Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

General birdwatching discussion, help with bird identification, and all other things relating to wild birds and birding in NZ that don't fit in one of the other forums.
Michele Nel
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Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby Michele Nel » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:05 am

Hello all
I will be visiting New Zealand in late Oct/Nov. I will staying in Auckland ( Mt Wellington area) as well as spending a few days in Rotorua and Dunedin. I would be grateful for any advice on where to bird in these various places.
Thank you so much
Michele
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FlyingKiwiGirl
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Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby FlyingKiwiGirl » Wed Sep 11, 2013 8:39 am

Michele, in Rotorua take the Mokoia Experience boat from the lakefront out to Mokoia Island, a bird sanctuary; lots of friendly tieke (saddleback) & toutouwai (robin) plus you may just see or hear our beautiful kokako. Lots of other birds too.
http://www.mokoiaisland.co.nz/

In Auckland a visit to Tiritiri Matangi Island is a must, if you catch the ferry from downtown Auckland, as opposed to Gulf Harbour, choose a calm day as it's a good hour plus ride & you can get seasick.
http://www.tiritirimatangi.org.nz/
NZ Forest Birds on Flickr
Look out for the Wetland & Waders, & Seabirds sets too.
Davidthomas
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Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby Davidthomas » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:09 pm

Also if you like falcons/falconry or birds of prey. Wingspan of Rotorua is a fantastic outfit with a daily flying display at 2pm where they fly the unique endemic New Zealand Falcon. http://www.Wingspan.co.nz
Michele Nel
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Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby Michele Nel » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:14 pm

Thank you FlyingKiwiGirl and Davidthomas.......I will look at the links you have mentioned. :)
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby Michael Szabo » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:47 am

If you're going to be in Dunedin you really have to visit Taiaroa Head on the adjacent Otago Peninsula which is a top site for northern royal albatross, Stewart Island shag, little penguin, spotted shag and NZ fur seal. It is also possible to see yellow-eyed penguin on the peninsula and, if you have time to look around for them, NZ sea lions sometimes haul out on some of more remote beaches. Monarch Tours run a boat trip around Taiaroa Head which is also a good way to see the seabirds and marine mammals.
You can join Birds New Zealand here: www.birdsnz.org.nz/membership/membership-form-nz/#join
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zarkov
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Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby zarkov » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:00 pm

Michael Szabo wrote:If you're going to be in Dunedin you really have to visit Taiaroa Head on the adjacent Otago Peninsula which is a top site for northern royal albatross, Stewart Island shag, little penguin, spotted shag and NZ fur seal. It is also possible to see yellow-eyed penguin on the peninsula and, if you have time to look around for them, NZ sea lions sometimes haul out on some of more remote beaches. Monarch Tours run a boat trip around Taiaroa Head which is also a good way to see the seabirds and marine mammals.


Disagree about the albatross site Michael.

Kaikoura albatross boat trip is far better. [like 10x]
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:12 pm

At Rotorua, check out Sulphur Bay to Motutara Point (boat ramp) for gulls (red and black-billed), scaup and dabchicks.
Tim Barnard

Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby Tim Barnard » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:04 am

Hey Michele,
All the above are good for Rotorua.

There are also Caspian tern in Sulphur Bay. For kokako, the Onaia Gorge at Kaharoa is excellent, yellow crowned parakeets, NI robins as well as a good mix of bush birds.
http://www.kokako.org.nz/aboutkaharoa.html

NI Robins can be seen on the roadside by the Whakarewrewa Visitor Centre. There's a pair on the right hand side of the road opposite the turn into carpark. Falcons also in the area and whiteheads. There are quite a few Tomtit close by VC and often near the Scion Research gates at the bottom of the Long Mile Road.

The Blue Lake carpark is often good for Long-tailed cuckoo early in the morning as is the Lake Okataina carpark.

NI robins can be seen at Okere Falls, follow the footpath from the car park on Trout Pool Road and they are usually on the track.
Then if you are after shorebirds ... Maketu is only 40mins away - Pukehina spit is great for close encounters with dotterel...

If you're visiting any of the major the geothermal sites ... look out for fernbird and NZ pipit ... there was a pair near the Champagne Pool last year at Wai-o-tapu ...
Hope this helps ...
All the best and have a great trip ...
Michele Nel
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Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby Michele Nel » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:06 am

Oh my word ..thank you all again for the great comments. I will make notes and see that I have them with me. I had the pleasure of visiting Taiaroa Head last July , Michael and I think I will have to give that a miss this time. The Tour was quite expensive..due to the exchange rate we South Africans have to cope with so will try to do something different this time. I thoroughly enjoyed it though. Thank you zarkov, Neil and Tim for your helpful bits as well...I am getting super excited about my trip. :)
Michele Nel
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:50 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Re: Keen Birder Visiting New Zealand

Postby Michele Nel » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:25 am

Hello all..I am visiting New Zealand again next week..arriving 24th Sept for almost 3 weeks. Thank you to all of you that have given me advice on birding spots on this thread as well as others in the past. I am again asking for info on birding spots. :D Since my last visit in Mar/April this year my daughter has moved from Mount Wellington to Army Bay a stone's throw away from Shakespeare Regional Park. New area to explore. If anybody can give me some hints and tips on birding in this area I would be most appreciative. :) I never did make it to Miranda Shorebird Centre on my last visit - the tides were not conducive to us visiting with a new baby. Hopefully I will get there this time. I will also be taking a day trip to Tiritiri Matangi Island. My daughter is also convinced that she saw a Kookaburra in her garden yesterday. She is not really a birder but is almost 100% sure that it was not a Kingfisher. She has seen many of those on our trips around Auckland and had many visiting her garden in Mount Wellington.....as they were pretty close to the Basin. Could it be possible that she did see a Kookaburra? Thank you in advance...:)

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