Tuesday 1 November 2011

What! No bittern?

So it was a bakery stop first thing...pies for breakfast (these guys are slipping into the kiwi way of life far too easily), and then on the road.  We stopped in at Whangamarino to check out the bittern spot, and I was aghast when after almost an hour we hadn’t found a single one!  The water levels were up quite a bit, and I just don’t think there was enough cover for the birds to hide away in.  So despite seeing more white-faced herons than you could shake a stick at, a few ducks and miscellaneous other things there was no bittern.  We drove slowly along other likely spots, but still no luck, so it was time to put the foot down and head through to Pureora.

We got through to Pureora Forest after lunch and ate our sandwiches in one of the picnic areas overlooking the forest edge.  Robins and tomtits were singing away, and lots of whitehead, but the yellow-crowned parakeets gave us the merry run around.  Saw quite a few flying around, but just couldn’t nail one perched and in the scope.  There were also a few Eastern rosellas around which was a little disappointing, especially when they DID stop and show themselves!  Did get great views of kaka flying over though with lots of birds in the area.

We then headed to the forest tower and headed up to see what we could spy.  Robins and rifleman around the area were nice, and several more kaka.  Pretty quiet on the long-tailed cuckoo front, with the first bird heard calling after we had left the tower.  So we drove the roads trying to get close to it, and saw it fly, so drove further and then had fantastic scope views for about ten minutes.  The bird sat right in the top of a tree calling and gave great views...very weird for a long-tailed cuckoo!

We then headed back down the road, checking out a few other spots, before heading for Taupo, getting coot on the way.  Also a few scaup, black swan, and shoveler which was nice.

Bird of the day – Long-tailed cuckoo x4, rifleman x1, kaka x1, chaffinch (it’s getting worse, where do we get these people!)
Day total – Seen = 57 + 1 heard (common pheasant, Indian peafowl, dunnock); new for the trip = 6; total for the trip to date = 119

Scoping the long-tailed cuckoo

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