Sunday, March 30, 2014

Motuora Island

Perfect day for an early crossing to Motuora Island from Sandspit. The sea was like a mill-pond with hardly a breath of wind. We were soon landed and headed up to see the latest imports of Pycroft petrels from Red Mercury Island. We watched these being weighed individually and have their wings measured.

 Then it was time to work in the nursery and later I volunteered for some track clearing. A great day catching up with people and lots of fun. Shame about Sally's shoes, hope she finds another match during beach combing.

Then  headed off to explore the Southern end of the Island for butterflies and insects, always interested to see the pollinators and was rewarded with sightings of a common copper copper and long-tailed blues.  Heaps of whitehead flickering through the mahoe bush.

 Lovely evening up in the hills of the Dome valley and good to meet Fiona and Warwick again. I enjoyed the Thai meal with you Eliane. Hope you catch that stoat before it catches your remaining chicks.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

State of Mind

I have spent most of this Summer on the East coast exploring and observing wildlife. This is one of my favourite places shared with a good friend. This is where I like to swim to cool off after a day in the sun. Its a walk to get there but always worth it. It doesn't get much better than this. Its a magic spot. Not so much a place more a state of the mind.

Sullivans Bay

Saturday, March 8, 2014


We are indeed so fortunate to live on such a wonderful planet.

 With stars in my eyes this evening after looking through the Zeiss telescope at the Auckland Planetarium, I remembered the conversation I had some time ago with my optician when she mixed up my prescription and was fitting various lenses into that contraption that tests your eyes.

 I asked her if she was planning glasses for me  with a prescription so strong that I could look into the night sky and discover a new planet and have it named after me.

 Smiling she replied, "Philip I do not think you will discover a new planet or have it named after you any time soon"

more to follow........

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Big Sand Island on the Kaipara

Many thanks Eliane and Gwen for asking me to join the Birding New Zealand post breeding dotterel count today at Big Sand Island. With a couple of thousand godwits and red knots and the largest number of Caspian terns I have ever seen at one site, well over a hundred.

 I love this place and have fond memories of my first visit about a year ago.

It was good to be able to compare the little tern, white fronted tern and a solitary Fairy tern that were all together not too far from where we were observing.

Other birds seen include whimbrel, skua, South island Pied Oystercatcher, three Vocs, Turnstones, banded dotterel and a lone wrybill.