Tuesday 23 November 2010

Calling for interest - 4-day live-aboard pelagic - Three Kings March 2011

Had a call from our northern skipper Tank Barker this morning.  We have penciled in a fifth 4-day pelagic for 2 -5 March 2011, leaving from Houhora in the north, and heading up to the beautiful Three Kings Islands.  We generally manage (weather permitting) two nights anchored near them, and head out to different areas near to the Three Kings to chum and look for seabirds and marine mammals.  We have had some excellent trips with some mega-birds for NZ recorded (first live record of Gould's petrel for New Zealand in 2007), and some excellent photographic opportunities.  Each year has been different, and we hope that a slightly earlier trip in 2011 will yield some more of the sub-tropical species, such Gould's, white-naped, and Kermadec petrel.

Trip reports from the previous trips (except the 2010 trip which is due to be posted at some stage soon...woops, bit late!) can be found on our Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ website here.

This trip is strictly a cost-share trip, we basically just split the cost between those on the trip.  It normally runs around NZ$1250 per person for the full trip, including food, and we generally eat very well with a lot of fresh fish.  Depending on how well I go on the diving front we generally also have crayfish for dinner, lunch, and breakfast!

If you are interested, or know of anyone who would be, please get them to email me as soon as possible as we need to confirm with Tank in the next few days.  I've posted a few photos below to whet the appetite and make you drool!

Probable New Caledonia subspecies of Gould's petrel, first live record for the species off New Zealand was during this trip in 2007

Long-tailed skua, a relatively rare vagrant for New Zealand, seen on several of the Three Kings trips we have done

Black-winged petrel, one of the Pterodromas commonly recorded during this trip

Kermadec petrel, again rarely reported for the mainland of New Zealand, but seen on each of our Three Kings trips

The spoils of diving, a couple of good sized crayfish

Eating well, crayfish wraps!

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