Birders’ Digest – Vol. 1

Welcome to a series of posts capturing the miscellaneous birds I photograph during our adventures!

Other birds will be included in our regular posts and won’t be duplicated here. Also, these are not always the most stunning photographs – often it’s just something good enough to identify the species.

We’ve seen a number of beautiful birds on our trip so far. A few facts about some of them:

  • The Common Myna was spotted in the Tahiti airport. The Common Myna was declared one of the world’s most invasive species and poses a serious threat to the ecosystems where it invades.
  • The New Zealand Pigeon is the size, literally, of a chicken. This bird scared the bejeezus out of us when s/he flew out of a nearby tree during a hike. Its absurd size and labored flapping make quite the spectacle.
  • The New Zealand Falcon is considered near threatened, and is the only remaining bird of prey endemic to New Zealand. This particular falcon was nesting in the cliffs on the way to Doubtful Sound.
  • The Bar-tailed Godwit makes an amazing migration – the longest of any bird. The Godwit travels from Alaska to New Zealand, and holds the record for the longest nonstop bird migration ever recorded. The record was recorded in 2007 when one of the tracked Godwits flew 7,145 miles in 9 days, from Alaska to New Zealand, without stopping for food or water along the way.


6 Responses

    • If you guys ever visited, you’d find the Chaffinch just about everywhere! I just saw my second set of the stilts today up in Abel Tasman.

  • Scary photo of the Chaffinch…looks like the tire is about to roll over him. Great photos. Barb and I are enjoying the blog as well. Have fun both of you.

    • Glad you guys are enjoying it!

      Wish we had the portable wind meter – at the Albatross Center (with the blue penguins) they had gusts that they said were 60+ mph. It has been crazy windy the whole time.

  • Great pictures! Brings back memories. I enjoy the song of the Tui – they make a lot of unusual sounds. I also enjoyed the way the fantails would follow as you walked through the grass catching the bugs that were stirred up. Thanks for sharing your trip.

  • Hi Stephan and Jenn, I finally arrived back in Christchurch and will be off back home to Australia tomorrow, just hanging out with an old friend and her family today. When I went back to the Albatross center in Dunedin, there were no Albatross, as you said … so I went and took the ‘tour. Three nesting birds and two soaring past me, above me, circling around me and I was in bird watching heaven. I will post the pics if you are interested, but certainly don’t want to ‘rub it in’, honest. I’m just so happy about it.
    However, my camera ‘froze’ at one point and if we ever meet again in person, maybe one of you could tell me why that happened? Thankfully, I already had plenty of pics, but I was annoyed nevertheless.
    Now, if you are still interested I can look up all the places that are uniquely Australian, something you won’t see anywhere else in the world (I saw you are going to Lord Howe as well. That is awesome, I hear it is a wonderful place) and also show you all the free campgrounds I know about (I’ve been bush and outback camping in OZ for many, many years and the National, State and Conservation Parks have lovely spots). You will find yourself all alone next to a river, ocean etc. and the open desert and plains are magnificent for stargazing, something I simply adore.
    Contacts: (redacted by administrator). I live in Goulburn, the Southern Tablelands, about 2 hours drive from Sydney. Please do not hesitate to get in touch re ‘where to go and what to do’ in OZ and South East Asia. I’m looking forward to read more of your posts when I get back home and have more time.

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