New Zealand Field Guide

Subject: New Zealand Field Guide
From: David Billinghurst <>
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:34:19 +1000
On 24/06/2014 5:23 PM, Anthony Katon wrote:
My wife and I plan to make a trip to New Zealand this year.
Any recommendations for birding locations.
What field guide should I purchase.

I am far from an expert, but have birded the south island while on work trips and on a family holiday. There are a few good web sites. Take the time to visit at least one off-shore sanctuary.

We enjoyed:

 * pelagic cruise out of Kaikoura
 * Rotoiti Nature Recovery Project
 * Okarito Lagoon, including kiwi spotting tour
 * Stewart Island and Ulva Island (and I heard good things about the
   Kiwi trip there, but couldn't go)
 * Otago Peninsula tour and cruise (Dunedin)
 * Plenty of other sites as we drove down the east coast of the south
 * Zealandia (Karori) sanctuary in Wellington

We missed a few good sites, but it was a family holiday with birding included.

For a field guide, we used The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand Paperback by Hugh Robertson and Barrie Heather. Their Hand Book to the birds of NZ is smaller and lighter. I found Where to Watch Birds in New Zealand by Kathy Ombler useful, and stayed in some of the bird-friendly accommodation she suggests. Much nicer to enjoy the dawn chorus in a B&B just out of town, rather than the roar of heavy vehicles in a motel on the main drag.

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