Matemateaonga Track, Whanganui NP

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.
Nakilad
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:52 am

Matemateaonga Track, Whanganui NP

Postby Nakilad » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:08 pm

Kia ora,
For three days over New Years I walked and relaxed on the Matemaeaonga Track, starting at the Taranaki side, staying at Humphries Clearing and returning to the start. No through hike this time. I was quite unprepared for the abundance of birds along here. It seemed like every 500m there was a long-tailed cuckoo (lifer) calling out. I was fortunate enough to see a few as well (even though I had left my bins in the car, stoopid).

A highlight was waiting on the summit of Mt Whakaihuwaka for the first sunrise of 2020. I had views to Mt Taranaki and the central mountains, and in the valley below was a cacophony of bellbirds and tui greeting the sun. In fact, I was impressed with the number of bellbirds seen during the trip. In addition to these there were scatterings of tomtits, robins and kereru. Only one shining cuckoo and one kiwi were heard, and I'm sure I also heard whiteheads. I only saw a single riflemen, although I was expecting more.

I completed four Ebird checklists, and I see a few people did checklists from the Pipiriki end during the same period. It doesn't look like anyone has posted about this track before, so I hope this encourages more people to check out the track. Don't be put off by the drive to the trailhead.
Vaughan Turner
Auckland based
User avatar
Threeps
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:58 am

Re: Matemateaonga Track, Whanganui NP

Postby Threeps » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:11 am

I was wondering who the Anonymous eBirder was!

Great that you were able to get some good quality checklists in this area. Tony Green and I had been wondering when we would possibly get the opportunity to get out there for an Atlassing trip - you've just solved that problem!

The track itself sound well worth the visit, might just need to schedule in a trip anyway...
Jim_j
Posts: 617
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:04 pm

Re: Matemateaonga Track, Whanganui NP

Postby Jim_j » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:19 am

Thanks for the report - will add it to my to-do list..
Just as an aside spent 4 days tramping in Whirinaki between Xmas/NYear - reported in eBird but wasn't going to post details here as this area is well known for its birdlife.

But 6 Whio, numerous Kaka and very good numbers of the small bush birds incl Rifleman (confirmed I can no longer pick up Rifleman by sound but luckily my tramping partner had no problem...)
Similar experience with many LT Cuckoo heard and a few seen and also no Shining Cuckoo heard (and I can't recall hearing any in Pukerua Bay - same as last year??) - and only 3 Kakariki heard over 4 days.
No kiwi heard although numerous reports in the hut book and no LT Bats seen but evenings were very cool.
However suprisingly very few Tui or Bellbird heard - not sure why as mistletoe were flowering as well as many other trees?

Cheers
Jim

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