Thursday, 20 February 2020

Day seventeen - the last kiwi

Up and away and off towards Bluff.  The light and scenery was beautiful as we headed east and then down towards Bluff Ferry Terminal.  We made a quick stop in Winton on the way, and then through to an estuary stop near Invercargill.  The light made things tough, it was actually shining in Invercargill, so we shouldn’t complain.  But it made the birds tough to scan.  We found a good selection of waterfowl, and there were also godwit, oystercatchers, a lot of Royal spoonbill scattered over the mud flats.  A nice chance to stretch the legs before getting to the ferry terminal.
We unloaded bags, set them ready for the ferry, and boarded around 1100.  The weather was pretty nice, too nice for seabirds apparently!  On the crossing we had a couple of white-capped albatross, maybe 30 sooty shearwaters, and then towards Stewart Island we had three fairy prions.  Nice to finally pick that one up!  We also had two fly over brown skua during the trip, which was interesting, and a bunch of Foveaux shags on a rock as we got close to Halfmoon, with another skua.  A single penguin that had to be a yellow-eyed was spotted in the water and then three Fiordland crested penguins on the shore near the wharf.  Nice one!
We arrived, grabbed bags and then checked in to the accommodation.  We had lunch and then jumped on our water taxi to head to Ulva.  But our skipper Chris had other plans and forced us to enjoy awesome close views of Fiordland crested penguins on the way!  Thanks Chris!  Beaut views of these guys as they neared the finish of their moult.
On Ulva we started with some awesome views of yellowhead, then parakeets – both yellow-crowned and red-crowned seemed super abundant today.  We heard rifleman in a few places, and saddleback, but nothing close.  We carried on, hoping for a kaka, as we needed to get some good looks.  Lots of weka around and robin of course.  We had awesome close encounters with a friendly weka on a beach, and then back in to the forest.  And finally got our kaka, a nice close pair of birds that showed relatively well.  More parakeets, more robins, more yellowhead.  We also got some nice close brown creeper, a noisy little youngster amongst them.
We checked out another beach, but no sea lions, although we did find a small group of white-fronted terns feeding just offshore, with at least five penguins below them.  Nice one!  We got some views of rifleman, and then a brief glimpse of a saddleback, and then it was time to head to the wharf for our pick up.
We headed back to Oban, a nice white-capped albatross on the way…more of them to come!  A rest, a beer and then dinner.  We wandered out to look for long-tailed bats, but the odd spot of rain and cooler conditions seemed to keep them away.  A tantalising glimpse was all that was had.  But we headed out for kiwi with our good friend Matt, and although a few spots of rain we had beautiful views of three kiwi and a very small chick.  All busily feeding out for all to see.  Incredible views of this enigmatic endemic, topping of our very successful run of four kiwi on the tour!  Everyone slept well dreaming of chubby happy kiwi!
Day total – Seen = 58 inc 3 heard (morepork, tomtit and dunnock); new for the trip = 5; total for the trip to date = 147
Heading to Ulva

Livar and the weka

Photo photo


  1. If you have never met an Eclectus I must warn you that it only takes a moment for these birds to steal your heart away. They can make you laugh, make your heart melt, and at times make you want to bite nails because they can be terribly hard-headed little critters. For more information visit
    parrot eclectus for sale

    eclectus parrot for sale

    parrot eclectus price

    eclectus parrot price

    eclectus parrots breeders

    eclectus parrot male

    eclectus breeders

    eclectus prices

    eclectus parrot cost

  2. On the off chance that you have never met an Eclectus I should caution you that it just pauses for a minute for these winged creatures to win your love away. They can make you snicker, make your heart liquefy, and on occasion make you need to nibble nails since they can be horrendously determined little critters. For more data visit
    vosmaeri eclectus parrot

    solomon eclectus for sale

    red-sided eclectus parrot for sale

    buy eclectus parrot

    green eclectus for sale

    adult eclectus parrot for sale

    eclectus vosmaeri breeders

    Solomon island eclectus breeders

    vosmaeri eclectus parrot for sale


    Conures are very social, affectionate, and entertaining. They seek attention, and it is not uncommon to see them rolling on their backs to get your attention.
    Conures for sale

    Cockatoos Parrots are often described as intelligent and emotional birds. They are very popular pet birds with personalities as flashy and energetic as their crest.
    Cockatoos for sale

    Caique parrots are very intelligent and enjoy learning and showing off their tricks. However, they are very strong-willed and will need a firm hand in training and any interaction.
    Caiques for sale

    Amazons are brilliant and playful birds that love being the center of attention. They need lots of affection and time with their owners.
    Amazon Parrots for Sale

    African Grey's are most famously known for their high intelligence and fantastic talking ability. but they are so much more.
    African Grey Parrots for Sale

    Macaws are beautiful birds with large beaks, bright feathers, long tails, and white facial patches.
    Macaws for sale