So who is this weirdo?

Hi! My name is Liam and I am a beginner birder living in Glen Massey. I first became interested in birds after a 6-month missions trip to Papua New Guinea in 2016, and my interest grew from there! I am now a member of the Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Young Birders New Zealand (OSNZ and YBNZ respectively ). So now, I'm starting this blog so I can share my birding adventures with anyone who will listen ☺.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Miranda Banding Camp! - Day 3

My dreams were rudely interrupted by another 5am start, followed by a mad dash to the first vehicle. As I was still almost entirely asleep, this was a race I lost, but eventually I was able to clamber into a car and we drove to the Miranda Orchard once again. Mist nets were up again, and banding started pretty soon after I arrived. Once again, I was struck by the realisation that New Zealand's avifauna must be almost entirely composed of Silvereyes, as somehow these were the only birds I got to band. Luck of the draw I suppose, but it was a bitter pill to watch others band Sacred Kingfishers, Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Blackbirds, Thrushes, a Fantail and a Starling. Regardless, it was a fantastic morning for everyone, and we banded a total of 48 birds that day. I had the privilege of extracting a Fantail from the net, which was simply amazing. Excluding the tail, these are NZ's smallest birds, and to me this bird felt impossibly light and fragile. Again, all birds were extracted without a problem, and we celebrated another great banding session with another amazing lunch.

After lunch, we were given the option of more banding, or birding. As Michael assured me he knew a great spot for terns, I went with the birding option, and George, Michael and I headed to Ray's Rest with the incredible Paul, all the while dreaming of rare birds. Michael got doubly excited when he realised it was low tide, which "is the best time for terns". Like a fool, I believed him.

We saw a total of 3 terns, all Caspian Terns. This was after a 4km walk in the sun, and the price we paid for this infinitesimal victory was 'birder's burn' on our necks due to our ubiquitous binocular straps. Cheers Michael. We then walked on to the main hide, where we saw many more terns, although sadly only Caspian and White-Fronted Terns. No Arctics, Commons or Antarctics for us. We birded around the stilt ponds for a few hours, again seeing the Curlew Sandpiper, Marsh Sandpiper, Sharp-Tailed Sandpiper and Brown Teal among the more common birds. Despite earlier disappointment, this was a great time for birding, and we eventually returned to the Shorebird Centre exhausted, as the others regaled us with tales of banding success that afternoon...

After dinner was when the real excitement began. As the sun set, we strung mist nets over the fetid, stinking Stilt Pools, in preparation for Godwits, Knot and Pied Stilts. Adrian, the 'boss bander' of the weekend, staked out with a thermal imaging scope (so jealous 😀 ) while the procedure was explained to us. One or two lucky individuals would be selected to go with Adrian to retrieve the birds, and take them to the banding station we had set up between the two big vehicles. Then another person would have the honour of banding, while the rest of us would watch with envy. The first bird silly enough to fly at night was a Bar-Tailed Godwit, which we banded, measured, weighed and released again. Red Knots began coming in as well, plus a Pied Stilt and a few Wrybill. When it was my turn to band, I reached into the box, praying that whatever was in there didn't have teeth. My hand wrapped around a soft and smooth Godwit, and I drew it out of the box. The first thing that struck me was its leg, kicking to get away. The second thing was the oddly soft, rubbery bill and amazingly smooth feathers. I held the bird in amazement, and the infinitely gentle face contrasted with the seemingly limitless fury of the bird. Eventually it settled down, and I gingerly begun to put the band on, took my measurement and carried the bird out to the mudflats. There I released it, and left, never to see that bird again. But, if anyone ever sees ZUZ again, PLEASE let me know!

I then lay down in the damp grass for a kip, wrapped in my jacket, and got up when it was time to pack up the net. Got into bed at 1am, and for once got up at a sensible hour the next morning, at about 8am. We finally left at around 2pm.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Miranda Banding Camp! - Day 2

The sharp ones among you may have noticed the amount of time that has passed since Day 1... Maybe you are thinking the smart thing to do would be to post day 2 the day after day 1... I blame school.

Anyway, Saturday dawned bright and painfully early, as the wake up call for our dawn was 4:45! I say I woke up, but what I really mean is that I was moving. My brain only caught up with my body a few hours later. So we wolfed down our brekkie like a flock of caffeine-fuelled gulls, and grabbed our various bird-nerd odds and ends, including notebooks and (of course!) binoculars. I'm surprised no-one slept with them on. I jumped in one of the vehicles and we drove to the Miranda orchard, a site of much bird-banding over the past few years, mostly due to the Miranda Field Course. When I got there people had already set up the mist nets, and us newbie banders were shown the ropes by the amazing Michelle Bradshaw, a (the?) Bird Banding Officer for the Department of Conservation. Using 3D printed plastic legs we practised putting bands on birds of different sizes, learning about different types of band, the equipment used, how to take bill and wing measurements, and how to 'read' a bird's wing moult. After an hour or so, I felt ready to work with a real bird, and before long a rather unhappy Silvereye was placed in a cloth bag in front of me. More and more birds were coming in, and at one point a flock of around 20 Silvereyes managed to get stuck in a net. We had to call for reinforcements, and almost the whole team came to this one net to extract and bag these birds. While I only got to band Silvereyes, 'the team' managed to catch, extract, process and release Sacred Kingfishers, Song Thrushes, Eurasian Blackbirds, House Sparrows and Goldfinches. Not only that, but Indian Peafowl, Spotted Doves and Shining Cuckoos were all present near the orchard, so we could do a little birding as well. At around 11:30, we got hungry, packed up the nets and headed back for lunch.

After a delicious lunch, we were told that we had some 'downtime' and that we should all get some rest... yeah right! We all went birding instead.

We were driven out to the hides by the amazing supervisors, and set up the scopes for some serious birding. Acronyms were thrown out like stones, as we spotted PGP's (Pacific Golden Plovers), VOC's (Variable OysterCatchers), SIPO's (South Island Pied Oystercatchers), BBG's and RBG's (Red and Black Billed Gulls) as well as Royal Spoonbills, and lots and lots of Bar-tailed Godwits and Red Knot. The total was climbing rapidly, with a stunning Kotuku or White Heron standing practically right next to the path! We continued counting and ticking and checking and counting again, going over the flock of birds with a fine-tooth comb until... "CURLEW SANDPIPER!" Oscar called out from the other end of the hide. This would be a 'lifer' for me, so I raced over to where Oscar was and just stopped myself from kicking him off his own scope for a look. Selfish, I know, but I'll admit 'other people' was well at the bottom of my emotionally charged list of priorities. I composed myself, and Oscar found the bird again and stepped aside to let me use his scope (cheers Oscar!). Frantically I pushed my eye up against the eyepiece, and desperately scanned the Red Knots for an out-of-place bird. It seemed that some divine force had decided to strike me 'bird-blind' and so my panic grew exponentially, as the flock started to get restless. Again, I steadied my nerves and took a fresh look... and there it was, in the middle of the scope! As soon as I managed to splutter out "I see it!" , the entire flock took off again, and I was never to see that bird again. Boom. Bird 191. Elated, I moved back to my previous haunt, and with renewed eyes I continued my searching. Gillian, one of the supervisors, had taken pity on us and brought some delicious filled rolls (God bless her!), of which I duly wolfed down, so I was fully distracted when the big event happened.

The Kotuku

Wrybill on the shellbanks

Pacific Golden Plover in foreground, Red Knots in background

"SHORE PLOVER!" George yelled, using Ian's superior scope. What? I thought George must have made some mistake, as only 6 days ago I had made a trip especially to Rangitoto Island to see these birds. I couldn't believe it, and neither could George! The whole crew took turns to view this incredible bird (which you can read a bit about here), and I was there smug... not a lifer for me! Regardless, this was an incredible rare bird, as there are only around 175 left in the world! This makes them one of the rarest in New Zealand, so George was justifiably ecstatic, as were we all. So there it was. As the sun went down, the light died on the rarest bird I have ever seen. It would not be seen again at Miranda. Ephemeral, just like the population itself.

Needless to say, we got to bed quite a bit earlier that night. Another 5am start tomorrow.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Miranda Banding Camp! - Day 1

After an incredible Sunday on Rangitoto Island, it was back to school for me and the other 799,000 students around the country. But unlike most of them, after a long and dreary Friday afternoon I crammed into a car with 3 other young birders (yes, there are more of us) and our driver, and we headed north. It was wader season!

The beginning of spring heralded the arrival of the Shining and Long-tailed cuckoos, the Buller's Shearwaters, and most importantly for us, the Bar-tailed Godwits and the host of assorted waders that came with them. Around 90,000 'Barwits' arrive in NZ every year, with around 6,000 arriving in Miranda, at the Firth of Thames. So why was I totally disregarding exams, homework, sleep, and an attempt at a social life in exchange for a few birds? Us crazies were heading north to Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre for the YBNZ (Young Birders New Zealand) Youth Banding Camp, headed up by the amazing Ian Southey and others, and subsidised by Fruzio and OSNZ (Ornithological Society). We were going to band birds! This involves capturing them in a fine net known as a mist net, putting a metal numbered band on them and taking measurements. The band meant if the bird was ever trapped again, or found dead, someone would be able to track how far this bird had gone.

I hauled myself out of the car seven pieces of pizza later, and slowly the blood began to return to my legs. We dropped our bags in our dorm (Dotterel Dormitory) and entered the main room of the Centre, where I was confronted by a sea of new faces. A birding newbie like myself, I had never seen such a large gathering of 'bird-nerds', and, slightly bewildered, I introduced myself and was able to put some faces to names. I tried to eat dinner, but that cheap Ngaruawahia pizza didn't want to be forgotten, so I didn't even manage seconds. After dinner, George H, Michael B-S and I headed outside to 'scout out the area for crakes', and when we got back - lo and behold - the dishes were all done! Our gaggle of birders milled collectively into the 'Wrybill Room' where I gazed longingly at all the amazing bird books contained within, until someone started speaking and I gave them my undivided attention. So undivided, in fact, that I can't even remember what they said, so I will move on.

More socialising was followed by bed (not necessarily sleep - thanks Joe!), and we mentally prepared ourselves for a brutal 5am start.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Rangitoto Island and Bird of The Year

Last day of the holidays and I was hard at work studying... just kidding! I was out of bed at 5:00, grabbed my birding bag and jumped in the car. Dad drove the whole family north to Auckland, where the sun finally made an appearance behind the dark grey clouds. We navigated to Quay St, found a 'nearby' carpark and touched the ground again at 7:15. According to Google Maps, it was a 5 minite walk to our ferry terminal, where we would catch our ferry at 7:30 to Rangitoto Island.

Unfortunately, Google Maps was wrong. A walk that we thought was a mere 200 metres turned into a frantic 1.5km run, as we dragged with us our bags and younger brothers. 7:29 and we finally arrived at our terminal, where the man in charge took a startled look at our hastily printed tickets and let us through. As soon as we boarded, the engines kicked into gear and we chugged northeast, to our eventual destination.

30 minutes and hundreds of terns and gannets later, we arrived in Islington Bay, whereupon I began my search for my target species - the Shore Plover. This beautiful wader was once common around New Zealand, but the numbers had dropped rapidly since European colonisation, and now the only place to see them without heading to the Chathams was right here on Rangitoto and its sister island Motutapu. 

A Black Backed Gull at the wharf

I got off the ferry, binoculars concealing my eyes, and bumbled around the bay in search of the Shore Plover, before I was dragged onto a track by my parents. Despite my initial protests, the track proved to be beautiful, and I totally put aside my birding aspirations for a moment to appreciate the rugged volcanic landscape.
The beautiful and rugged volcanic landscape

I did say I put aside my rampant twitchiness for only a moment. The "tiekekeke tiekekekekeke tiekekeke dadadada" of a North Island Saddleback jerked me out of my non-birding stupor and my binoculars soon attached themselves to my eyeballs. In desperation I turned to my left, and was met with blackness. My lens caps were on! By the time I had figured out what was going on, so had the bird, and it was gone.

We continued along the coast as I counted Variable Oystercatchers, and at one point caught up with four NZ Dotterels who had captured an old military base and were doing quite a good job of defending it. Guessing from their excited behaviour and breeding plumage that they were nesting, so we moved on. Only to find that Dad had misread the map taken the scenic route and we had to turn around to find the path.

A rather angry NZ Dotterel - this was his island!

Eventually we reached Rangitoto Wharf, seeing and hearing Saddleback, Tui, Fantails and Grey Warblers, as well as some shorebirds, but there was a conspicuous absence of Shore Plover... We ate lunch part A on the shore, and begun to head inland on the Summit Track. As well as the familiar bush birds we saw a few skinks and some lovely plants. But if you really cared about those then you wouldn't be reading this blog, so I will fast forward to the summit.

A fat, lazy pair of Brown Quail were half-heartedly nibbling bread at the top of the steps, while Whiteheads buzzed in the distance. At the very top we posed for photos with supposedly stunning Auckland behind us. The sun had burnt away any trace of cloud, and we were treated to a million-dollar view behind us. A few bits of cracker were used to entice Chaffinches and Silvereyes nearer for a halfway decent photo, and then I struck out for a brisk walk around the crater, pausing to grab some pictures of some more Brown Quail and watching the whiteheads flit around me.

An interesting contrast - Auckland seemed half a world away

Bread! (and some quail)

The killer view from the top of the volcano

A male Chaffinch looking to nick some cracker...

After some time, we decided to head back down to the bay, so we began the arduous trek downhill, this time on the more direct route. I lead the charge, and saw many more Saddleback and Whiteheads. About half an hour down, I heard the drawn out, bubbly chatter of a Red-Crowned Parakeet - first lifer! (New bird) I managed to get some amazing views for a few seconds, but before I could get my camera out, it and its mate had disappeared into the forest.

As the day got hotter, the quantity of active birds began to drop, however the view down onto Motutapu was more and more gorgeous, so I wasn't complaining. We had been walking for about 2 hours, and were drawing closer to sea level. As we passed the historic houses and gardens I mentally switched into full birding mode, as I knew this could be my last chance to see a Shore Plover (as the small population on the island could easily go locally extinct). Distractions including other people and a pressing need to urinate were totally ignored as I reached Islington Bay and edged around the coast.

Caspian Terns were croaking on the beach with both mainland species of oystercatcher and some pukekos. I flushed a Brown Quail that set my heart racing, but there were still as many plovers as there were moa, so I was getting worried. Only 30 minutes until the ferry left...

I abandoned the mangroves and moved to the northern side of the causeway, where a REEF HERON crouched only a few metres away! If I had more time, you would have read my post about walking for two hours to try and see a 'Reefie' in Raglan only a couple of days previous. This was fantastic, but wasn't as rare as the bird I was chasing, so I scanned the rocks around the beach until...

A Reef Heron - I felt bad for the lack of attention he got with the Shore Plovers behind him!

SHORE PLOVER! Two tiny, black faced dotterels popped up onto the rocks next to me, and flew down onto the beach, right next to the reef heron! My camera was filling up rapidly with all of these mediocre shots, and the birds ran almost up to my feet! Once they were finished with their little display, they were gone, and the reef heron left after them. I was literally dancing for joy, ignoring the baffled Swedish tourists watching me...

The star of the show!

When the ferry left, I was on it, still buzzing from this incredible encounter, and even the dead austerity of Auckland Central failed to interrupt my fantastic mood. Even school the next day was bordering on enjoyable in light of recent events...

A note:
I fully intended to publish this post before the long weekend, and steer your vote for Forest and Bird's Bird of the Year towards the Shore Plover, seeing as I am campaign manager for Shore Plover and everything... Maybe I will win the 'worst campaign manager' award.

3 species in 1 shot! Shore Plover, Reef Heron and Variable Oystercatchers.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Scaup, Seagulls and Sulphur

Finally, the holidays! No use wasting time, so I am spending the wet weekend in Taupo and Rotorua, spending time with the family and some friends from overseas, and some light birding with a chap from Paris. 

Seven-thirty saw me rushing around, stuffing my field guide, binoculars and raincoat into my cheap fabric 'birding bag', jumping onto eBird and frantically finding the best "hotspots". We squished into the van and started heading south, as I pointed out the common birds like Tui, Fantails and Spur-Winged Plovers (after the usual explanation that our plovers were not actually plovers!).

Stop number one on my mental birding map was the Aratiatia Dam, where we watched the dam open and I counted the scaup and shags sitting along the top. Once the raging waters had subsided we moved on to a few touristy spots, but as this is a birding blog we will fast-forward this crazy narrative.

At long last we arrived in Taupo,  where we put our bags in our slum motel, and braved the mad weather to go and look at the birds at the waterfront. Hundreds of waterfowl were bobbing in the rain, and we saw Black Swans, Australasian Coots, and the ubiquitous NZ Scaup.

The next day, a few of us went out on a boat trip on the lake, despite the howling wind and drizzle. Again, coots, scaup, swans and mallards were common and widespread, and a highlight of the cruise was watching the skipper feed the ducks out of the window... on the second tier! The ducks kept pace with the boat, and among the pure mallards and grubby hybrids I managed to spy a few rare Grey Ducks! This was a big deal for me, as these were some of the purest Grey Ducks I'd seen, with green speculums (speculi?), grey bills and clearly striped faces. As we approached the land again, I heard the 'zzzsh' of Whiteheads (the bird not the pimple!) in the bush, as well as some of the more common bush birds. By the time we got back, I had also added my first Dabchick of the trip to the list, giving me a total of 15 species in 2 hours. Not fantastic, but the views were stunning, so I got off the boat in a good mood. 

The skipper feeding a Mallard out the window - quite spectacular!

Checking for Grey Ducks on the lake

Later in the day, we headed north-east to Rotorua, stopping at some of the best geothermal spots. Again, this isn't Lonely Planet, so I won't bore you with the details, but long story short we arrived in a marginally less seedy motel that night and settled in. Early (well, early for the holidays) next morning Martin and I ended up in the aptly named Sulphur Bay.

The beautiful Sulphur Bay

Let me get this straight. We did not ignore the warning signs. We did not go to a restricted part of the bay to look at gulls, and we most certainly did not trespass on restricted land. Somehow we were still able to rack up a good few species, including Greylag and Canada Geese, 4 Dunnocks (special for us northerners), all 3 gull species and of course, hundreds of scaup. After a look at the thermal area that gives Sulphur Bay its name (from a safe distance of course ;) ) we headed home, detouring at Rainbow Springs.

Bird of the trip - the charismatic Scaup. I wish there were a few more of these closer to home!

Boom. My holiday. No lifers, but it was great fun. Hope yours were as good!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Windy birding up North

I awoke on the morning of the 26th of August to the sound of Tui duelling with Australian Magpies overhead. Tick. Tick. Hurriedly packing my bags I jumped in the car and Dad drove me down to picturesque Ngaruawahia, where Mynas, Starlings and Sparrows all made it onto my day list... I needed these 'plastics' if I was going to beat my personal record of 56 birds in a day. I met up with two other birders, Michael B-S and Russ C, the latter of which I had not previously met. Russ was driver, and on the long road up to Auckland he offered Michael and I an offer we couldn't refuse - the birder who spotted the best bird of the trip would score themselves the excellent (and expensive) Birds of New Zealand: A photographic guide to keep! The rest of the trip we kept ourselves amused with quizzes derived from Aussie and NZ bird guides, and all the while I kept one eye out for the next bird.

In busy, noisy Auckland around 9am we picked up Harry B, an international twitcher who knew his stuff with a life list of 2000 plus birds. Now fully loaded, we headed north, braving the wind and rain in our search of birds. First stop: the vast Kaipara Harbour, just north of Auckland. On the way, however, Harry's sharp eyes spotted a pair of Cape Barren Geese - extremely rare for this area, and indeed, New Zealand. Not only that, but rare Mute Swans were also there. However, something was definitely wrong. Surely there was no way we would see both these species in one place... then I spotted the Ostrich and Emu in the same paddock, as well as three giraffes further on... Dangit. Definitely not wild then. Some rich collector was having a laugh at our expense!

A quick Subway pit stop, and we headed down the winding gravel roads, forever alert for a sign of the Australian Pelicans that had turned up here in March/April. The pelicans were nowhere to be seen, but we made it to the (now very muddy) vehicle access to Big Sand Island, where instead of risking Russ's new car we got out and readied ourselves for a few hours of birding. Our target species here were the Nationally Critical Fairy Terns, of which there are only 40 left in New Zealand! We were also hoping for some rarer waders, and maybe some surprise tern species. As soon as we got out of the car, a Dunnock revealed itself with a thin, reedy warble. New Zealand Pipits and Skylarks were in good numbers, and once we had walked out to the south end of the island Bar-Tailed Godwits and Wrybill were nice and obvious. Banded and NZ Dotterels were around, and as we got closer to the main flock of birds we saw not one, but SEVEN Fairy Terns! As we were watching these, two Little Terns also terned up (sorry). What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.

Black-Fronted Tern with a Fairy Tern

Terns at Kaipara

Black-Fronted Terns are a small, grey tern species that are found around the braided river systems of the South Island. Occasionally, one or two would turn up to Wellington, and they have been recorded in the Bay of Islands and even sparingly in Auckland. So what happened next was not entirely unprecedented. But undoubtedly no-one was expecting it. Just as we were about to leave the small flock of Fairy and Little Terns, Michael gave a yell, pointing to a bird overhead. And, just like magic, the exquisite, handsome Black-Fronted Tern glided down to land only a few metres in front of us! Tick! This one was a lifer for Michael and I, and one of the most northerly records ever. According to eBird, it was the third most northerly record in history, with the first in the Far North, in 1986, and the second at Langs Beach in 2004. Bird of the trip! Not only that, but now Michael had an almost unshakeable hold of the book Russ had offered...

Elated, we walked to the north end of the island, although we failed to see anything amazing save an albino oystercatcher. The tide was coming in with a vengeance now, and we hastily crossed back over to the mainland (and seeing some pretty cool jellyfish as well), and left Kaipara with a whole lot of birds on the day list, as well as wet shoes :\

Next and final stop for the day was Waipu Wildlife Refuge. The wind had picked up dramatically, with 50km/h winds and even stronger gusts, making conditions ideal for seawatching the east coast. We set up scopes on the beach, and watched daring Australasian Gannets plummet into the violent ocean, but we couldn't see anything else. Then a huge, dark shape appeared offshore, coming out of the fog to fill our scopes. Northern Giant Petrel! This almost albatross-sized seabird was the third lifer of the trip for me, and was a satisfying end to the birding day. We made our way to the bach we were staying at, left our bags and gear there, and went out for dinner. When we came back, I tried to watch the rugby, but I was quickly reminded why I don't like watching rugby, so I went to bed after 5 minutes.

The next morning we were up at 6, scoping out the dam below us for any signs of Australian Little Grebes, but the grebes were too far away for anything definite. Russ learnt that I still hadn't yet ticked Peafowl, so we first headed north to Waipu Caves, where several rather windy Indian Peafowl were running across the road. Cheers Russ, that was quick. We then headed to Ormiston Ponds to see the resident Aussie Little Grebes, and, like magic, they were there. Two lifers and we were just warming up, it seemed. As we headed south, with even stronger winds buffeting the coast, I was met with the crushing revalation that I had left my leftover pizza in the bach fridge. Quickly spiralling into the cold depths of depression, my teammates realised that they had to do something, and fast. So we stopped in Wellesford and I bought a banana, for an amazing 16 cents. Crisis averted.

Pulled out of my pizza-craving stupor by a mixture of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B-6, we could continue on our journey. We went on to Ruakaka Wildlife Refuge for another seawatch, but saw only gannets both diving into the rolling ocean, and the less-brave ones taking shelter in the river.

As we moved further south, Harry received a call from Oscar T, a fellow Young Birder, who was very excited to share that he was looking at a Kookaburra! Released by Governor Grey in the 1860's, Laughing Kookaburras never really took off, but were still holding on in the north. This would be a lifer for myself, and a new one for NZ for both Michael and Russ. Naturally we raced down there as fast as we could  as fast as legally possible, only to find it had flown.

Disappointed, we went down to Tawharanui Regional Park, where we finished the day off with birding in the bush, lagoon and seawatching. Bush birding highlights were the 12 North Island Saddlebacks and 2 North Island Robins, and we saw Brown Teal and Banded Rails in the Lagoon. Seawatching was mostly fruitless, although not vegetable-less, bread-less or indeed bird-less, as we still saw numerous Fluttering Shearwaters and two Northern Giant Petrels.

Pied Stilt at the Tawharanui Lagoon

We finished the day with a Grey Teal at Straka's Lagoon, our final 'bogey bird' dealt with. Total count for the weekend was a whopping 74 species, and 5 lifers for me.

Monday, 28 August 2017

New name!

Hey all!
Following my recent trip to Northland and Auckland (post to come), I have renamed my blog, as the previous name no longer fitted. I fully intend to move further and further afield in my never-ending quest for birds, rather than be confined to the Waikato. So, influenced somewhat by recent "dips" out on Black Kites, Cattle Egrets and Australian Shelducks, I have renamed this blog to something more accurate...