Monday, December 31, 2018

New Years Eve on the sand dunes

A catch up with a Fairy Tern chick. A very worrying time as black backed and redbill gulls raid nearby NZ dotterel nests eating their eggs. We also watched a gull return to an already wrecked nest earlier in the day and devour the remaining shell left nearby on the sand while chased by the parent dotterel still guarding their nest

...……………… more to follow.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve and its hissing down.

Its going to be a wet day on the East coast watching over a Fairy Tern chick...……. And it certainly was. Sitting rather uncomfortably under a beach umbrella in the persistent wind driven rain we watched over the nest and each feed of the Fairy Tern chick by the adult birds was recorded.

The rain never let up and then it was a wet walk crossing a stream inlet to the river  and there we were able to watch four rare Pateke ( brown Teal) ducks swimming downstream.

Back at the tent we were able to start cooking a  Christmas eve meal which was very welcome. Such a contrast to the previous week when it had been a day of sunshine.

Monday, December 17, 2018


Its a hot day shared with Fairy Tern, Caspian tern and many other birds.

And today the birds are very territorial due to nests with eggs and and young chicks however this Caspian pair have a rather large juvenile under their wing but are still fiercely defensive and protective .

More to follow...……………..

Monday, December 10, 2018


First couple of nights at Whananaki DOC site above the beach. Located a dotterel nest with three eggs and Vincent contracted to DOC to manage the campsite helped me tape fence the nest area to stop cars coming over the dunes from crushing the eggs. A variable oystercatcher struggles to protect her single chicks from dogs. High tide roost of fifty variable oystercatchers on edge of Whananaki estuary.
Had to take a look at the bridge across to Whananaki South. Its the longest in the Southern hemisphere.

Whangaruru Harbour -South
Then onto Oakura on the Whangaruru harbour. Gannets feeding and white fronted tern on the rocks next to red-billed gull colony.A  neat campsite overlooking the water and looking across to the Whangaruru peninsular and Puriri DOC campsite our next destination.

 Whangaruru Harbour -North
Puriri is an excellent DOC Reserve campsite which is at this time of the year not busy and just a delightful place to enjoy walks swims and the tame wildlife. A Variable oystercatcher  pair have two chicks a few weeks old and parade these up and down the beach and when concerned the chicks are ushered by the parents to hide under the roots of old the old puriri trees. The male adult is not that old showing brown plumage and he is incredible tame and will take food from campers hands. He flies back and forward after pecking fleshy scraps from oystercatcher shells on the rocks and flies in to deliver food to the chicks.
Another day spent at Puriri bay earning refreshing swim after  walks in the hills high above the bay and spending time watching wild bees and solitary gannets dive for fish.

Moving on we arrive in Russell, Its a long time since I have visited this busy little town. We enjoyed a meal at the water front then escaped to the hillside camp to enjoy the sunset from the van.

Aroha Island
Crossed the causeway and settled in to explore this ecosanctuary. Enjoyed the bush walks circumnavigating the island. In the evening after watching a spectacular sunset we headed out kiwi watching with our head torches covered in red cellophane. No luck, too many people noisily doing the same.

Uretiti DoC campsite