Monday, 12 November 2012

ROOKS rule and damn ducks!

A grey and cooler day greeted us this morning as we picked up lunch and then got on the road towards Hawkes Bay.  It was a little breezey and taking a few back roads we kept en eye out for blue duck…or at least some of us did! ;)  No luck though, but we arrived at Boundary Stream Mainland Island, put on sme extra layers and headed out for a walk.

There were a few rifleman calling away as we walked, but most were up high and not showing themselves.  However, in the end we got pretty good views of a couple and the pressure was off.  The rest of the forest was keeping pretty quiet with the strong winds and cooler temperatures, with whitehead being one of the few noisy ones.  We did get a couple of pigeon, robin, tomtit and other common bits and bobs, and we had a glimpse of a falcon zooming through the forest ahead of us.
We checked out a few likely areas for falcon, but nothing, and a couple of harriers hanging around unharrassed suggested the falcons were perhaps elsewhere.  Some flowering spider orchids were a nice find, and we also found some Tmesipteris – an ancient fern-ally, as well as some native mistletoe.
We had lunch back at the van, scanning for falcon or anything else, but the only new animal was a little porker feral pig!  It was trotting around like it owned the place in broad daylight!  That’s a first!

We then headed on down towards Napier, getting a beaut male peacock and a ROOK!!  Finally a rook on my 21-day tour!  I have missed them on the last two November 21-day trips, but we nailed it this time ;)  Down in Napier we searched for the plumed whistling ducks that have been at Anderson Park in Taradale for the last 14 months or so…only to find they were nowhere to be seen!  What, they were there just two weeks ago!  A nice view of a shining cuckoo was a pretty nice consolation prize though.  Further down the road we had great views of a black-fronted dotterel, with everyone agreeing they are stunning birds…even if they are from Aussie!

It was then time to headed back towards Taupo and on to Turangi.  We again checked areas slowly for blue duck as we headed back, but nothing, so they will have to wait for tomorrow!  Some did see a falcon from the van though as we came back over the hills.  An Italian dinner with more pasta than you could shake a stick at was a filling end to the day.

Bird of the day – Rifleman x7, little black cormorant x1, ROOK x1 (!sorry guide’s perogative!, that’s for you Marvin!)
Day total – Seen = 51 + 1 heard (pheasant); new for the trip = 7; total for the trip to date = 118

Admiring the view!

The gang

I think that kiwi has been shot!

Bill and Alice facing off

Dear oh dear!

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