Sunday 28 July 2019

New Zealand - Tiritiri Island

My first birding excursion on New Zealand was a day trip to the wonderful Tiritiri Matangi island. Tiritiri is a wildlife sanctuary and is recognised as one of New Zealand's most important conservation projects.  All mammalian predators have been eradicated allowing some of New Zealand and the world's rarest birds to thrive. The island is around 1 hour and 20 minutes by boat from Aukland and once there you will be guided from the dock up to the visitors centre, and hopefully along the way you will see some of the rare birds the island offers the opportunity to see.

Brown Teal 
Once regarded as one of the world's rarest duck. It is thought there are fewer than 1000 remaining
Pukeko (swamphen)
One of the island's common residents

Red Crowned Parakeet - relatively common

Fan Tail - common but I never tired of seeing them

Stitchbird - a rare endemic
One of a few seen. They are significantly bigger than I had expected, were very skulky, hence the rubbish photo, and never sat still for more than a second or two   

Bellbird - common endemic

Brown Quail

Whitehead - another rubbish photo of another common endemic

New Zealand Pigeon - common endemic - a very large pigeon, at least 50% bigger than our 
Wood Pigeon

Another Fantail

Takahe - rare endemic - at one time thought to be extinct!

Kingfisher - common

Saddleback - another rare endemic
  • Blue Penguin
  • Kokaku - a rare endemic - unfortunately I only had one very brief view
  • New Zealand Robin
  • Eastern Rosella
As with many successful conservation projects, the island is mainly looked after and managed by volunteers, who do a fantastic job. Any birder visiting New Zealand, and in the Auckland area, MUST pay a visit.

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