Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Kermadecs

I'm just back from my expedition to the Kermadec Islands . A fantastic experience with plenty of great memories.

 The kermadec Islands are very remote. Almost 1000kms northeast of New Zealand.  Managed and maintained by the Department of Conservation (DoC) New Zealand.

The immediate area around the islands is  marine reserve and now there is a move to create the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary covering some 620,000 square kilometres of ocean to protect this region from fishing and mining.

Zodiac cruising around Curtis Island
Black winged petrel

That's Mt Moumoukai towering above the crater lakes
White-naped petrel
Kermadec petrel
Kermadec Pohutakawa

Low Flat
Nikau grove

Dragonfly licking stalk


Spotless Crake
Kermadec Kakariki

Kermadec Kakariki

Mt Moumoukai 516 metres
This is the view from Mt Moumoukai which is 516 metres high and overlooks the blue and the green lakes. It was quite a climb in the sub-tropical heat after we had also walked to Boat Cove for a picnic lunch.

Pleased to be at Denham Bay beach Raoul island. Thanks for this shot Andrea.
 You can see by the grin on my face that I was so pleased to complete the overland traverse trek to the historic Denham Bay on Raoul Island via the ridge above the crater and then down the steep track with the help of four roped sections.
 The walk along the ridge of the caldera had great views into the crater of the green and blue lakes. Then this  view down to Denham Bay. The lighter green area is the swamp. This was  called the lagoon by early settlers.
The sea can be unforgiving on this beach with a serious swell and  undertow and under different weather conditions early settlers were forced to move to the other side of the island. Although the bay looked benign on our visit.

View down to Denham bay.

Spirit of Enderby
Our expedition ship The 'Spirit of Enderby' a 72 metre ex Russian oceanographic ship complete with Russian crew  leased from the Russian Government.

Bottlenose dolphins bow riding.

Red-tailed tropic bird
False Killer Whale

False killer Whale

Photos and plenty more to follow.................

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Awhitu with Bot Soc.

Bot Soc visit to the Awhitu peninsular with Tricia leading the way.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Flighty Island Birds.

It was an early start to head North then a long drive to the West coast to kayak to the island allowing time to walk up the beach in time for a High Tide bird count.

SIPOS head South
 On the way up that beach a huge number of South Island pied oystercatchers headed South to the Islands mid-point HT roost. By the time we arrived at our destination with time to spare many birds had left.

Upper wings and lower wings of SIPOS

Pied Stilt on the move

Copper to be identified.

Tricky trap locations hidden in dunes

Three of seven Whimbrel that flew by heading North

 Then the count was started only to be interrupted as some birds flew back. Why they were so flightly we do not know.

Today we also counted pied stilt, Caspian tern, NZ dotterel, banded dotterel and seven whimbrel flew North too.