New Zealand

To: "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: New Zealand
From: "Simon Mustoe" <>
Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 15:54:01 +1000
I owe those of you who responded to my request for information, a report of what we saw in NZ. Many thanks for all the advice that came my way.
In true style however, the holiday turned out to be a rather non-birding affair and we spent most of our wildlife time in the company of whales, dolphins, seals and sealions.
The land-birding was good, but not great. In fact it was quite disappointing on the terrestrial front. We saw stacks of Brown Creepers, Riflemen, Tomtits and Bellbirds and a few Tuis. We spent some time in habitat for the alpine parrots but saw none. I was a bit surprised that I didn't pick any up flying around the treeline - maybe we were just unlucky. I felt that this was probably not a great time of year. We dipped Yellowhead at Haast Pass. Went to Glenorchy for an afternoon and except for a single fly-over Yellow-crowned Parakeet, I picked up no new birds. To be fair, we didn't go out of our way much but I got a taster and I am intent on a future trip with more birding.
The seabirds were great however. We did not do a pelagic (waits for shock response from aussie and NZ birders) but I did see quite a bit from the coast and got a few nice ticks sailing around over the backs of Dusky Dolphins, Hector's Dolphins and Sperm Whales. My world cetacean list has just passed the quarter century mark so I am quite chuffed.
The following seabirds flew by while whale-watching:
Royal Albatross
Wandering Albatross 
Shy Albatross
Bullers Albatross
Giant Petrel sp.
Bullers Shearwater - what a great looking bird!
Sooty Shearwater (there were large wrecks on the S. coast while we were there)
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Fluttering Shearwater
Huttons Shearwater
Common Diving Petrel
poss Antarctic Fulmar (sadly only one view of a bird flying away while doing 30 knots in Kaikoura - couldn't rule out pale Cape Pigeon, however unlikely)
Cape Pigeon
Fairy Prion
poss Grey-faced Petrel
Yellow-eyed Penguin
Little Blue Penguin (incl. White-flippered Form)
Spotted Shag
White-fronted Tern
Black-fronted Tern
Also saw the odd Pterodroma and no doubt missed a couple of species of Prion.
If anyone is interesting in reading my whale-watching trip report which is much more comprehensive than this effort, then I can forward it. Or you could sign up with UKCetnet (a fantastically informative listserver....that, er...incidentally, I run...) at - it's in the archive and you can choose to read messages online rather than receive them in your inbox.
Simon Mustoe.
Simon Mustoe - Director
AES Applied Ecology Solutions Pty Ltd.
59 Joan Avenue
Ferntree Gully
Victoria 3156
Telephone 03 9762 2616
International Telephone +61 (0) 3 9762 2616
Mobile 0405 220830
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