Monday, 13 January 2020

A few New Zealand endemics

Photo: Double-banded plover.

My planned Albatross Encounter trip from Kaikoura was disappointingly cancelled today due to strong winds, but actually it turned out well in the end. Yesterday I had seen plenty of seabirds well on the Whale watching trip and even briefly contemplated cancelling todays trip but decided to go ahead with it on the off chance that I would get something different. However when it was cancelled not only did I get a full refund but I was then able to head off to Kaikoura headland for a sea watch from there.

It was very impressive, the wind had driven many seabirds close inshore, especially Hutton's shearwater which were going past in their thousands. Also from the headland, at least 3 Salvin's albatross, southern royal albatross and white-capped albatross, plus 3 northern giant petrels.

Plenty of other birds today as well, including a new species for me, Double-banded plover.

Spotted shags.

Spotted shags.

Variable oystercatcher.

White-fronted tern

There is an impressive white-fronted tern colony just north of Kaikoura.

New Zealand fur seals at Kaikoura headland.

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