Help for french birders soon in NZ

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.
genesteph
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Location: France - Pyrénées Atlantiques

Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby genesteph » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:10 pm

Hi all,
we are a couple of French birders, and we come to you in November to visit your beautiful country, and observe birds.
(I'm sorry for my English, and I've been using Google translate!).
We have 3 weeks for a circuit, and 1 week in Auckland where my nephew lives with his wife and baby.
I am based for choice spots on the websites:
http://www.nzbirds.com/birds/
http://www.doc.govt.nz/
and the book "The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand" by Barrie Heather & Hugh Robertson.



But I have some doubts ; maybe you can help us on the choice of route and stops.

For now, we have planned, knowing that we rented a van, and we are going in campsites :

* Auckland with my nephew and Tiritiri ; perhaps Miranda
* I then hesitate between Rotorua or go directly to Pureora Forest
* Kapiti Island
* Ferry to Wellington
* Kaikoura
* Arthur's Pass
* Dunedin: Otago Peninsula, Taiaroa Sandbfly bay
* Stewart Island - Ulva Island
* Milford Fiordland, by Te Anau
* And we give the van in Queenstown for a flight back to Auckland.


Do you think it's OK for 3 weeks ?


Don't we miss something essential ?
thank you very much for your answers
Best regards

Geneviève and Stéphane
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David Riddell
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Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby David Riddell » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:10 am

Hi Geneviève and Stéphane, that looks like a really good itinerary. It's a lot to cover in three weeks (NZ's roads aren't as good as France's!), but it should be possible. Just a couple of comments:

The Watercare Coastal Walkway at Mangere is less than 10 minutes' drive from the airport, and is another excellent shorebird location (https://www.watercare.co.nz/SiteCollect ... 100214.pdf). Be sure to drive along the causeway to Puketutu Island while you're there - there's an excellent selection of ducks and other waterfowl along the canal on the left, and in the large pond area on the right just before the island. Check times for tides - birding at both Miranda and Mangere is tide-dependent. If you're staying a week in Auckland, it's an easy day trip to Miranda.

There are probably no birds at either Rotorua or Pureora that you won't get elsewhere, but both are worth visiting. The big podocarp trees at Pureora are very different from the other forests you'll be visiting, while the thermal areas at Rotorua are like nothing else anywhere in the country. Pureora has little tourism development, Rotorua possibly too much. If you have to choose it's a matter of personal preferences and interests.

You might be able to find blue duck at Arthur's Pass (top of the Otira River, near the junction with Pegleg Creek is a good place), but they're probably easier at Turangi, at the south end of Lake Taupo (see viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5749, and http://www.doc.govt.nz/Documents/parks- ... er-map.pdf for locations of Red Hut Pool and Major Jones Pool, two of the best spots. Also, make a short detour to the old Tokaanu Wharf (https://goo.gl/maps/zGh1fTC4eSL2) - this is a good place for bitterns (which you're unlikely to see elsewhere) and other wetland birds - see viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5959
Avonbrig

Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby Avonbrig » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:33 am

You may enjoy a stop at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary near Dunedin. The Ecosantuary is a biodiversity project where multiple species of plants and animals are protected from predators. A predator fence surrounds 307 hectares of Coastal Otago forest, pests have been removed, habitat enhanced with weed control and planting, and many rare and endangered species re-introduced. you can check out their photo gallery to get an idea of the bird species that are present.

http://orokonui.nz/Wildlife/Photo-Gallery
genesteph
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Location: France - Pyrénées Atlantiques

Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby genesteph » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:00 pm

Thanks a lot ! I watch all your links ...
Best regards
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Okuralass
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Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby Okuralass » Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:17 pm

Its always a problem choosing but worth considering is a trip to Okarito on the South Island West Coast. That has to be a bucket list item I think.

November is the right time to see the white heron nesting and this is the only nesting site in NZ. Also you would get to see the glaciers (close by) and beautiful Lake Matheson. Enjoy your stay.
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ledzep
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Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby ledzep » Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:36 am

If you have time in Wellington, Karori Sanctuary / Zealandia is easy to get to (10 mins from downtown Wellington with shuttle buses) and worth a few hours.
fras444
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Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby fras444 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:55 pm

Rotorua, my home town is kind of a bird mecca..! Between Rotorua and Tauranga, Kaharoa forest is a brilliant place to see or hear a legit unfenced... "true" wild population of Kokako. With 200 odd birds now you will have a good chance of seeing one and all without a days hike trying to find one of these incredibly rare birds, theses birds are arguably our, if not the world's most beautiful sounding bird, so... first thing before daybreak head down ( find it and do a day walk first!!!) and you'll be in for an amazing dawn choirs. While you are there, you'll also get to tick off a huge chunk of NZ's forest endemics. Whiteheads, Tomtits, fantails, North Island Robin, Tui, Bellbird and keruru (huge wood pigeon) While at Rotorua a trip to nzds only raptor facility where you will see all of our native raptors up close. Harrier, NZ falcon, Morepork, (owl) and our newest arrival the Barn Owl. Then a trip to the government gardens and sulphur point behind and you'll see a wide range of lake birds most of your waterfowl, all of our black-footed shags except the pied shags, dabchicks and behind the Polynesian hot pools or more persific, behind the hotel, you will come across one of the few places in NZ where all of our gull species breed together. ... or... the only inland place in NZ!!! also if your lucky, there is usually a pair of Caspian Terns here too.!!! Then onto Taupo, like others have said.. Turangi has some extremely accessible viewings of Blue Duck.. but if you turn right to Taumanui State Highway 41 and then take the next state Highway "national park SH47" turn off, this will take you over the hill through some lovely mature native bush and you will come across a small carpark almost on the other side. This is called Lake Rotopounamu bush walk. This will take you for a walk around a little lake hidden in the bush and here you will get to tick off Kaka and Kakariki our bush parrots also this drive down the western side of the central plateau mountains is a very beautiful somewhat forgotten part of our country!!!
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Nick Allen
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Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby Nick Allen » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:49 am

There's a new set of 6 maps produced through SpotX and Birds New Zealand that features most of the sites mentioned above, and lots more, from Parengarenga to Masons Bay. Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists' Trust stocks them in the Shorebird Centre shop.
genesteph
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Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:40 am
Location: France - Pyrénées Atlantiques

Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby genesteph » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:14 am

Thank you to all !!
fras444 : you are very enthousiastic !
ledzep : we'll try to go to zealandia, it seems very well
okuralass : I don't think we have the time to go there ...
David Ridell and fras444 : we'll find the blue duck, sure :-)
Avonbrig : we'll go to Orokonui Ecosanctuary,
and I hope we'll go to Miranda, !
It's a great travel difficult to organize, but we are sure this will be a GREAT trip !!!
I look forward !
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David Riddell
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Re: Help for french birders soon in NZ

Postby David Riddell » Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:12 am

And please come back and let us know how your trip went!

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