Well Sav and has group have started with great success as they head around the country. The tour is a slightly adjusted two week tour, but they have really been seeing some excellent birds. If you are after a custom tour, just let us know what it is you want and we can put something together. These folks came to us with an idea, and that is exactly what we did!
They started in Auckland, headed north for some beaut breeding plumage New Zealand dotterels, and managed to snag a bittern early the next morning. A great day on Tiritiri Matangi netted most of the targets, although kokako was a little tricky and only heard – they are right in the thick of nest building. As the group was just there for the day they weren’t able to spend more time searching unfortunately. Ended the day back on the mainland with great buff-banded rail. Next day both kaka and pipit, before heading to Miranda and getting great views of waybill and a sharp-tailed sandpiper.
Heading further south the team had shining cuckoo performing well, more kaka, and yellow-crowned parakeets at Pureora Forest Park. also an excellent long-tailed cuckoo, so that is a sometimes tricky bird in the bag! More bittern (!), and blue duck seen really well. Excellent Fernbirds, and more blue duck the next day, with four ducklings seen as well – nothing better than a blue duck family with ducklings! Although a perched falcon would be pretty close, and they had great views, perched atop a tree for all to see. Little egret at Foxton Beach, and then black-fronted dotterel on the way to Wellington. Next morning was mega views of orange-fronted parakeet, an often very tricky bird! And several King shags, before netting a vagrant male Northern shoveler, along with NZ grebe and crested grebe.
A great pelagic out of Kaikoura with Gazza from Albatross Encounter had an awesome Antarctic fulmar, with SIX species of albatross and all the other usual suspects. And lastly, multiple black stilt at multiple sites in the Mackenzie Basin – a total of 21 individuals! So I reckon that makes it pretty successful so far. Still some days to go as they head further south!