Is this picture a Black-chinned Honeyeater.

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Is this picture a Black-chinned Honeyeater.
From: robert morris <>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 09:55:12 +0000
Hi there
Rein Hofman posted this picture on aviceda - ABID as an adult Black-chinned 
Honeyeater. It looks unlike either sub-species I've seen. Yellow base to the 
bill, no blck chin? I'm not saying it isn't, it just looks really odd to me. 
Any thoughts:
Kind regards
Rob Morris  Brisbane, Australia > Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 00:43:28 -0800> From: 
> To: > Subject: [Birding-Aus] 
New Zealand South Island trip report> > > > > > Spent 15 days travelling around 
the south island - 11 of> them aboard the Orion, an expedition/cruise ship in 
early December 2008. Spent> no time inland, but saw most of coast from Nelson 
to Fiordland as well as> Stewart Island and the sub-Antarctic Snares Islands 
(albeit briefly).> >  > > Good birdwatching is sparse on the east coast of the 
South> Island, pretty much the entire coast has been cleared at some point and 
even> the large areas of sub-tropical rainforest such as Able Tasman NP and> 
Marlborough Sounds are secondary re-growth. Step into forests in the south> 
island and things are very quiet - due mainly to predators (Stoats, Ferrets,> 
Weasles and Rats). There are however a few dedicated conservation areas where 
NZ> has removed predators and native species have be
 en highly successful> re-colonising them> >  > > Able Tasman NP - Lots> of 
Variable Oystercatchers around as well as Reef Heron (Eastern Reef Egret in> 
Australia) with a nest in a cliff cave on one of the small islands. Caspian 
and> White-fronted Terns, Gulls - Black-backed (Kelp) and Red-billed (Silver),> 
Spotted, Pied, Little Pied, Black and Great Shags. Didn't venture into the 
forest> there, but there wasn't much calling that I could hear from the coast. 
Kererū> or New Zealand Pigeon were> common though.> >  > > Marlborough Sounds 
-> Ships Cove and Motuara Island - Motuara Island is a real conservation> 
success story - the NZ dept. of conservation have completely removed all> 
predators (including rats) and the island functions as a nursery for Brown 
Kiwi> young.> >  > > The island itself is small (approx. 60ha) and 
consequently> the island is saturated with endangered birds. South Island Robin 
and> Saddleback (both all but extinct on the mainland) approach within inches a
  do Fantail> and Bellbird. There is a small pond about 100m or so up the only 
track on the> island which birds will come to bathe at. The Kiwi conservation 
areas are not> accessible, so you won't see them here (Stewart Island is the 
place for that).> >  > > Ships Cove is adjacent to Motorua Island on the 
'mainland' and> the difference is palpable - no Robins, Saddlebacks or even 
Fantails. However> South Island Weka will come and say hi, they're very tame. 
Coastal birds incl.> Paradise Shellduck, Variable Oystercatcher White-fonted 
Terns also.> >  > > Kaikoura -> pelagic birding is the main attraction here 
(see other reports). Albatross can> sometimes be seen from the coast and 
coastal birds such as Herons, White-faced> and Reef, Oystercatchers, Terns and 
Gulls around the Peninsula.> >  > > Banks Peninsula -> saw a small part of the 
peninsula around Akoroua briefly. Almost completely> cleared of native 
vegetation, gorse is rampant and introduced predators are> highly abundant
  Despite this there are some good bird attractions here. A> White-flippered 
Penguin colony in Flea Bay is managed by a private landholder> who does all her 
own predator control (over a massive area!) and nest boxes.> Tours of the 
colony are available and there is also a Pied Shag colony right> nest to the 
Penguins. Variable Oystercatcher, Paradise Shelduck and Canada> Goose also 
benefit from the lack of predators around the penguin colony and all> had eggs 
or young when I was there. There are also a few small gullies where> remnant 
vegetation and some good bird life persists along the Banks Peninsula> Track 
which you must book to walk.> >  > > Dunedin -> Apparently some good shorebird 
spots around (although we didn't get to them),> but again a heavily modified 
coastline in general. The only mainland Albatross> colony (Southern Royals) and 
Yellow-eyes Penguin colonies are big tourist> draw-cards and well worth a visit 
- not cheap, but your money is going to a> very good cause
  There is also a large Spotted Shag colony near the heads. > >  > > Dunedin to 
Snares> - Heading south from Dunedin the seabirds started to appear far more 
regularly.> Until now Cape Petrel, a White-capped Albatross or two and the 
occasional Giant> Petrel were all we'd seen (apart from Royal Albatross at the 
Dunedin colony)> were all we'd seen off the back of the Orion. From Dunedin to 
Snares we saw> Salvin's, White-capped, Royal, Wandering, Bullers, Black-browed 
and Grey-headed> Albatross. Also Cape Petrels incessantly following the ship 
and Northern Gaint> Petrels, smaller petrels and shearwaters became more and 
more common.> >  > > The Snares - Then> next stop for the boat was the Snares 
Islands some 200km off the southern tip> of the south island of NZ. The Snares 
are amazing granite structures climbing> to approx. 400m straight out of the 
southern ocean. Landing on the island is> prohibited, however we had an 
afternoon in the Zodiac's around the shoreline. Observed> tho
 sands of (Snares) Crested Penguins coming in and out of the water and> 
climbing massive, steep rock faced to their burrows (presumably), all the 
while> dodging cantankerous NZ fur seals and the occasional Sea-lion. Brown 
Skua were> also abundant around the coast and a pair of Antarctic Terns 
appeared to be> breeding nearby (they were flying back and forth with fish). 
Few Buller's> Albatross to be seen, although the Snares is home to one of the 
largest> breeding colonies in the world. Common Diving Petrels were also 
around, and> late in the day thousands of Sooty Shearwaters approached the 
islands (~3> million nest there).> >  > > Had a brief glimpse of a Snares 
Island Robin (one of the> endemic land birds on the islands). The Snares (along 
with other NZ> sub-Antarctic's e.g. Auckland, Campbell Islands) are free of 
introduced predators> (unlike Macquarie), so land birds have a chance there.> > 
 > > Snares to Fiordland> - from the Snares we headed north through what the 
  described as> respectable swell (up to 8m) to the Fiordland coast. The shelf 
is very close to> the shoreline in SW NZ and seabirds can be seen regularly 
right on the coast> (literally within meters of it!) Albatross make for a 
spectacular sight against> the backdrop of the enormous Fiords (incorrectly 
referred to as sounds). Wandering,> White-capped and Salvin's Albatross along 
with Shearwaters, Prions and Northern> Giant Petrels were all seen against the 
spectacular coastline which> occasionally peered through the low cloud.> >  > > 
Fiordland, Millford,> Dusky and Doubtfull sounds - (Fiordland) Crested Penguins 
can be seen in> the Fiords, although they're by no means common as well as 
shags (Spotted> mostly), Gulls and Terns (mostly White-fronted). A Variable 
Oystercatcher with a> chick was also seen on a small island in Dusky Sound. 
There are numerous> islands in Fiordland and predators have been eradicated 
from some of them> allowing a number of endangered birds to retur
 , but they're difficult to get> to in general in this part of the world.> >  > 
> There is some spectacular scenery in the Fiords and some> really nice 
rainforest, but unless you're on one of the predator-free islands the> birdlife 
is sparse.> >  > > From Fiordland we headed to Stewart Island - NZs third> 
largest island - (accessible by a short ferry ride from Bluff on the South> 
Island).> >  > > Stewart Island> itself is famous as the best spot in NZ to see 
Brown Kiwi (or Kiwi of any kind> for that matter). The island is currently 
Mustellid-free (i.e. no stoats,> ferrets or Weasels) and there are serious 
plans to have a crack at getting rid> of rats as well. We didn't get to look 
for Kiwi unfortunately, however there> are operators who run tours specifically 
to see Kiwi. Even without seeing Kiwi,> Stewart Island is a fantastic 
birdwatching experience and a fascinating> conservation story.> >  > > Ulva 
Island is a small satellite island, easily accessable> from Oban Village o
  Stewart Island and is an absolute must for any birdwatcher> in southern NZ. 
In half a day there we saw Kaka, Tui, Bellbird, Saddleback, Red> and 
Yellow-crowned Parakeet, Stewart Island Robin, Rifleman at an active nest, 
Kererū,> Brown Creeper, Fantail, Bellbird, Variable Oystercatchers with chicks, 
Stewart> Island Weka with chicks, White-fronted Tern, Little Penguin and 
Black-backed> Gull. We didn't see Yellowhead but they're also around on Ulva. 
Water Taxis are> easy to get pretty much any time and there are also guided 
tours which are very> worthwhile. Take a guided tour in the morning then go for 
a wander by yourself> is the best thing to do - the guides we had were 
excellent. Most of them are> actively involved in conservation work rat 
trapping, researching breeding or> re-introducing birds such as Rifleman to the 
island. > >  > > Highlights of Ulva island were Stewart Island Robin feeding> 
dependent young on the ground 4 feet away and Weka Family coming straight up to>
 us and allowing us to take pictures of them about 10cm away. Seeing Rifleman> 
(NZ's smallest bird) up close was also fantastic. They are one of the more> 
furtive NZ passerines, generally high up in the forest canopy. We happened> 
across an active nest this time (one of the benefits of getting a guide) and> 
were able to sit quietly and wait for the birds to come in and out of the nest> 
hollow. > >  > > Although most of the threatened endemic avifauna is on Ulva,> 
the township of Oban on Stewart Island is a great place to see Kaka and Tui> 
(better then Ulva actually) and Stewart Island Shag can also be seen around 
the> harbour and coastline along with Terns, Gulls and Variable Oystercatchers 
(breeding> actively 50m from the main pier). > >  > > A few of the images from 
the trip can be found at > > > > PS if 
you're a photographer, don't bother taking anything> more than a 200mm into a 
forest -
 12087e21 shows why. > > > > > Stay connected to the people that matter most 
with a smarter inbox. Take a look>>> > To unsubscribe from 
this mailing list, > send the message:> unsubscribe > (in the body of the 
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