Tuesday, 15 February 2011

New Zealand (North Island)

Having slipped under the radar over the past few days, it has finally dawned on me that Morocco has now joined the legion of World Readers bringing the total to 125 countries. For me this historic and interesting country is synonymous with my 'all time hero 'Jimi Hendrix, my journey to follow in his footsteps through Morocco is well documented in this Blog (find Essaouira via 'search engine' on Home page). A warm welcome to you all, and hope you pass on the link to all your friends and families. I'll endeavour to dig out more photos from there!

The plan today had been to return to Sherford Bridge and continue the search for Red Kite, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Crossbill, but the weather put paid to that. Waking at 05-30 to the roar of a gale and heavy rain my first move was to text fellow birder Dave Tissington and call off the 07-00 rendezvous. He agreed that we should make an attempt tomorrow, allowing me to award myself a Guard & Steerage. In Royal Navy (RN) parlance this would be a small reward to non-watch-keepers who, because of an emergency, defect etc were require to work after midnight, of an extra 'half hour' in bed. Not to be confused with Slack Hammock where a 'lie in' was unofficial and usually met with some form of punishment for being lazy, I did indeed have permission albeit my own! Having completed my communications with Dave I once again assumed 'diving stations' and woke up at the crack of 09-45. Had I still been in the RN there was little chance anyone, except the navy's prison officers, would have seen me for a very long time.

So, once again my day has been taken up by catching up on much of the stuff that falls by the wayside when birding is in full swing. I was able to punctuate this with a coffee break at Joy's house and another, later in the day, at Bowie & Sheila's. Otherwise I can continue to show the final selection of photographs from New Zealand after redressing another omission of yesterday, in welcoming Malcolm & Angela Passells plus Pete Vincent to the readership and say how nice it was to meet you all.

Red-crowned Parakeet (endemic)

Saddleback (endemic)

New Zealand Pigeon (endemic)

Banded Rail

Rifleman (arguably the most difficult of the endemics to find or photograph)

Blue-wattled Crow (endemic)

Barbary Dove (introduced feral population)

New Zealand Kingfisher

Australasian Quail

Kaka (endemic)

Kelp Gull

Stitchbird (endemic)

New Zealand Dotterel adult (endemic)

New Zealand Dotterel chick (endemic)

Pied Shag

Takahe (endemic)

Tui (endemic)

Variable Oystercatcher (endemic)

White-faced Heron

Whitehead (endemic)

Wrybill (endemic)

Wrybill (endemic)

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