sharp-tailed and curlew sandpiper, and 2000 wrybill!
An interesting Whitianga pelagic yesterday with some excellent views of the targeted Pycroft’s petrel, as well as another three New Zealand storm-petrel, black petrel, and little shearwater.
Neil has just started a short tour, and Phil leads off on his 21-day tour tomorrow. So it is all go!