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Peter Ericsson | profile | all galleries >> Birds of New Zealand tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Birds of New Zealand

I visited South Island of New Zealand during the month of October in 2006 with my family.
We stayed with friends at Christchurch as well as traveled around for a couple of weeks.
This gallery is only for birds. The seabirds are found in a separate gallery: http://www.pbase.com/peterericsson/seabirds_at_kaikoura

Being a fairly isolated Island it is only natural that the diversity of passerines shouldn't be so great. However, man's impact has been almost totally devastating in many areas and it is very hard to find any native passerines in any big numbers. Thailand have its ricefields. Malaysia their rubber and palm plantations. NZ and especially Canterbury has their sheep farms with resultant cleanly shaven hills. I found this a bit disheartening, bordering to depressing as these mountains is a constant witness to man's inability to care for Creation in a balanced and non-destructive way.
Seeing European Blackbirds inside of native primary forest also wasn't too fun. Aside that, there were many a wonderful opportunity to see unique and intruiging birds. My favorite was the Tui which never failed to catch my attention once out of Canterbury. Crawling on the mud to get close to the Wrybills for some shots was an outstanding experience. Seeing the Keas in the snow at Mt. Hutt was something I only had dreamed of. Watching both Blue and Yellow-eyed Penguins come ashore was truly magic. Finding endemic Shags was a thrill. Best of all was the chance of seeing seabirds in big numbers and diversity.
The list goes on and on.
We had a wonderful time as a family in many ways as the children got to play with snow for the first time and were able to be outdoors for most of the time (at home it is often too hot to stay outside in the daytime). We stayed at comfortable and modern hotels and were almost always treated kindly. The people of SI were generally nice and helpful. In contrast to Australia I found the beer much cheaper and better (Steinlager) but the local wine is not on par with Australia's and the bottle stores are full of their neighbours produce.

Would I go back again? Sure, as it was a great vacation for the family with something for everyone.

Peter

PS. Places visited: ChCh, Akaroa, Kaikoura, Mt. Hutt, Arthur's Pass, Punakaiki, St.Arnaud, Abel Tasman park, Hanmer Springs, Oamaru and Lake Tekapo.
Yellow-eyed Penguin
Yellow-eyed Penguin
Southern Black-backed Gull
Southern Black-backed Gull
Southern Black-backed Gull
Southern Black-backed Gull
Southern Black-backed Gull
Southern Black-backed Gull
Southern Black-backed Gull
Southern Black-backed Gull
Southern Black-backed Gull, immature
Southern Black-backed Gull, immature
Black-billed Gull
Black-billed Gull
Black-billed Gull
Black-billed Gull
Black-billed Gull
Black-billed Gull
Red-billed Gull
Red-billed Gull
Red-billed Gull
Red-billed Gull
White-fronted Tern
White-fronted Tern
White-fronted Tern
White-fronted Tern
Black-fronted Tern
Black-fronted Tern
Paradise Shelduck, fem
Paradise Shelduck, fem
Paradise Shelduck, fem
Paradise Shelduck, fem
Paradise Shelduck, male
Paradise Shelduck, male
Paradise Shelduck, male
Paradise Shelduck, male
New Zealand Scaup, male
New Zealand Scaup, male
New Zealand Scaup, fem
New Zealand Scaup, fem
New Zealand Scaups
New Zealand Scaups
Stewart Island Shags
Stewart Island Shags
Stewart Island Shag
Stewart Island Shag
Spotted Cormorant
Spotted Cormorant
Spotted Cormorant
Spotted Cormorant
Spotted Shag
Spotted Shag
Pied Shag
Pied Shag
Pied Shag
Pied Shag
Southern Island Oystercatcher
Southern Island Oystercatcher
Southern Island Oystercatcher
Southern Island Oystercatcher
Variable Oystercatcher
Variable Oystercatcher
Variable Oystercatcher
Variable Oystercatcher
Masked Lapwing
Masked Lapwing
Masked Lapwings
Masked Lapwings
Black Swan
Black Swan
Coot
Coot
Coot with chick
Coot with chick
Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt
Wrybill
Wrybill
Wrybill
Wrybill
Wrybill
Wrybill
Banded Dotterel
Banded Dotterel
Banded Dotterel
Banded Dotterel
Kea
Kea
Kea
Kea
Kea, immature
Kea, immature
Kea, immature
Kea, immature
New Zealand Pigeons
New Zealand Pigeons
New Zealand Pigeon
New Zealand Pigeon
Tui
Tui
Tui
Tui
Tui
Tui
New Zealand Robin
New Zealand Robin
Bellbird
Bellbird
Tomtit
Tomtit
Tomtit
Tomtit
Rifleman
Rifleman
New Zealand Fantail
New Zealand Fantail
Silvereye
Silvereye
Weka
Weka
Wekas
Wekas
Weka
Weka
White-faced Heron
White-faced Heron
Purple Swamphen
Purple Swamphen
Sacred Kingfisher
Sacred Kingfisher
Welcome Swallows
Welcome Swallows
California Quail
California Quail
California Quails
California Quails
Common Ring Pheasent
Common Ring Pheasent
Mallard
Mallard
Mallard, female
Mallard, female
Black Swan
Black Swan
Australian Magpie
Australian Magpie
Barbary Dove
Barbary Dove
European Goldfinch
European Goldfinch
Yellowhammer
Yellowhammer
Redpoll
Redpoll
Redpoll
Redpoll
Dunnock
Dunnock
Dunnock
Dunnock
Chaffinch
Chaffinch
House Sparrow
House Sparrow
Common Blackbird, male
Common Blackbird, male
Common Blackbird, female
Common Blackbird, female
Song Thrush
Song Thrush
Song Thrush
Song Thrush
Australian Harrier
Australian Harrier
Seabirds at Kaikoura, New Zealand
:: Seabirds at Kaikoura, New Zealand ::