Saturday, 18 January 2020

Riffleman and Yellowheads

Photo: Riffleman.
I spent the day in the woodlands of Glenorchy at the eastern end of the famous Routeburn track. The woodland was alive with birds and I managed a couple of new species for me. Undoubtedly though the highlight was the charming riffleman, a bird which I had seen previously at Arthur's Pass. Riffleman is the smallest bird in New Zealand, imagine a yellow-browed warbler or a goldcrest but without a tail, it's that small. It's a really odd looking thing and there were lots of them. Once I got to know the calls I picked them up everywhere and they were very confiding.

Another common species was South Island robin, and very tame, this one nearly jumped onto my shoe! I have previously seen North Island Robin on Tiri Tiri Matangi.

However in a clearing I heard a commotion and stood and watched. A group of birds were chasing each other around, five New Zealand fantails, five riffleman and best of all, three yellowheads and a single yellow-crowned parakeet, the latter two birds were both new to me.

Photo: Paradise Shelduck in the valley.

More riffleman photos. Even on a gloriously sunny day such as today it was too dark in the woods for me to get good photos, I'm just pleased with what I got.

This leafless orchid was growing at the side of the track.

A forest in miniature! A few of the bryophytes which dominate these forests.

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