Thursday, March 22, 2012


Most of what I know about New Zealand, I learned from Douglas Adams' amazing lecture on the Kakapo. Certainly worth 15 minutes of your time if you haven't heard it before. Pt 1 Pt 2. It had me very excited to see some new birds on the island.

New Zealand did not disappoint. At first, all I could see were the big birds, the smaller birds hiding in the thick leaved forests. My early favourites were the Pukekos which like to hang out in farmers' fields.

Also peculiar are the spur-winged plovers, which look like they ought to be on the seashore, but instead are always hanging out with cows and sheep.

One species that's noticably missing from the island is crows. Consequently, road-kill lingers about far longer than in other countries. The most common road-kill appears to be stoats, possums, and hedge-hogs. Bird wise, the champion is definitely the silvereye, a bird with a total lack of ability to master road crossings. Other common road denizens include the kahu, the weka, and the tomtit.

Luckily I've managed to see all the road birds alive since then as well as New Zealand's native owl - the morepork, australasian shoverles, keas, bellbirds, tuas, fantails, oystercatchers, scaups, little shags, spotted shags, grey warblers, kereru, the new zealand falcon, reef herons, paradise ducks, and more. There seem to be birds everywhere. It seems my decision to take binoculars as one of my luxury items was weight well spent.

No comments: