Well Phil and his group started their tour just over a week ago, and really are doing well.  They have had great views of Northern brown kiwi and fairy tern in the north, and a great Hauraki Gulf pelagic with New Zealand storm-petrel and all the usual suspects.  Tiritiri Matangi Island turned out well with everything expected seen well, including a nice close Tuatara. Miranda also a great spot with all the usual shorebirds, as well as some extras including Hudsonian godwits, whimbrel, and cattle egrets nearby.  Pycroft’s petrel, along with grey-faced, and black and little shearwater all showed well on the Whitianga pelagic. They then had great blue duck, super close falcon (and a couple of them), Australasian bittern, fernbird, and a daytime morepork.  So they are leaving the North Island having scooped everything and more! On to the South!

Matt and his group from Sunrise Birding LLC started on Tuesday and are also having a great time.  They started with the usual spots around Auckland getting great views of nesting gannets, waterbirds, and a couple of kookaburras on powerlines! Apparently the pie shopping for lunch was a little sad, so no doubt Matt will be training them hard over the course of this trip!  New Zealand dotterel at lunch, then fairy tern in the afternoon at very close range. After dinner awesome views of a male Northern brown kiwi at very close range, and then a morepork just before getting back to the accomodation for the night. Day 2 more views of fairy tern, as well as a reef egret. New Zealand pipit, brown quail, brown teal, whitehead, saddleback, kaka and two shining bronze-cuckoos rounded out the day.  Although buff-banded rail and another kookaburra also got I the way on the way to the accommodation!

So our tours really are off to a good start for the season!  Brent will be starting another 21-day tour early next week…  More updates soon!

Watching fairy terns in the sunshine!