Had the absolute privilege of being able to visit Taranga/Hen island for work this week. And I must say the place was as stunning as you'd expect. Saddleback were everywhere and more inquisitive and confiding as penny of the open sanctuaries, there were also huge numbers of Kaka, Tui, Bellbird, Kakariki (red crowned only, I don't think yellows are present?), and kereru. We were also treated to views of a pipit on the rocky shore, a reef heron and a very pale resident harrier.
Off the back of the boat heading out there each morning I kept an eye out for seabirds the list are as follows with approx numbers:
Fluttering shearwater 4000+ probably the most numerous bird seen, some flocks were just massive.
Fairy Prion 2000+ forming large mixed feeding and roosting flocks with the flutterers,
Common diving petrel 200+ birds were constantly seen from shortly past Bream Head all the way out, some flocks of 10+ birds
White-faced Storm Petrel 50+ birds regularly seen throughout the journey, especially so on Wednesday evening
Bullers Shearwater 4-5 very few birds seen considering the close proximity to the poor knights islands
Fleshfooted shearwater 3 again very few birds seem considering location and 2-3 hours spent traveling across the open ocean.
Little penguin 6+ the odd bird seen resting on the water as we went out
Gannet 20+ one group of 8+ seen feeding amongst fluttering shears and fairy prions
Red billed Gull 10+
Black petrel 1-2 atleast one bird possibly two seen although light and speed of boat made difficult to confirm id
One possible nz storm petrel, flying differently from the white faces and much smaller and darker but was a long way off the boat
Sadly for me no sign of any Pycrofts or Cooks petrels which I was hoping to see atleast one of! And also saw a couple of skinks near the top of the island which I believe were moko skinks, which was exciting for me to see as I don't think I've come across them before.
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