DAY 7  In the van at 6:00am and at 6:08am we where watching a stunning female Blue Duck, that sat up on a rock for the next 40 minutes.
Then onto the next site, and to our next new bird, a very showy Australasian Bittern that flew over our heads a couple times before landing on top of the reeds, and then at very close range a skulky Fernbird gave great views.  Plus NZ Dabchick, NZ Scaup, Black-billed Gulls, and all this before breakfast!
That afternoon back at Purerora which paid off as we had mega looks at Yellow-crowned Parakeet and another Shining cuckoo.
DAY 8  And we arrived at a forest patch in Hawkes Bay and headed straight onto the trails and just a few steps in we found a fantastic looking Kaka at close range. Further into the forest and a large bird skipped over the path, what happened next, was quite unbelievable as we watched four adult Kokako display and interact with each other, right above our heads, for several minutes. Surely that would be the highlight of the day, but a bit further down the trail a brief call gave away the presence of a NZ Falcon, and a bit of searching and we witnessed a pair of falcons mating (a bit of a theme on this tour!).
Then on to sunny Napier, and as we met Sav we added a couple of waders to our growing list in the shape of Banded Dotterel and the tiny Black-fronted Dotterel. Other great birds were seen including Plumed Whistling-Duck, Bar-tailed Godwits, Pacific Golden Plover and Ruddy Turnstones. The day was finished off with a fantastic Thai meal, a great days birding!
DAY 9  Before heading south, we enjoyed an hour or so back at yesterdays wader hot spot which paid dividends as we refound a pair of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers, and a brief view of an Australasian Bittern.  We hit the road and arrived in Foxton beach to set the scopes up on Red Knots and Wrybill and more Bar-tailed Godwits.
Tomorrow we are on the ferry, and leave the North Island. And we are looking forward to birding the South Island.

Blue duck watching


Look out for kiwi!


Weta in the forest


The troops birding at Foxton